We welcome Brighton’s newest Mexican eatery – Wahaca
Wahaca is a work of true Mexican excellence, from grub to groove; it is a welcomed setting of carnival frivolities to the Brighton Restaurant scene, a brimming Piñata rich with delights, set comfortably in amongst the furniture of Brighton’s City Centre. On behalf of us all, I welcome this Tequila and Taco heaven.
The Mexican food truck the weekend prior to opening was something quite special. An amazing way to introduce and launch a new branch of the reputable Mexican Market food venue, Wahaca, into the Brighton stratosphere and onto everyone radars. The sampler tacos were handful of sheer mastery, with a perfect balance of ingredients and flavours to tantalise any with a taste for Mexican. Nobody can say no to free food, let alone these little tacos of goodness, but Thomasina’s Tacos didn’t only please but were a perfect tease, tempting an anticipation of what more was to come.
For the opening, Fran (my guest,) and I got dressed up in our worthiest Mexican Street Food and Tequila appropriate get-up and were off to make an event of taking Thomasina Miers’s menu by storm. The best part of it all was that though perhaps over-dressed (as we were asked by our Waitress why we were dressed so, suggesting a later engagement – no we dressed for the Wahaca occasion was the reply), my company got complimented on her shoes thrice over! I feel that in the event losing your Wahaca Virginity, we were dressed perfectly.
The location was perfect. It has been told that Thomasina had almost secured a location on the very same Jubilee Street two years ago, but it was not to be: this time around, cometh the time to renew many a lease in Brighton, Thomasina out-bid the previous tenant and took pride of place on the main Brighton High Street. The space is perfect – Wahaca, inspired by Mexican Market and Street Food – the wide open walls of street-facing windows inviting the outside in and opening up the floor to an arena of alfresco feel good dining.
We started with cocktails, of course, and as we read were tempted by them all, they would all no doubt be fabulous! We were impressed by how prevalently featured great Gin, Tequila and Mescal were in their short and sweet cocktail menu. The Hibiscus Gin & Tonic was probably the best G&T I have ever tasted and I will no doubt be going back for more than another. To complement cocktails with nibbles we had the worthy and popular accompaniment of true Mexican lush green Guacamole: Freshly made guacamole with lime juice, coriander and ripe Hass avocados, delicious.
Freshly made every day using Hass avocados & freshly squeezed lime juice w/ tortilla chips £4.45 V
w/ Chicharrón style puffed pork scratchings £4.95.
You can enjoy the Hibiscus gin & tonic for £6.95.
We then opted for the sharing plates of small couplings of tacos and other mini corn tortilla treats. It was a whole table of food, but we ate it all. How could we not, it was all spectacular, the descriptions of each of the dishes speak for themselves, each of them delivering a taste sensation.The vegetarian menu accommodates the widely vegetarian market of Brighton, here are my favourite dishes.
Plantain £3.95- Crispy plantain with an addictively sweet & spicy chipotle adobo & a crumble of feta
Sweet potato & feta £3.95 – Roasted sweet potato, feta &caramelised red onion wrapped in crispy blue corn & dotted with salsas & chipotle mayo
Crispy Prawn £4.95 – Two corn tortillas stuffed with chopped prawns, chillies, spring onions & coriander and deeps fried until crispy. Served with fresh tomato salsa & chipotle mayo
Huitiliacoche empanadas £4.50 – Crispy Pastry Parcels stuffed with mushroom, truffley Mexican corn & melted cheese
Rojas £4.10 – Strips of char-grilled pablano pepper sautéed with spinach & corn in a delicious creamy sauce
The Tequila Experience
£10.85 Voted the best new product at the ‘Class Awards’, try Calle 23’s Blanco: Citrus, crisp, peppercons, and slight spice, with Sangrit: a delicious orange, grenadine, spice & tomato based accompaniment, Reposado: Mellow creamy, caramel and vanilla, and Añejo: Smoky, sweet, butterscotch and dark chocolate. Truly smooth and delectable.
We sipped, and we truly enjoyed. I am so grateful to Thomasina Miers for bringing top-quality 100% agave Tequila to a well-suited audience of Brighton shot lovers, making available to us Tequila that is loved by the local Mexican small family-run producers themselves, the best money can buy, showing us what true Tequila really is: Deliciously smooth and a pleasure to drink slow and straight. I am now proud to say that I love Tequila.
Of all the espresso Martinis that I have sampled in my time, I would most definitely same that this is a strong contender for my guaranteed favourite mix after mix. Tequila and Kahlúa is a match made in the naughtier realms of heaven.
Mexpresso Martini £6.95 –Blanco tequila shaken with Kahlúa and a fresh shot of espresso
For dessert we chose the number one Mexican pastry based snack and a true Market food indulgence, Churros. Piping hot, crisp yet fluffy, generously dusted with a frosting of sugar and cinnamon and served with the most velvety smooth rich and decadent chocolate and salted caramel dipping sauce. Plus (because what Tequila lover could possibly resist) we concluded with Chilli Chocolate Tequila Toddy. Oh my, South Americans have it so good with Agave and Cocoa growing native and delectable into their homeland! If I thought Kalhua and Tequila was heaven, then Tequila and Chocolate is a whole new level.
Chilli chocolate tequila toddy £3.65 – Intense hot chocolate shot with a dash of tequila
Churros y chocolate £4.25 – Our favourite! Mexican doughnuts with a rich chocolate sauce
The whole experience, from the staff; the service; the cocktails; the food, oh the food; the coffee; the Tequila; the chocolaty delicacies, to the heart and soul of Mexico channelled through the tuned taste buds and passionate mind of Thomasina Miers, founder of Wahaca was amazing.
Wahaca has made waves and shook the foundations of Britains preconception of Mexican food, typically greasy and heavy, Thomasina has made a real testimony to the delicacy of regional cuisines, keeping true to her inspiration, traveling all over Mexico sampling from Markets all over the country to find the best delicate balance of ingredients to create that same Mexican speciality here for us. It is an honour to have had the food that has been so carefully and selected and sourced with integrity. The best of it all – and the reason I have always loved Mexican food – Corn Tortillas are Gluten-free, meaning you can eat an unmentionable number of Quesadillas and not feel the bread-guilt. Wahaca is built on the foundations of delivering healthy feel-good food with heart, and from what I have seen, tried and tasted, I can confidently say that Wahaca delivers to 100%, with an avocado on top.
When Thomasina came over to our table to say hello I was pleasantly surprised being seating in a nicely intimate semi-circular enclave whereby I can devote my undivided attention to enjoying the food with company. I asked why she hadn’t moved here before in her London hay-day 5 years ago whereupon she opening for Capital restaurants and she told that Brighton has always been marked on her radar as it has always played home and haven to her brother and sister over the years. Why I would say that Wahaca is such an awesome addition to the mix in Brighton; it is almost like welcoming family home.
Thank you, Thomasina Miers MMFMC (Mexican Market Food Master Chef) for an excellent meal and dinner out. I will be back… no doubt for the Mescal and Tonics drinks selection that launched this May.