If you have ever read this blog before, you will probably know that I am a huge fan of Wahaca, the creation of former Masterchef winner Thomasina Miers. I was very excited, therefore, when the brand announced they would be opening their first Scottish branch in Edinburgh at the beginning of this month. Mum and I thus ended up in the new branch after a day of shopping in Edinburgh.
The décor is slightly different to the other branches I’ve been in – the exposed white brick and colourful piping was here replaced with dark lighting and faux climbing plants. We were shown upstairs to a table where we ordered Fresh Tomato Salsa and Chips to nibble on while we scanned the menu. The salsa was as delicious as expected – very fresh and with a mild flavour. Mum and I then chose six street food dishes to share between us – you can also go for bigger plates made for one, but we can’t go past the fresh, tasty street food.
I had my eye on one of the specials – Lamb Taquitos – and mum and I had already decided we would get a portion. You can image my disappointment, then, when we were told that the dish was unavailable – I’m fairly sure I scared the waiter off with my unhappy face!
Our first two choices were favourites from previous visits – the Frijoles with Chorizo and the Sweet Potato and Feta Taquitos. The taquitos were as good as we remembered – crispy corn tortillas enclosing a sweet, silky sweet potato and feta mixture and topped with a delicious combination of salsas and chipotle mayonnaise. The frijoles arrived with a side of tortilla chips, tipping us off that the selection had come from the nibbles section of the menu instead of the sides. They happily removed the chips, although we were careful to check the bill to ensure they hadn’t charged us for them.
Two of our choices came from the taco selection – Pork Pibil Tacos and Grilled British Steak Tacos with Grilled Cheese. The pork was probably the spiciest dish on the table, but that didn’t detract from the melt-in-the-mouth pork shoulder. The beef in the steak tacos was perfectly cooked with a gorgeously pink middle, and the crispy, chewy rolls of grilled cheese really added to the taco. The soft tortilla, tender steak and crispy cheese all worked together to create another extremely tasty dish.
The Smoky Chipotle Chicken Quesadilla was, as usual, very tasty – soft flour tortillas gave way to a gooey mix of tomato, cheese and slightly spicy chicken. Delicious! The revelation of the evening, however, came from a dish we hadn’t tried before. The Battered Cod Baja Tacos featured two corn and flour tortillas topped with large chunks of meaty cod encased in an incredibly crispy batter. What really made this dish was the overall combination of shredded ‘slaw, chipotle mayonnaise and pickled cucumber that adorned the tacos. We may not have tried these before but we certainly would again!
After a bit of a rest, we both decided to order the Churros y Chocolate – especially as I had thoroughly enjoyed those which I had had in the Liverpool branch. The churros actually come with a choice of rich chocolate sauce or caramel “cajeta” sauce, and so we went for one of each so that we could share. Unfortunately these churros were slightly undercooked inside and still a little greasy – not quite the same standard as I had had before. They still had a nice crunchy outside, particularly tasty with the accompanying sweet caramel sauce (the real star of the dessert).
A couple of mistakes from servers were perhaps forgivable; after all, the branch had been open less than two weeks. I’m sure that the service side of things will improve as the staff find their feet, and the food doesn’t need a huge amount of work as it is. The restaurant did have a slightly different feel to what I was expecting – it felt more like a chain than the other branches I’ve been to, and I missed that feeling of openness. The food, on the whole, was very good though and I’m almost certain I’ll be back.