Posts for the 'Mexican' Category


Wahaca Westfield White City

Wahaca, the Mexican street eat restaurant chain started by the 2005 Masterchef winner Thomasina Miers, is one of my favourite cheap eats in London. Wahaca do some key things really well. Their vibe is relaxed and chilled, the ingredients they use are always fresh, and the dishes are refreshingly appetising. You can also expect a general level of consistency in the food no matter which branch you visit as most of the prep is done in the centralised Wahaca kitchen on Charlotte Street before being distributed to the various Wahaca branches. And best of all the food is really reasonably priced. And did I mention the yummy cocktails?

We visited the Wahaca at the very smart Westfield White City, perfectly located for a bite to eat after a spot of shopping. We kicked of with some drinks, heading straight for the interesting Tequila Experience (£10.65) which consisted of three separate tequila shots. First up was the cold sharpness of the Calle 23 Blanco which served as an aperitif washed down with sangrita. Next was the Reposado, a tequila with a light and woody flourish that we slowly savoured during the meal. To finish, we had the Añejo Calle 23, an aged tequila which was smooth and mellow with a nice finish. We also really adored the refreshing and not too sweet passionfruit margarita (£6.25).

Wahaca tequila experience and guacamole

Wahaca tequila experience and guacamole

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La Bodega Negra

La Bodega Negra is the London outpost of NYC’s La Esquina, a swanky Mexican café-taqueria from New York nightlife design maestro Serge Becker. Utilise a sex shop as a frontage for a restaurant, give it the pretense of a speakeasy den, and you have the trappings of the latest ‘IT’ venue.

The restaurant can be accessed from Old Compton Street. There’s not a sign in sight to guide your way other than the big number 9 on top of the entrance, so as you enter through the sex shop doors there is an air of the seductive unknown about it. The fashionable dressed maître’d reassuringly lets you know that you’re in the right place, after which you check your coat and then make your way downstairs to the den of exoticism. La Bodega Negra is an upstairs downstairs job, with a ground floor café around the corner on Moor Street.

Cocktails were tasty, but there were many minus points. A supposedly frozen margarita (£8.50) had completely defrosted by the time it reached us, and a passion fruit margarita came out in the tiniest glass imaginable and with so much ice it smacked off being a rip off.

The tostadas in a serving of sesame tostadas with guacamole (£5.50) were very crunchy and really well done. The guacamole yielded a creamy, smooth texture, but had been blended to dilute the flavour of the avocado. The portion was disappointingly tiny.

Sesame tostadas with guacamole

Sesame tostadas with guacamole

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Lupita

Lupita is one of the latest Mexican restaurants to open in London (the other one that comes to mind is Cantina Laredo on Upper St Martin’s Lane in Covent Garden, right next to Jamie’s new Italian restaurant). Housed on Villiers Street, it’s in an unbeatable location for all the passing traffic that runs between Embankment tube and the Strand. Lupita is an offshoot of its sister restaurant in Mexico City, El Farolito. It bills itself as the first truly authentic Mexican restaurant in London although I suppose most restaurants would call themselves authentic. I mean, why wouldn’t you?

To start was a nachos clasicos (£5.45), Mexican tortilla chips topped with melted cheese, red salsa, guacamole and sour cream. Actually we should have been munching on the nachos Lupita, a meat version with strips of beef and black beans. But the restaurant got our order wrong and brought us the clasicos instead. But as the service was a bit chaotic – we got our food before our drinks – we decided not to bother having the restaurant correct our order.

Nachos clasicos

Nachos clasicos

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