I was staying at the Doubletree Hilton in Ealing and was eating in the hotel restaurant.
I had initially decided that I wouldn’t have a burger, as I have eaten quite a few burgers recently. However I haven’t had a chicken burger for some time. Reading the description, fried butter milk chicken burger with red-hot sauce, blue cheese sauce, pickled cabbage slaw, lettuce, mayonnaise, tomato, pretzel bun, I wasn’t sure I was going to like that.
I did think about modifying the burger and getting rid of the sauces, but in the end I went with what was described. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I do like to try new things and see how they taste.
It arrived and it did look quite good.
The pretzel roll was a nice change from the brioche roll which seems to have become the standard across gourmet burgers these days.
The chicken was nice though it wasn’t as crispy (or crunchy) as I would like. The sauces I thought might be overpowering actually weren’t.
I have to say I was a little disappointed. I found the chicken rather dry and lacking flavour. Compared to the tempura chicken hirata bun, the Finzel Flapper I’ve had in the past, this new version of the hirata bun was nowhere near as nice. I think if I order again I will go for the Takoyaki instead.
Which on my next visit I did.
This time though they had a different kind of chicken, so why not. So I ordered a bento box with the chicken hirata bun and my usual beef donburi.
The beef was as usual, excellent. It is tasty tender beef rib on a bed of sushi rice and served with pickle and spring onions.
The chicken hirata bun was also really good, though it was slightly “drowned” in accompaniments.
It was delicious, yes back on form and something I would order again.
It was early evening and I hadn’t expected the place to be so busy, but it was basically full. The manager though was wonderfully welcoming and made a real effort to find me a table. This level of customer service was excellent and made me feel welcome. The place was really busy and noisy, but that really added to the atmosphere. As with other branches of Wahaca, this one had its own style and decor. It was quite dark in the restaurant, but I am not sure if that was intentional, or that on the occasions I have visited the place it has been in the evenings!
Since that previous visit the menu had changed, as it does quite often. I had intended to have one of the specials that I missed out on my most recent visit to Wahaca which were the grilled fish tacos. Alas that wasn’t meant to be, as they had changed their specials to the Christmas ones, and I didn’t fancy the turkey dinner taquito! I did think about getting those crispy cauliflower bites again, however in the end I decided I should choose something new.
I was quite hungry, so I did order some nachos and guacamole.
There was a decent portion of guacamole and the nachos were crunchy and not too salty.
So what of my street food choices? Well I went with three dishes and my first choice was the duck croquetas, these are crispy duck & sweet potato balls with smoky hibiscus & chipotle salsa.
They were a delight, crispy outside and smooth tender inside. Great flavours and the smoky hibiscus & chipotle salsa was delicious and really complemented the croquetas.
On my last visit to this branch I had really enjoyed the butternut squash.
I really enjoyed this dish, was full of flavour and very tasty. I think it could have been improved if the squash had been peeled, but the flesh of the squash did come away from the skin despite this. I really liked the chargrilled aspect of the dish and you could taste that in the squash. This dish is advertised as vegan, and I suspect people might avoid it, but if it comes back onto the menu, go for it, it was delicious.
So when I saw the roasted butternut squash tacos, with a creamy cashew nut and herb mole, citrusy tomatillo salsa and pumpkin seeds, of course I had to choose it.
It was a very different dish to what I had before. As you can see it was a couple of tacos filled with chunks of roasted butternut squash. The dish before had been very different.
It had consisted of large chunks of chargrilled butternut squash.
However though it wasn’t the same dish, I really enjoyed the new tacos version, it was full of flavour and very tasty.
My third choice was hard, I did consider the mushroom tacos, but in the end I went with something I had ordered before which was buttermilk chicken flour tacos served crispy fried with pink pickled onions & spiced mayo.
They were delicious, great textures and flavours.
The table services was excellent, friendly and efficient. Despite how busy the place was, the food arrived in good time. You can tell how popular this place was, as I left there was a huge queue of people waiting for tables. Will I go again, well I will, if I can get in next time.
Though I was less impressed with the steak tacos I had, especially as I had really good steak tacos the week before at Charlotte Street.
Though I had completely forgotten about that when I visited the Soho branch for some lunch last month.
The Soho branch I suspect must get busy at lunchtime with tourists, but as I was eating just after the lunchtime rush, the place was quite empty and quiet. I find that each of the Wahaca branches has their own particular style which makes each of them a unique interesting place to eat.
I ordered three dishes, one of which was tacos with chargrilled steak served with grilled cheese & fresh guacamole
There use to be some really nice grilled steak tacos, I had these quite a few times. There were three soft corn tortillas which came with flash-grilled skirt steak with chipotle & tomatillo salsas with optional grilled cheese (I always avoided the cheese).
The new recipe called The Rib Eye, consists of two larger corn tortillas with chargrilled steak and is served with grilled cheese & fresh guacamole.
You do get more steak and it is very tender compared to the skirt steak they use to do, but it is also more expensive, about three pounds more than the old steak tacos price (60% more expensive).
It’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the tacos, I did, but I felt that the original recipe was really good and this wasn’t much of an improvement and certainly not a 60% improvement. I probably wouldn’t order them again.
My second small plate order was something I had ordered before which was buttermilk chicken flour tacos served crispy fried with pink pickled onions & spiced mayo.
This was again two larger flour tortillas with buttermilk friend chicken. I did think the chicken was slightly over-cooked, but it was crispy and the mayo and onions added flavour and texture.
My final small plate order was new on the menu, crab tostada dressed in chipotle mayo, served with pink pickled onions.
You got two crispy tortilla with crab. I really enjoyed these, you could certainly taste the crab and it was a fresh tasty dish.
The only thing that let the meal down was the service, it took some time for my order to be taken and I had ordered some tap water with my meal and that was forgotten about, so I had to ask again. The fact that I had been seated around the corner meant that there wasn’t always an opportunity to get the attention of a member of the waiting staff to either place my order or ask for the water.
I was checking my e-mail when I got a special offer through from Wahaca offering me one from a choice of street food dishes for just one pound if I bought another. Well it’s been sometime since I visited Wahaca for lunch, so when I was looking for a light lunch I found a branch of Wahaca, I thought well why not. I wasn’t very hungry, so decided to purchase just two dishes, one for full price and one for the offer price of a pound.
What was interesting was that the staff in the branch of Wahaca I was in, didn’t realise that there was an offer sent our by e-mail, and it took the intervention of a manager to sort it out. That is something that does frustrate and annoy me with special offers is when you try and claim the offer, the staff don’t know what to do, or know nothing about it.
So what of the food? For the full price I went with the Chargrilled steak Baja Tacos with avocado & chipotle salsas.
This was a delicious dish, the steak was chargrilled and sliced, it was still rare. The salsas were tasty, not to spicy and complimented the steak nicely. I could have added grilled cheese for an extra fifty pence, but I am glad I didn’t, because I don’t think it needs it.
For the special offer dish, I went with the Buttermilk chicken Baja Tacos served crispy fried with habanero & white onion relish & spiced mayo.
These were really nice, the chicken was crispy and hot, the relish was spicy and tasty.
Of the two dishes I preferred the chargrilled steak dish, though both dishes were very tasty. The service was good, the food service was quick and efficient. The experience reminded me how much I enjoyed the Wahaca food. So I might not leave it so long next time.