Last November I was attending some meetings in Cardiff, after they were over I was walking back to the car park to get my car and drive home. I realised I was hungry and decided to get something to eat.
Cardiff has quite a bit of choice of places to eat, but I didn’t really have the time to look round find somewhere so in the end I chose Barburrito.
I’ve had Barburrito tacos before at Paddington and Bristol Airport, so it was something I knew I liked.
I had three Barburrito tacos with pork and chicken. You also get a handful of tortilla chips and salsa. I like how you have some choice over which salads and extras you get with your tacos.
Though I always think with Barburrito that the meat is generally overcooked, however I did enjoy my tacos and the salad and toppings tasted very fresh.
Now as we enter a second lockdown I have been reflecting on some meals I had out over the last few years which never made it to the blog. Sometimes I just run out of time to write up a review and sometimes I forget to write up the meal.
Back in December 2019 I was heading South of the river in London for an event where I was delivering a presentation. With time for lunch I headed off to Wahaca on the Southbank. This was the branch where I had first eaten food from Wahaca back in August 2016. Then I had really enjoyed the fresh delicious food and thought at the time that I would really like to go again. Since then I have been quite a few times, however I hadn’t been to the Southbank restaurant for a fair few years.
The restaurant on the South Bank, is built from eight recycled shipping containers arranged across two overhanging levels. These brightly coloured containers make for an interesting eating environment. The team were friendly and welcoming.
I went with three dishes from the street food menu.
The Ancho Chicken Tacos was two larger corn tortillas, grilled and filled with grilled chicken and avocado, with ancho rub, guacamole & green tomatillo salsa.
These were very nice, I enjoyed the spiciness of the accompaniments and the fresh tender chicken..
On previous visits I have gone with the steak tacos, though this time I went with the slow cooked beef brisket tacos.
The beef was beautifully tender and I liked the accompanying pickles on top.
My third dish was the delicious crispy cauliflower bites, crispy buttermilk-battered florets, with roast serrano allioli.
I’ve had these before and these were really nice. The florets were larger than other times I’ve had this dish, but this didn’t make a difference, it was a delicious plate of food.
Overall I really enjoyed my meal and thought all the dishes were delicious.
So there I was going though some photographs from January when I saw some delicious looking dishes from Wahaca. I realised that I had this great meal and hadn’t written (well I had started but not finished) a blog post about it.
Well, so back in January I was in London for a morning meeting, so I had been up early and was feeling hungry so was looking somewhere for lunch. I know how much I had enjoyed the food at Wahaca I decided it was pretty much a no brainer to go there for lunch, especially as I had a special offer in my email inbox.
The nearest branch to me was the Covent Garden one. Each Wahaca branch has its own style and feel. The Covent Garde branch is downstairs in the basement, but does feel quite bright and open.
There was a lovely warm welcome from the staff and I sat at the table and viewed the menu.
I had a special offer which meant I could get a dish for a pound.
Pack your January with veg and treat yourself with our ultimate range of vegetarian street food dishes. From buttermilk cauliflower bites to our mushroom and grilled cheese tacos there’s plenty of delicious veggie dishes to add to your meal. Just show this email to your waiter to get your dish for £1
For me that was an easy choice and I went with the crispy cauliflower bites, crispy buttermilk-battered florets, with roast serrano allioli.
These were delicious crunchy florets with a soft melt in the mouth centre, accompanied with a tasty allioli. I really like these and enjoyed these.
I had another dish, the prawn cocktail tostada.
This was sustainably sourced prawns with red chilli mayo, crisp lettuce & avocado on crispy tostada. This was the Wahaca version of the prawn cocktail. It was not as good as I hoped, the prawns lacked flavour, as did the avocado, but it was still fresh and tasty.
My third dish was grilled mushroom & cheese tacos.
These were sweet ancho rubbed mushrooms with crispy grilled cheese. The mushrooms were delicious and I really enjoyed that strong flavour of funghi and spicy ancho. I do find that Wahaca often add crispy grilled cheese to dishes, which I don’t always see that it adds anything to that dish.
I was feeling hungry, so I went with another dish and went with the steak and cheese tacos.
This was chargrilled steak served with grilled cheese, chipotle salsa & avocado. Again more grilled cheese. This use to be an optional extra, but now was part of the dish. I’ve had this dish a fair few times, and this was not the best version I’ve had of this dish, but it was still quite tasty.
Overall I enjoyed my four dishes, the mushrooms and cauliflower were certainly the ones I enjoyed the most.
On one of my last visits to London before the lockdown I did pop to Wahaca at Oxford Circus. I have been there quite a few times and have enjoyed the atmosphere and the food.
As we were in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, this was a couple of weeks before the full lockdown, the place was still open. I was a little cautious about going to a restaurant and sitting down with others to eat. With hindsight I probably wouldn’t have gone, but at the time the risk seemed quite low and there was sanitiser available, and I was washing my hands a lot.
Each branch of Wahaca has it’s own charm and style, there are similarities across the different restaurants, but each has an element of individuality.
I was given a warm welcome and there were plenty of seats available. I looked over the menu and decided to go with some old favourites as well as trying out a new dish.
For my first choice, I chose a dish that I have had a fair few times before, which was the crispy cauliflower bites.
These are crispy buttermilk-battered florets of cauliflower, with roast serrano allioli.
These were delicious and lovely and crispy. I enjoyed the allioli which complemented the crispy florets. They are very moreish and tasty,
My other favourite was steak tacos.
These are two tacos filled with chargrilled steak served with grilled cheese, chipotle salsa & avocado. I much preferred these when the grilled cheese was optional, I don’t think the grilled cheese adds much to the dish. The steak was full of flavour and very tender.
The dish I ordered that I hadn’t had before, was the grilled mushroom & cheese tacos
These are sweet ancho rubbed mushrooms with crispy grilled cheese. The mushrooms were delicious, again not a fan of the grilled cheese.
I really enjoyed the three dishes which were tasty and delicious. The service was warm, friendly and welcoming, the food arrived quickly and efficiently.
At the time I was planning to come back to London later in March, so didn’t think this was going to be my last lunch in London for a long time. At the time of writing I have no idea when or even if I will be going back to London for work. As we know restaurants are closed and looking unlikely to re-open in the short term. I am though looking forward to the time when I can go back out to eat, but hopefully I will be able to visit Wahaca in the future and have some great food.
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.
It was just after the lunch time rush, so the place was quiet, but I was given a warm welcome and lead to a table. Each Wahaca I have been to, has a different feel and look and the Soho branch has a unique individual environment. There is a somewhat industrial feel to the place, but it’s warm and friendly, not necessarily cold and inhuman.
I looked over the menu and as it has been some time since I last went to Wahaca, there were some new choices on the street food menu. I did think about having my usual grilled steak tacos. Last time I was at the Soho branch they did a new (more expensive) version of the dish with ribeye steak. Back then I said:
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.
The new version is similar to the original version, but you have to have the cheese, unlike the original version where it was an option. However this time I decided that I would have something different and would not go with the steak.
I did think about having the buttermilk chicken tacos again, I have enjoyed them before. However as I was thinking about having the crispy cauliflower bites, I decided that I didn’t want too much crispy stuff, so decided to choose something else. For similar reasons I also decided not to go with the duck croquetas, crispy duck & sweet potato balls with smoky hibiscus & chipotle salsa, which I really liked the sound of. When the waiter came to take my order, he showed me the specials, there were two, the grilled fish tacos looked interesting and tempting.
In the end I went with some beef tacos, grilled chicken tortillas and the crispy cauliflower bites.
The first dish to arrive were some slow-cooked beef tacos with mild spices, with black beans, served in three soft corn grilled tortillas.
These were excellent, the beef was full of favour, not too spicy. I really enjoyed the addition of the pickled cucumber on top of the tacos. It was a great blend of tastes and textures. They are certainly something I would order again.
The next two dishes arrived at the same time. One of the things you either like about Wahaca or you don’t is that dishes arrived when they are cooked rather than all coming together. This is fine if you are sharing dishes or eating alone, but less great when as a group or a family you have ordered individual dishes.
The first of the pair of dishes was two larger corn tortillas, grilled and filled with grilled chicken and avocado, with ancho rub, guacamole & green tomatillo salsa.
These were generously filled and I really enjoyed them. The chicken was sightly over-grilled for my liking, but they were still nice. I liked the avocado and the green tomatillo salsa added some nice spice to the dish.
My final dish was the crispy cauliflower bites, crispy buttermilk-battered florets, with roast serrano allioli.
These sounded really interesting and they looked great and tasted even better. I was really pleased to have ordered these. The little florets of cauliflower were covered in a light buttermilk batter, deep fried and were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. When I have tried to cook this kind of dish at home, I find that my batter is too thick. This kind of dish and inspired me to try again with a lighter thinner buttermilk batter. The roast serrano allioli was interesting and really worked well with the cauliflower. I think this was my favourite dish of the trio I ordered and would like to have them again.
The service was excellent, warm and friendly welcome, attentive, efficient service. Overall these were three excellent dishes and I really enjoyed them.
I had been to Reading for a meeting and was on my way home and feeling hungry. Usually I am disappointed with the food you can buy at motorway services. However stopping at the Reading (westbound) services on the M4 and wanting a late lunch I was really impressed with the food from El Mexicana.
I went with the pulled pork tacos, which comes with a portion of tortilla chips and salsa.
I got three tacos which were made fresh to order and included salad, sour cream and pickles. The pork was nice and tender and full of flavour. The tortilla chips came with a delicious fresh salsa.
I really enjoyed eating this meal.
The other impressive aspect of the meal was the cost, at just £6.19. For a dish of tacos and tortilla chips this would be impressive value for money, but throw in this was at a motorway services, I felt I was ripping them off!
You can tell when I enjoy something I have it again and again. Its one of the reasons I blog about food, so I can tell I have too much of a good thing. I like to think I try different things, the reality is when there is something I’ve enjoyed, I do have it again and again.
This is pretty much the situation with the delicious tacos from Taco Barra at the St Nicholas Market. Needing lunch again in Bristol instead of choosing something new, I went with what I liked and enjoyed the last time I was in Bristol. Though this time I did go with something slightly different.
I went with two tacos, one was the crispy chicken and the other was the fried halloumi. You have a choice of salsa, I went with mango, and they also include salad. They use white and blue corn tacos which are heated to order. I enjoyed the crispy chicken taco which I had the pineapple salsa. The chicken was tender and tasty, and the salsa was a great contrast to the crispness of the chicken strips.
The halloumi was nice, I had BBQ salsa (or was that just BBQ sauce) which was okay, but I didn’t like it as much as the mango I’ve had before and the pineapple I had on the crispy chicken.
In addition to my tacos, I went with a side of nachos., these had some pineapple salsa and sour cream.
They really needed more salsa and more sour cream, I think I would have liked some guacamole with them as well.
Overall I wasn’t as happy as I had been on previous occasions, the food was great, but the BBQ sauce wasn’t great and the nachos felt rather plain. I think I will go with the tacos again, probably won’r have the nachos though.
I enjoyed my tacos from Taco Barra so much last time I had them again on a recent trip to the St Nicholas Market. As with my last visit I went with the crispy chicken and pulled pork and the fried halloumi. You have a choice of salsa, I went with mango on the chicken and the halloumi, and red salsa with the pork. They use white and blue corn tacos.which are heated to order and then filled with your choice of filling.
In a previous blog post I talked about the new tacos place in St Nicholas Market in Bristol. I enjoyed the tacos I had there last time, so decided to pay them another visit and have some more tacos.
You can have a single taco for £3, two for £5 and three for £7. This time I decided to go with three. As with my last visit I went with the crispy chicken and pulled pork, for my third choice I decided to try the fried halloumi.
You have a choice of salsa, I went with mango, and they also include salad. They use white and blue corn tacos.which are heated to order and then filled with your choice of filling. I really enjoyed these tacos as I did before. Great mixture of textures and tastes.