What kind of sadist puts bits of super-hot chili in with the peanuts? A Mexican one maybe, one laughing his sombrero off as he watches greedy food writers stuff handfuls of nuts into their mouths one minute then go a funny colour the next.
Still the guacamole is freshly made, cool and lumpy which is just as it should be, and the tamarind margaritas douse the fire even as they stoke up the alcohol levels. One part of Westfield at least has become a small fiesta for an evening.
It’s Wahaca’s Summer Party that’s being celebrated in this their second London restaurant. They’ve nabbed one of the prime positions on the Southern Terrace of food outlets in this mega mall, a wide frontage with a large sheltered outside area that we’re all gathered under to dodge the odd shower on this classic English summer’s evening.
Wahaca was the creation of Mark Selby and Thomasina Myers, who now likes to be called Tommy. This makes me feel like I am starring in an old British war film and I can barely restrain myself from asking her how the escape tunnel is going. The restaurant is going great she says, as well it might be as the type of Mexican Street Food served here is ideal for the location. As more and more fajitas, tostados, quesadillas, tacos and other spell-check confusers come out you can see the attraction of the food and the downside of eating with your hands – my shirt is a road map of Mexican snacks.
Fish is sustainable, tortillas are soft (as is correct) and there is a feel of freshness and a depth of flavour to everything that doesn’t fall out of my hands between plate and mouth. There is a no reservation policy at both Wahacas, which means queues do build up, but where there’s a queue there is normally something worth queuing for.
If you’re shopping for mobile phones, D&G, a new baseball hat and hoodie or any of the other things Westfield seems to specialise in then Wahaca is well worth a stop over. For the price of a dodgy burger, you can eat like a Mexican market moocher. An idea that is so much nicer and spicier.