Words and photography by Indigo Jones
Last month, people around the world took part in Veganuary, myself included. So when I got an email in the Quench inbox to try Wahaca’s Veganuary menu, I was over the moon. Myself and my fellow section editors reviewed Wahaca last year and the food was delicious. The difference now is that due to Covid and Welsh lockdown restrictions, rather than trying the food in the restaurant itself I was given a complimentary takeaway instead. Another slight difference was that unfortunately my co-editors are not in my bubble and were not able to enjoy the Mexican feast with me. But on the other hand, my friend Scarlet was, so here is our unbiased review of our meal.
When I originally tried Wahaca for the first time back in September, I was still eating meat and enjoyed a variety of their fish and meat Mexican dishes. This time round not only was I vegan, but all of the food was too.
I will say that although I enjoyed my meal, takeaways are never the same as actually sitting down in the restaurant. I always find in comparison they can be disappointing; I’ll be honest I found that with some of the dishes I ordered, but not all. Don’t get me wrong everything was delicious, but some things were missing that extra something.
In total we tried, the black bean and vegan cheese quesadilla, the plantain tacos, the grilled mushroom tacos, the sweet potato burrito, the vegan nachos, sweet potatoes and we ordered an extra selection of salsas.
My personal favourites were the plantain tacos and the sweet potatoes. The combination of sweet and savoury of both were lovely, and I couldn’t help but keep going back for more of the potatoes. They also both worked perfectly with the salsas for the extra kick of heat.
The grilled mushroom tacos were also lovely and are a perfect texture for those of you who want a meatier consistency. Yet again the salsas complimented them perfectly adding that extra bit of heat, which isn’t for everyone but personally I love.
Unfortunately, I felt like the nachos were a bit soggy, but I understand that was definitely due to the fact that they were takeaway, and the condensation probably got to them before I did. I assume they wouldn’t be the same in person in the restaurant. But sadly, I did find that this put me off them if I were to order another takeaway in future.
The very small issues with the takeaway would not deter me from ordering from them or going to the restaurant again. But I do think that I’ll have to bear that in mind a bit more when I order next.
I love Mexican food; when I was younger, my dad used to take me to a small authentic Mexican restaurant every Thursday night for the all-you-can-eat buffet. I loved it: the tradition, the food, the atmosphere. So, when I think of Mexican food, I think of family and happy memories. But I’d never tried Wahaca before, so I was going in blind.
We ordered Wahaca during Veganuary, so everything was vegan. I was at first a bit sceptical about this, and I wasn’t sure the food would live up the ‘original’ version of each dish. I was also worried about the fact that it’d be delivered, as from experience, eating delivery food isn’t as nice as sitting in a restaurant and eating. But I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest.
The night’s stars were definitely the plantain tacos and the sweet potatoes: the combination of sweet and savoury, of crunchy but soft. The extra salsa added another layer of flavour to the tacos. Overall, I would definitely re-order this dish, and wish there was more! The sweet potatoes were just the perfect snack and were delicious hot and cold.
I also really enjoyed the black bean and vegan cheese quesadilla and grilled mushroom tacos, but they definitely would have tasted better if they had been warmer. But that’s to no fault to Wahaca, it’s just another downside to delivery vs eating in. The mushrooms were very meaty, and the added salsa, again, elevated the dish.
The nachos, on the other hand, were a bit more disappointing. The actual chips were very average quality, and also cold (again, this isn’t Wahaca’s fault), and the dip wasn’t evenly spread on. I don’t personally like guacamole, so I wasn’t necessarily upset about the small amount of it on the nachos, but I know others might be.
Overall, I’d definitely order again, despite a few faults here and there. I won’t be doing Veganuary then, so I’ll definitely try to order some meat dishes to see if they live up to other Mexican restaurants around Cardiff. I just can’t really stop thinking about the sweet potatoes and plantain tacos!