As your average skinny jeaned teenager, I have many a time, indulged in a “Cheeky Nandos”. Satisfying food at a manageable price range was once enough. Alas, whilst my skinny jeaned comrades crave mango & lime ¼ chicken with spicy rice and creamy mash and garlic bread and chips and the odd dab of coleslaw, I am now blind. I am blind to the taste of all that is not Wahaca.
My father, raving about a new Mexican restaurant in Southbank dragged us (my mum and I) through rainy London on the eve of my science exam. Upon arrival I was immediately charmed by the general aesthetic of the restaurant and under a grudge and a soggy raincoat, I took a seat on a bench facing the kitchen. Spicy food intimidates me so I opted for a “British steak, the Mexican way”. What arrived in front of me was a beast of a steak, lovingly smothered in cheese, accompanied by green rice and a bean salad. Such a simple description seems devastatingly patronising to what was the best meal of my young years. Oozing with gratitude to the bull that died for this steak, I imagined that he was the strongest in the field, a friend to all, a social lighthouse of cow society. I finished the meal in eight minutes flat and was left gazing into the kitchen. Watching the chefs prepare meals that weren’t for me, speaking angry Spanish, at one with the unnecessarily large fires on which they cooked the best food in the world, I planned at least thirteen birthday meals into the future.
Whilst I will always enjoy a “Cheeky Nandos”, my enjoyment of most cuisines will never be the same after the taste sensation that is Wahaca and the finishing touch of a complimentary packet of chilli seeds I received with the bill. I am changed for life by what I would call “a food epiphany”. I’m a girl obsessed, rendered somewhat insane. Pork Pibil or Chicken Tinga, I’d wager that Wahaca provides planet earth with a strong reason against an apocalypse.