So, I was very lucky indeed on Friday night to be taken to the opera for free. It was a dress rehearsal for English National Opera’s new production of Billy Budd, by Benjamin Britten. I’m no huge Britten fan, but the performance was superb, you’d never know it was a rehearsal, and even better we got to drink with the cast afterwards. The ENO perform at the Coliseum, which is a hop, skip and a jump away from Covent Garden. As we hadn’t eaten beforehand, and it was quite late, there weren’t a huge number of options available to us for food, but our friend in the chorus suggested Wahaca, a Mexican Street Food restaurant that belongs to Thomasina Miers, a former winner of Masterchef, and best of all the place is open late. It’s an incredibly popular place, but luckily we only had to wait 15 minutes for a table, just long enough to grab a cerveza and soak in the atmosphere. The way Wahaca is set up is you get a paper menu on your table, they suggest you choose 2-3 dishes per person and share the love, so everyone has little bits of lots of things. There were two of us, so we had 5 things. It was too much, really, but te food was fantastic, and I’m going to share it with you now! We started off with some nachos and homemade guacamole (above) while we chose our mains. We kept going back to that guacamole to cool ourselves down after some of the spicier choices!
Above are the Grilled British Steak Tacos, with chipotle salsa. Absolutely delicious in every way, and I loved the raw onion, it just adds a fantastic tang.
These were our other tacos (above); Pork Pibil. Slow cooked pork in Yucatecan marinade. I wasn’t really sure what was going on with the radishy-oniony pickled pink stuff on top, but it was a very strong taco. Very spicy (thank heaavens for cerveza!), and we only had one each, but very nice. Closest thing I can compare this too is a spicy pulled pork taco; very tender pork.
The above picture is of our favourite dish of the night- the Chicken Guajillo Tostada. Tostadas are crisp tortillas, and this one was piled high with chicken marinated in coriander dressing, plus lettuce, guacamole and toasted seeds. So completely different to anything else we had that night, really refreshing and a wonderful change.
This last picture is of the Black Bean & Cheese Quesadilla. We also had a Chorizo & Potato Quesadilla, but I didn’t get a picture of that. My word, do quesadillas keep their heat! Cannot fault them for flavour or content, but they were so filling we weren’t able to finish them all, and you know what my appetite is like!
Wahaca is a fantastic restaurant (my sister went there last night and had a fab meal too), and I truly recommend it to anyone wanting to try something a little bit different, or who has been put off Mexican food by Nando’s. Their website is here, and it’s full of all the fascinating information about their various charity projects and local food sourcing.
Anyone interested in ENO’s production of Billy Budd, it starts tomorrow, Monday the 18th June, and they are doing 8 performances between now and the middle of July. Their website is here.