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Wahaca Test Kitchen

Restaurants, Mexican Shoreditch
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

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A branch of Wahaca with an ‘experimental’ menu.

This branch of Wachaca is the ‘test kitchen’, where chefs can experiment with new dishes before adding them to the regular menu. Which is a fun idea. It’s also on a corner of Shoreditch right by Old Street tube, making it a handy spot for office workers to grab lunch, or an option if you’re in the area, hungry, and not particularly fussed about what you eat.

Because that’s the thing. The food isn’t great. The wild mushroom and lancashire cheese empanadas were passable, while the cauliflower and cashew tacos were a nice veggie option, but things went downhill from there. The pork pibil (slow roasted with spices) tacos were dry, and the tortillas definitely could have been fresher. Bavette steak came chewy, and the churros for dessert were tough. Worse still, the guacamole was downright upsetting: it had no flavour and was just dumped on the table with a too-small side of tortilla chips.

Which was the other disappointment: staff weren’t particularly friendly, and they made an unnecessary fuss about splitting the bill in two.

But worst of all, the kitchen didn’t really seem to be experimental at all. It was hard to see the difference between this branch of Wahaca and every other one in London, except that here you have to do a weird electronic survey about the food before you leave. Oh, and they charge £4.75 for two pork pibil tacos (at every other Wahaca, you can get three for £4.60). Chefs need to amp up the experiments, staff need to amp up the service and prices need to come down. Until then, we’ll all just stick with our regular Wahaca, thanks.

By: Kelly Pigram



Address: 140 Tabernacle Street
Transport: Tube: Old Street
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £65.
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