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Saturday, 16 November 2019

Day of the Dead Feasting | Wahaca | Gifted

I've always been a fan of Mexican food and have enjoyed eating at Wahaca in the past. Despite already visiting the restaurant, however, I didn't really know much about the chain, except that it was co-founded by MasterChef winner Thomasina Miers. Last week, I was invited along to their Día de Muertos celebrations, to learn a little more about Wahaca as a brand, the food they offer and the culture they celebrate*. Safe to say that after a round of margaritas and plate upon plate of delicious food, I was in love with Wahaca.

First launched in 2007, before expanding to 27 restaurants throughout the U.K., Wahaca was named after the state of Oaxaca (pronounced as Wahaca), the epitome of Mexican street food, and inspired by Thomasina's time living and travelling around Mexico. Wahaca's menus bring traditional Mexican food to the U.K., with a variety of dishes from areas throughout the country, to fully showcase the best of Mexican food and ingredients.

Día de Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout the country to remember family members who have passed away. For our dinner party celebration, we had the whole of the upstairs of the restaurant to ourselves, with two dedicated hosts who were eager to please and so informative throughout the evening. The room was decorated with skulls, flowers, banners and flower crowns, to fully immerse us in the Mexican culture, and it made for such an enjoyable evening.

The evening started with a masterclass in magaritas, with some of the girls having a go at making their own version of the classic cocktail. I left the making of mine to the experts, and it was so delicious. I don't often opt for a magarita but this made a lovely change. To accompany our drinks, we were treated to corn chips and guacamole - what a staple dish in a Mexican feast! This was some of the best guacamole I've had in a while, I could've eaten bowls of the stuff. I think it was the addition of lime that really sold it to me.
Emily making her margarita
Alice making her cocktail
Anna making her cocktail

Next we had the pork tacos. These were so flavourful. I'd never tried the tacos at Wahaca but I think I'd happily order these again. This was followed by a variety of other tacos, including some delicious fish tacos, and my personal favourite - the cheese and black bean quesadillas. I developed a real love of quesadillas during my time at university, and these were so tasty. Packed full of double friend beans, cheese and quintessential Mexican spices, I could've eaten plate after plate of this. Something I loved about these dishes was that they were plates with two or three small pieces. This would make it an ideal dinner location if you fancy having a few share plates with your friends to try and explore more of the menu. Stephen and I like Mexican food, so I definitely think we'll have to have a date night to share some different plates in the near future.

Something I had tried before and was pleased to try it again was the sweet potato and feta taquito. I'll admit, it was the feta cheese that sold me the first time, and it was just as good again. I loved the crispy outer shell, the expertly seasoned sweet potato, and the dressing was simply amazing. Something I'll definitely order again. To finish, we had traditional Mexican churros with chocolate dipping sauce. This was delicious, albeit a little rich, but was such a lovely treat to finish the evening.

I really want to make a special mention for the team, for the way they catered for the different dietary requirements of the girls in our group, making dishes slightly different so that we could all try the different dishes.

I thoroughly enjoyed my evening with the girls at Wahaca. I'm really looking forward to heading back and revisiting some of my favourite dishes from the evening. A big thank you to the team at Wahaca and the lovely Alice at Southampton Bloggers for organising such a lovely evening. It was a hit all-round.

* Gifted meal with the Southampton Bloggers in exchange for a blog post, however all thoughts and images are my own.

Love Lexie

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