Wahaca is something of a London institution. It’s popular for one very good reason: it’s good. Its restaurants all have individual style but there is that thread of Mexicana and casual quality that flows through and connects each one.
The new restaurant on Charlotte Street is three converted Georgian town houses. It’s well located for Underground and fleets of red buses. The advantage that this branch has over others is that it offers breakfast, and even after just a few weeks of business it has garnered loyal followers.
It is well-documented that I am a fan of a good breakfast. I never have been a great one for cornflakes and the like although some good hot toast with a shmeer of Marmite counts as standard fare chez nous. I do really appreciate a cooked start to the day as long as it’s not me doing the cooking. A traditional fry-up is always welcome but there is a world of breakfasts out there, and Wahaca lays on a creditable spread.
Charlotte Street Wahaca is light and contemporary and will be the venue sought next summer for breakfasters looking for a seat near open French windows or those looking for a pavement table in this attractive neighbourhood of boutiques and old brick. It’s an oasis of calm away from Tottenham Court Road.
Wahaca will open its doors every morning from 8.30am on weekdays and 9am on the weekends. It serves Mexican breakfast classics as well as contemporary items to suit every appetite. For those who want a noble start there is an avocado smoothie. I was dubious as I was expecting a grassy flavour and a consistency of axle grease, but this smoothie is truly a must-try at Wahaca. The texture is light and creamy with a rich mouth-feel; the flavour is mild with a hint of lemon. A sustaining drink with a delightful subtle hint of pale green which has given me an idea for the colour for our new kitchen wall.
If you fancy a Continental-style breakfast then grab a cup of coffee and some freshly baked and probably still warm banana bread. This is moist, sweet and studded with chocolate and walnuts. It’s bound to become a signature breakfast item.
I wanted a hot breakfast and there was plenty of choice. Sweetcorn fritters with avocado and salsa sounded vibrant. Hotcakes (pancakes) with crispy bacon and maple syrup is an American breakfast recognised all over the US and into Canada.
Huevos Rancheros are traditionally Mexican but Wahaca offers a twist – two fried eggs on corn tortillas which happen to be blue. Native corn comes in a variety of colours: the blue is also known as Hopi maize and is considered healthier than the usual yellow. Huevos Rancheros come with either red or green salsa.
But my chosen breakfast was the Mexican eggs – eggs scrambled with tomato, chilli, onion and coriander. This is served on toasted sourdough bread with a ramekin of refried beans on the side. The coriander gave this dish freshness and an unmistakable Mexican slant. A delicious start to the day and a change from a fry-up.
My guest has a manly appetite and chose the Breakfast Torta. This was indeed a remarkable plateful and looked something like a burger. The bap was filled with most of the savoury items on the menu and was topped with a fried egg with a golden yoke that bathed the other ingredients in a yellow sauce. A great breakfast for a lumberjack or for those embarking on a day of retail therapy, making Wahaca your morning restaurant of choice for the January sales.
There are breakfast burritos, freshly baked breads, doughnuts as well as a full selection of coffee and tea in a friendly restaurant that will invite you back to sample lunch and dinner. Wahaca is popular for very good reason.
19 – 23 Charlotte Street
London W1T 1RL
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7323 2342
Restaurant opening times
Mon-Fri: 12noon – 11pm
Sat: 11.30am – 11pm
Sun: 12noon – 10pm
Mon-Fri: 8.30am – 11.30am
Sat-Sun: 9.00am – 2pm
Restaurant review by Chrissie Walker © 2018