Wahaca calls itself Mexican market eating! This restaurant is located below street level. It all looks bright with a turquoise colour theme, wood panelling and bare concrete walls.
First impressions definitely count for something on most occasions and for Wahaca, this did not work in its favour. When we arrived, the restaurant was fairly empty. We asked for a table for three people and the waiter showed us to a table that was clearly just for two people. So we asked if we could change to a slighter bigger table and he let us but wasn’t too happy with us doing so.
I’ll talk about the food and drinks first and then go onto the service. Two very different experiences! I decided on sampling the street food, so had the seasonal vegetables tacos. These were three palm sized soft corn tortillas topped with vegetables. The seasonal vegetables were the autumn ones which included winter greens, butternut squash, red onions, garlic, mushrooms and ancho chilli. The vegetables were chopped up into bite size pieces and were tasty. The kick of the chilli came through even though it was not supposed to be a spicy dish!
To accompany the tacos, the green rice was a good choice. This was rice with onion, coriander and garlic. The rice was not served that hot, it was more like lukewarm.
To have something different to drink, the Horchata almond and rice milk took my fancy. This dairy free milk was served cold with cinnamon. It was too sweet for my liking. I’m not sure if sugar was added to it. If it was, then it would have tasted a lot better without it.
Now onto the staff and the service. The food was served fairly quickly and we were told that the dishes were likely to be served at different times, depending on when the kitchen made each one. We were fine with that aspect of it.
What really got to us was that the waitress was really annoying and very abrupt. She kept coming over constantly and asking if we needed anything or wanted to order additional items. This is acceptable the once or the twice, but we found it very rude of her to keep doing it. It meant that we could not have a conversation among ourselves without being interrupted.
Also, we felt that we were not allowed to take our time to enjoy the food and drink. We were given the impression that the staff wanted us to order, eat up our food and leave. Wahaca did get really busy while we were there and there were so many people all gathered and queuing around the seating area. It all did not make for a good dining experience.
At the end, the waitress just cleared up our table and told us that she was bringing us the bill. Even if there was a queue of people waiting for tables, we should have been allowed to take our time to enjoy the food and the company of friends. We were paying customers who had come out for a dinner get together. It is a shame that we had such a bad experience with the staff. They need to learn some basic manners and about good customer service.
Wahaca, 66 Chandos Place, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4HG