Wahaca, the Mexican restaurant group founded by Thomasina (Tommi) Miers and Mark Selby, has announced the launch of a new Test Kitchen restaurant on Tabernacle Street, Shoreditch, opening on 27 November.
A driving force in bringing Mexican food and culture to the UK since opening in Covent Garden in 2007, Wahaca’s new Shoreditch restaurant will act as an innovation platform to develop new ideas and recipes – with the ambition of taking many of the dishes created to the group’s restaurants around the UK.
Inspiration from her recent trips to Mexico City, Oaxaca and the Yucatan will allow Miers and her team to bring to life their interpretations of contemporary Mexican cooking. As well as continuing to feature Wahaca classics such as the iconic pork pibil tacos, Miers and the team have developed a whole host of new dishes, including ‘Blackened cauliflower tacos with cashew nut mole’, and Market Boards for sharing, including ‘Whole roast sea bream with al ajillo butter & kohlrabi slaw’.
Miers and her team are collaborating with El Blanco Niño to produce a bespoke, traditionally-made nixtamalized corn tortilla that uses non-GMO corn and is naturally gluten free. Wahaca will continue to work with small producers like Trealy Farm for their sobresada, a Mexican-style chorizo, and Jude’s ice-cream.
Traditional Mexican cooking techniques will continue to be at the forefront of the menu, featuring moles and charred salsas, which are set to change seasonally and as and when new experimentations allow.
Miers commented, “Wahaca has always been at the forefront of innovation, bringing new Mexican dishes to the UK, and after ten years we’re hugely excited to have this new Test Kitchen to help us continue to push the boundaries and find new ways to explore the incredible variety of vibrant flavours and ingredients from Mexico’s extraordinary range of cuisines.”
To complement the food, a vibrant drinks list will include Basil Mezcalitas, and Jalapeño Margaritas, as well as a selection of low-sugar ‘Agua Frescas’ and mouth-watering mojitos – the drink of choice in the bars of Mexico City. There will also be a range of 21 tequilas and mezcals to discover, as part of Wahaca’s continued mission to champion these incredible Mexican spirts.
The new restaurant will seat 120 and, as with all Wahaca restaurants, the design has been inspired by the neighbourhood that it is in as well as the heritage of the building itself. The space is laid out over two levels, with a central communal table and an open kitchen letting guests see the chefs at work. Street art murals from Lelo, a renowned street artist from Zaachila in Oaxaca, Mexico, will adorn the walls.
The Shoreditch restaurant will also see the introduction of a digital bill tablet, which will allow guests to give immediate feedback on the dishes they have just enjoyed.