We’ve been really lucky in Manchester lately to be blessed with the warmer weather. When the evenings are light and the air is warm, I always enjoy dining and drinking out somewhere in the city centre.
A place I head to often is the Corn Exchange, pretty much because I can always rely on it’s offering of restaurants, which tend to attract those after work diners.
One place I hadn’t tried out for a long time was Wahaca, so I brought two friends along with me and headed off for some mid week food and drinks on one of the sunnier days.
As soon as I saw the new Spring Summer menu, I realised that it was literally right up my street: sharing platters and tapas style servings, along with an extensive cocktail and drinks menu. I mean, there was of course lots of big plate dishes, but when you eat out with a couple of friends, I just always gravitate towards the sharing plates.
In a nustell, Wahaca is a Mexican eatery, although I feel like it branches out a little too so it’s not completely pigeon holing itself into the one cuisine.
I mean, of course they focus on tacos, enchiladas and quesadillas, but their street food options feature different styles of chicken (like buttermilk), as well as vegan and vegetarian options, followed by grilled fish, chicken and steak and salad bowls with a twist.
We began with a delicious gin cocktail each and then got a serving of Tortillas with Guacamole, freshly made every day with avocados, lime & coriander.
We opted for the toasted chilli and chilli oil sprinkled on top, making these the most more-ish nibbles possible. The guacamole was creamy and tasty, with huge chunks of avocado muddled in too.
We were all keen to get a couple of plates from the street food menu, so I’ll highlight some of the key dishes that made fantastic sharing plates. They say for the street food small plates go for 2-3 per person.; But if you appreciate food as much as me, you want to be having no less than three (although they were surprising large size portions).
First up: tacos of course!
You get 3 soft corn tortillas, grilled & filled with the toppings you like. We went for an array, starting with one of the newest dishes on the menu, the Chicken and Avocado tacos, which come with ancho rub, guacamole & green tomatillo salsa. The other one was the Chargrilled Steak tacos, served with grilled cheese & fresh guacamole.
Both had unique tastes, and I think the steak was actually my favourite due to it being so juicy and melt-in-the-mouth for chargrilled steak.
To try out the Quesadillas, I went for the Black bean & three cheeses version, with smoky beans & avocado leaf. I always enjoy a vegetarian option every now and again, and this one stood out to be a yummy one.
These were loaded with gooey cheese and rich tasting beans, and you get two Quesadillas folded up and stuffed with your filling of choice. The tortilla wrap was soft and warm, and as you have probably gathered, I really enjoyed this option.
When I’m reviewing a menu, I always like to try the new dishes, so the next one we got two portions of was the Crab Tostada – two servings dressed in chipotle mayo, served with pink pickled onions. The crab worked so well with the chipotle mayo and the cripsy salad.
I’d say this one really felt like a Summer inspired Mexican small plate dish out of all of them. Quite light too, and the least heavy of the other dishes.
I thought I’d save my favourite small plate until last, the Duck Croquetas. Oh boy, I wish we had ordered two of these as I devoured these way too quickly. These were filled with crispy duck & sweet potato balls, infused with smoky hibiscus & chipotle salsa.
They were the perfect combination of that sweet and rich kick, in a crumble coating. I’m a huge duck fan, especially when its shredded and steeped in a smoked sauce.
And lastly – all three of us went for the same dessert! As much as I encouraged our group to go for different options so we could try a bit of each others, everyone was drawn to the Chocolate & Pecan Brownie, served with salted caramel ice cream & dulce de leche sauce.
Talk about dreamy. The portion size was generous and the chunks of pecan and brownies muddled in the sponge gave it so much rich flavour. I have a huge sweet tooth and this satisfied me instantly.
I have to say, overly impressed with the Corn Exchange brand of Wahace. Menu choices were extensive – we were spoilt for choice and I’m keen to return and try out all the things I didn’t order, along with more Duck Croquettes of course!
Price wise, small plates range between £4.95 – £5.95 on average, which I find exceptionally good value for the food quality, presentation and serving size.
Thanks for looking after me, Wahaca Corn Exchange!