Wahaca to open fast-casual format

By Mark Wingett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags M&c report Mexican cuisine

Wahaca founders Thomasina Miers and Mark Selby are launching a new fast-casual concept in Brick Lane
Wahaca founders Thomasina Miers and Mark Selby are launching a new fast-casual concept in Brick Lane
Wahaca, the Mexican street food restaurant concept led by Thomasina Miers and Mark Selby, is to launch a new fast-casual format called DF/Mexico next month in London’s Spitalfields.

The new 90-cover venture will open at The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, on 24 July and will initially run for 18 months, although this may be extended.

Selby told M&C Report​ that DF/Mexico is a “one-off” at this stage, but like Burrito Mama and its long-term pop-up site at Bankside the new launch will be “used to take away further learnings and to keep our teams fresh”.

The company said that the experimental residency is inspired by “today’s bustling, cosmopolitan Mexico City (Distrito Federal) and will serve freshly prepared dishes with a US influence”.

Miers said: “A short-term residency gave us the opportunity to test out something we were excited about; a diner to reflect the enterprising heart of Mexico, with bold flavours and fresh ingredients. Mark and I both love the eclecticism of Shoreditch and we can’t wait to remind people how delicious a proper carne con chile is!”

M&C Report ​understands that unlike Burrito Mama, Selby and Miers have set up a separate company for the new launch, DF Mexico Ltd, indicating that they could look to open further sites under the format in the future.

Dishes at the DF/Mexico will include torta, a traditional Mexican sandwich served burger style with fillings such as Pork pibil (£6.75), Chile beef (£6.45) or Ancho mushroom (£6.45) stuffed in a toasted brioche bun with smashed avocado and cucumber pickle.

DIY Mexican boards with fillings such as 4-hour slow-cooked Carne con chile (£11.45), and Steak and cheese ‘Alambres’ (£11.95) will also be offered, and Burritos made with freshly grilled flour tortillas will wrap up a choice of fillings including Slow-cooked pork with refried beans and red slaw (£7.45) and Roasted vegetables with habanero and pumpkin seed mayo (£6.95).

For those seeking something lighter, the diner will serve Caesar salad (from £7.45), Quinoa salad with roast sweet potato and feta (£8.45), and fresh Panko crumbed MSC cod tacos (£7.45).To compliment mains, sides such as cups of corn (£2.50), and Skin-on Mexican fries with chipotle mayonnaise (£2.50) will be offered, along with fresh, brazen Nacho plates with all the works (from £5.95).

A menu of locally-sourced beers, including an Amber Ale from Gipsy Hill Brewery (£4.75) and a DF House Pale Ale from Brixton Brewery (£4.50) alongside Mexican favourites, will also be available.

The group is set to open its first restaurant outside the capital this year in Cardiff and is looking at potential locations in Manchester, Brighton and Liverpool.

Earlier this week, the group secured a further site in London, after completing on a deal for a site in Great Portland Street.

The company, which opened in Wimbledon earlier this spring, secured a former Quiksilver unit with an opening planned for mid-September. It remains in talks on a site in Brixton.

This article appeared first in M&C report​, to subscribe contact Emily.croft@wrbm.com ​or call 01293 846578.

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