Celebrating Día de Muertos at Wahaca in Southampton

AD* | The Day of the Dead is all about celebrating life! This, along with Halloween, is definitely my favourite adopted seasonal celebrations and it’s a huge excuse to eat ALL the Mexican food!

Wahaca invited me to a Día de Muertos dinner party, creating a cosy corner where we tried some tasty tacos and quesadillas.

Naturally, I was there with bells on!

Like Mexican food? See the delicious dishes from Masterchef 2005 winner Tomasina Miers…

Day of the Dead

I joined the Southampton Blogging community for a special Day of the Dead celebration and the team had decorated a nook upstairs with banners, flower head dresses and plenty of skulls.

The Día de Muertos celebration is part of Mexican culture and it commemorates and celebrates those friends and family who have gone before us by throwing a festival to honour life not death.

The day is meant to help lost loved ones on their spiritual journey and the Mexican view is that the dead ‘awake’ and celebrate with you.

Skulls, butterflies and flowers all have significance in the ritual where on the Day of the Dead people head to their loved ones graves to gift and decorate them.

Source: https://insider.si.edu/2016/10/5-facts-dia-de-los-muertos-day-dead/

I find a celebration of life and a day to remember the people closest to you is strangely comforting. I like the concept enormously!

We were also given a brief history of Wahaca, including how it started from Masterchef winner Tomasina’s passion for Mexican food and how the name was picked as it’s actually named after a real city in Mexico. 🇲🇽

Dinner party

Unlike other reviews I’ve been to this was a proper hosted dinner and we were guided through the dishes. It was a really nice touch and being able to ask questions and find out more about the food and the Day of the Dead celebrations was a fun way to spend the evening.

We had two lovely hosts who told us all about the food and were extra considerate of my raw onion allergy. They’d actually prepared onion free food for me! Incredible.

While everyone was on the guacamole, I was given a gorgeous refried bean dip topped with sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese – all raw onion free of course!

Margarita Time

First up on the Day of the Dead agenda was making sure we all were made welcome with hellos and a mini margarita masterclass.

A couple of there bloggers had a go, I gave it a miss on this occasion as I’m recovering from an injury which means I can’t spend too long on my feet! The team were great though and shook me one up in no time.

I forgot how much I love this cocktail! It’s superb and Wahaca make their own fresh lime syrup to mix with the tequila, something that I shall be attempting to make at home!

There’s also plenty of mocktails and soft drinks on the menu. If you like piña coladas…then the Mockolada, a pineapple and coconut concoction is a top pick.

Wahaca’s Menu

I love Mexican food, and tacos are one of my ultimate favourites. The great thing about Wahaca is it has such a great selection of different Mexican meals to try out.

Here’s what I tried on the night. Get ready as there was a lot of food, a real Mexican Day of the Dead feast!

Tacos

Tacos are one of my favourite things to eat, I love the big flavour combinations, the ease of being able to pick it up with your hands and that you can have a selection of different fillings all within the space of one meal.

Chicken and avocado tacos with ancho rub, guacamole and green tomatillo salsa…

The chicken is crispy with a little spice and a hit of avocado to cool it all down, this was a surprise hit for me and I liked that the green tomato salsa added bit of a twist to the flavours. I’ve never tried that before and I liked it!

Plantain tacos with hibiscus and crumbled feta…

I have to be honest, I did not know what to make of the plantain taco. Plantain is a bit like banana but with more of a savoury edge, it’s just not as sweet as it’s brighter yellow cousin.

I don’t like cooked banana and plantain has always been a bit of a stretch for me. But, surprisingly I didn’t hate this taco, it’s more savoury than you think it’s going to be – it’s just not what I’d pick to eat.

Pork pibil tacos, slow cooked in citrus and spices, with pink pickled onions…

Always a happy face when eating tacos! I really liked the pork and the pickled onion cut right through the meat giving a zesty twist. It was so yummy.

There’s just something really beautiful about these tacos too, the pop of colour creates a very vibrant meal full of warmth perfect for a Day of the Dead dinner party!

Sustainable fish tacos, MSC certified fish with shredded slaw, chipotle mayo and pickled cucumber…

Ok, so this is the ONE, my favourite thing to eat, fish tacos! I don’t know why I love them so much, I think it’s because it’s light, tasty and a mix of crispy, crunchy and smooth. I order this every time I go – I may be a little predictable!

Taquitos

Sweet potato and feta taquito with caramelised onion, salsas and chipotle mayo in a crisp blue corn tortilla…

This dish was so good, again a great balance of crispy and creamy while still full of lots of flavour.

This wouldn’t have been the first thing I ordered this from the menu but I definitely will be ordering this in the future!

Quesadillas

These are my version of comfort food and something I will make at home when I need a little pick me up. I’ve always got time for quesadillas.

Wahaca put some pretty great flavours together, and if you’re not into Mexican food then I’d say these are a great entry dish.

Black bean and three cheeses with smoky beans and avocado leaf…

That avocado leaf gives the smokey beans such flavour – a real lift a bit like coriander, I think that’s the closest thing it tastes to.

Dessert

Of course no meal is complete without a little something something to sweeten the taste buds. The churros at Wahaca is brilliant and I am so thankful the chocolate sauce is not a horrible thin chocolate syrup, it’s dark, thick and not overly sweet – just how it should be!

Taco Lover

Wahaca in Southampton is based in the newer part of West Quay and has a gorgeous layout across two floors.

From converted rowing boat seating to endless hanging plants, Wahaca has plenty of character and Mexican charm. It was the perfect place to have a Dia de Muertos party!

The food is really good and I always have a good time when I go there!

I think I’m going to suggest to the Southampton Bloggers that we have a regular Day of the Dead party there each year – it was so much fun.

Thanks to the team at Wahaca for a wonderful evening full of fun, facts and food – it really was a celebration of life!

Everyone loves guacamole!

P.S. If you want to read a bit more about Wahaca here’s a throwback to a previous post I wrote:

I reviewed Wahaca in 2018 when they last made some changes to their menu – take a look at my post ‘New food is on the menu at Wahaca’.

Chomping on churros!

* AD – BUT, all opinions are my own otherwise WHAT’S THE POINT OF BLOGGING AND REVIEWING? 

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