Coeliac | Wahaca, Southbank.

Image of the Gluten Free Pork Pibil Tacos available at Wahaca Southbank. The images shows a row of wraps filled with shredded pork and topped with fresh coriander and pink pickled onions. To the left of the image is a title that reads 'coeliac, wahaca, southbank, london, SE1 8XX

Prior to being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease I considered myself to be a real foodie. Once diagnosed I went on a bit of a mental health journey whilst I accepted my newly discovered food restrictions. I used to visit London often and thoroughly enjoyed the foodie culture, in particular the markets and street food vendors. Since going gluten free I've only visited London once and I was rather hesitant regarding food and chose to stick with well known restaurant chain, Wahaca. I know there is a vibrant gluten free foodie community just waiting for me to discover but whilst my confidence grows it's reassuring to know that there's a safe place to me eat when out and about in the city.

There are a variety of Wahaca restaurants throughout the UK, this review is specifically for the Southbank branch. The branch was a little difficult to find as it's slightly tucked back from the main walkway and don't look around you, look up because this branch is situated on the first floor and it doesn't look much like a restaurant from the ground as it's a collection of shipping containers that have been fashioned into a restaurant. It's a very cool design that really fits with the street food vibe that Wahaca brings. Although the Southbank area is buzzing with activity we found it quite easy to get a walk in table on a Saturday afternoon in the summer holidays. Inside the restaurant the industrial decor continues with lots of exposed brick, welded metal and neon signs. The atmosphere is casual but busy. The staff are amazingly attentive and the cocktails are delicious! 

Image of two margaritas available at Wahaca, Southbank.

Wahaca's attitude towards food allergies and intolerances was astounding. There is a seperate gluten free menu that is further broken down into items that are strictly gluten free and items that are may contains. I found this really helpful and helped calmed my nerves surrounding cross contamination- they clearly understood that coeliac disease is different to an intolerance, it's not a case of me being able to tolerate a small amount of gluten. Allergen orders are taken by management and I was assured my order would be prepared separately to gluten containing orders.

A Close up image of the Gluten Free Pork Pibil Tacos available at Wahaca, Southbank, the image shows juicy shredded pork, pink pickled onions and is topped with fresh coriander.

We ordered a selection of gluten free foods between us so we could all try a little of everything. My partner who isn't gluten free is often quite happy to do this and as yet hasn't disliked anything purely on the basis that it's the gluten free version. We ordered Pork Pibil Tacos, Grilled Halloumi 'Al Pastor' Tacos and Slow Cooked Beef Brisket Tacos.

Close up image of the Gluten Free Grilled Halloumi Tacos available at Wahaca, Southbank. Image shows a close up of the halloumi filling, chopped red onion, pineapple salsa and fresh coriander. There is a purple flag in the dish indicating it's gluten free.

I'm always happy to see an allergen flag in my meal as it adds that bit of extra reassurance. The service time was adequate and the staff were super friendly and helpful. The food itself tasted amazing, the salad ingredients were really fresh and the wraps were soft and floury despite being the gluten free version. The entire meal was a vibrant explosion of flavour. Our particular favourite was the Grilled Halloumi, the pineapple salsa was amazing.

A close up image of the Gluten Free Grilled Halloumi 'Al Pastor' Tacos available at Wahaca Southbank. The image shows a line of wraps filled with grilled Halloumi cheese topped with diced red onion, chopped coriander and a pineapple salsa.

In terms of the children's menu, it's better suited to children that aren't overly fussy- we once had a toddler that would eat anything but now we have a little girl that only eats nuggets so eating here was a challenge for her, especially as they don't offer fries. She did attempt a make-your-own chicken wrap but she didn't eat much. If your child like meats, wraps and strong flavours then Wahaca will be great for them.  

In terms of cost we were quite surprised by how affordable Wahaca is. We expected to pay more than we did to eat good food in a well designed restaurant on the Southbank. It's also nice to visit somewhere that doesn't charge over the odds for the gluten free version.

Overall we were really impressed with our Wahaca experience and will look forward to visiting again, though more as a couple than a family. 

 Thanks For Reading 

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