Starting off in Mexico and Spain, and then Britain’s music festivals - the culinary journey embarked upon by the owners of Wah Wahs has taken them all over before they settled on a permanent residence on Chesterfield Road.
Couple Frankie Shakarian and Pablo Aguilar opened the restaurant last summer, after rave reviews from customers at Leeds and Reading, Latitude and beyond convinced them it was time to set up a permanent base.
Before the couple met, Pablo learnt to cook in Mexico and then perfected the art of Latin dining while working as a chef in Spain, while Frankie also lived in Spain where she soaked up the culture and the cuisine.
It is clear from the second you walk into Wah Wahs that the restaurant is very much labour of love, from the handpicked knick-knacks that help to give the place a homely feel down to the menu with a considered selection of authentic dishes.
The vast majority of the menu is homemade, from the sauces down to the nachos, and every dish is offered with meat, vegetarian and vegan options.
They also offer gluten-free tacos, which as my coeliac friend tells me is an all too rare occurrence when it comes to Mexcian food.
You’re not able to reserve a table at the restaurant for a party smaller than six, and when a friend and I popped in for some tea last Friday night Wah Wahs was extremely busy. But we were able to wait with a drink next door at the Tramshed, with whom the restaurant shares a business partner.
A table became available after a very short wait, and Frankie came to let us know immediately.
To start, we shared the spicy patatas bravas with smokey sauce and the homemade nachos with cheese and salsa. The patatas bravas was excellent, just the right amount of crispy and the smokey sauce helped to give them a kick. We were served up a humongous portion of nachos with two different types of cheese and a chunky portion of salsa, which was delicious.
For the mains I went for a vegetarian burrito with hot sauce, while my friend and fellow vegetarian Claire opted for a vegetarian enchilada.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable dining experience; the food was really tasty, the service was great and the place just has a really nice and friendly atmosphere to it. A patio garden dining option will also be available for those visiting in the coming weeks. And for those visiting on weekend, Wah Wahs also offers brunch from 11am.