Congratulations to the team at The Wahaca Southbank Experiment who have beaten off competition from around the world to pick up this year’s FX International Interior Design award for the best restaurant design in 2012. No small prize that.
Huge thanks go to our architects, Softroom and designers Buro Creative, for bringing the amazing, if slightly wacky idea of building a restaurant from 8 shipping containers to life. We’ve got to admit, they do look pretty cool.
The Wahaca Southbank Experiement is a temporary restaurnat space, which will be housed on London’s Southbank until the end of 2014. We use it to experiment with new dishes. The ones our customers like best are added to the menu in our other restaurants, allowing us to have a development kitchen that everyone can be a part of.
It’s not every day that you get to stack up 8 recycled shipping containers on London’s Southbank and put a restaurant inside them, so we thought we’d make a short film about how we did it and the artists that decorated the space for us. We hope you like it.
Directed, filmed, and edited by Michael Radford www.michaelradford.co.uk
Additional photography by Oliver Radford. Special thanks to Tristan Manco.
The Wahaca Southbank Experiment is our new temporary restaurant, opening at Southbank Centre alongside Waterloo Bridge today. It’s not like a Wahaca restaurant that you may have seen before, we’ve challenged ourselves to be more innovative. It’s built from 8 recycled shipping containers and we’ve introduced a new menu with monthly changing specials, the most popular of which will take up residency in all of our restaurants. We like to think it’ll help to keep us on our toes.
Our 8 shipping containers have been modified to create an interlinked open space on 2 levels to include panoramic windows offering some pretty stunning views of the river and the passing parade of people floating by. If you’re after a cocktail, it also has a dedicated tequila bar serving award winning tequilas and single village mezcals.
We’ve enlisted the help of street art curator Tristan Manco who has invited 2 graffiti artists, Saner and Remed, to decorate the space for our opening, bringing some extra colour to the riverside.
Tommi has been up to her elbows in new recipes specifically for this site following our recent trip to Mexico and LA. We’re starting off with some punchy chilli tacos, salmon ceviche (a Mexico City fusion favourite) and a couple of different ways of eating beautifully slow cooked carnitas.
The Wahaca Southbank Experiment will be our new development kitchen and because the most popular dishes will be added to our regular menu, you are all our new recipe testers. Welcome to the team. We can’t wait to get the experiment started.
The Wahaca Southbank Experiment is located on the terrace under Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX. It will be open daily for the next 18 months from midday – 11pm (10.30pm on Sundays).
Check out this great video of our bloggers cook-along event that we held in Wahaca Stratford last week. Tommi cooked up 3 dishes from the new Wahaca book (Did we mention that we had a new book?) and then 9 willing blogger volunteers valiantly had a go themselves. All in less than 30 minutes to add a little bit of extra fun to the proceedings.
We were all very impressed with the bloggers who pretty much took the whole thing in their stride and created some beautiful looking recreations, so Tommi had better watch out!
If you like the look of these dishes, then you can get your hands on a copy of our book, Wahaca, Mexican food at home in any of our restaurants or they’re just a click away. You might also see the Beetroot salad cropping up on the new specials menu at The Wahaca Southbank Experiment from July 4th.
This July we’re opening up The Wahaca Southbank Experiment. It’ll be like no Wahaca you’ve ever seen, built from 8 recycled shipping containers and serving a more experimental menu, which we’ll be testing out on you, to see which ones you like best.
As diligent new tenants we wanted to find out what we’re getting ourselves into, so here’s a bit of a low down on our new home and what they’re up to over the summer.
Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an amazing creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain when it was first built.
Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall (Which is where we’ll be setting up), the Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection. We also found a tranquil little roof top garden, just next door to our new site, manned by volunteers from The Eden Project.
As London welcomes the world this summer, Southbank Centre’s Festival of the World will include inspirational projects from the UK and around the world, which showcase the power of the arts to change the lives of individuals, communities and whole societies. The festival opens on 1 June 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee Weekend, and closes on 9 September 2012. The whole of the Southbank Centre site will be transformed with art installations including a giant ‘robot’ sculpture; a colossal baobab tree made from fabric; ‘Rainbow Park’, a multi-coloured beach; and an exhibition in the Royal Festival Hall of the thinkers, artists and communities who have inspired and contributed to the Festival.