Masterchef champion to open city restaurant

Thomasina Miers is to open a Wahaca in the city centre. Picture; Getty
Thomasina Miers is to open a Wahaca in the city centre. Picture; Getty
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A TOP Mexican restaurant chain founded by a MasterChef winner is coming to the city centre in the latest coup for St Andrew Square.

Wahaca, created by Thomasina Miers, has several outlets in London – including one in Covent Garden – but this will be its first in Scotland.

The restaurant is set to open in South St Andrew Street on October 10, with posters advertising its arrival already appearing in the window

Miers won the TV cooking show in 2005 when she wowed judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace with her “bold and eccentric” cooking style.

She has made two series of cookery programmes for Channel 4 with co-presenter Guy Grieve, and presented Mexican Food Made Simple for Channel 5.

She is co-editor of the cookbook Soup Kitchen and has also written Cook: Smart Seasonal Recipes for Hungry People and Mexican Food Made Simple.

Miers opened the first branch in London’s west end in August 2007, serving up Mexican street food.

A spokeswoman for Wahaca said: “This is our first foray into Scotland and we cannot wait to open our doors in Edinburgh. We’ll be cooking up the tastiest tacos in town from October. We’re really excited to be arriving in Edinburgh and currently have an open date scheduled of Monday, October 10.”

The announcement comes as Carluccio’s announced it will occupy the ground floor and basement of the nearby Mint Building on South St Andrew Square when it opens in February 2018.

Department store chain TK Maxx is opening a store tomorrow on the site of the now-demolished Scottish Provident building, while the former RBS in the square is also set to be transformed into serviced apartments.

The A-listed former bank at 42 St Andrew Square is being developed by the Chris Stewart Group and will be named the Edinburgh Grand, with restaurants, bars, and an entertainment venue running alongside.

Details of the development were announced as construction continues on a £75 million office and retail complex on the south side of the square.

The Chris Stewart Group is also behind plans to pedestrianise nearby West Register Street, improve lighting, street furniture and greenery and attract retailers to the area.

Estelle Forrester, director in the retail team in Savills Scotland, said: “It was important we found the right premises for the first Carluccio’s restaurant in Edinburgh and as a result the process has taken time.

“With the significant regeneration under way at St Andrew Square and a number of national leisure operators already confirmed for the area we are confident that this site will serve our client well – benefiting from strong footfall and close proximity to the main shopping streets and business locations, the train station and York Place tram stop.”