I remember the first time that I received an email informing me about Wrapchic. How I laughed aloud. Or LOL’d, as the youth of today would have it. The idea of putting curry in a burrito was hilarious; a bastardization of two of my favourite things, amalgamated for no apparent reason. The world had gone bonkers. ‘Fusion’ food (don’t get me started) was running amok. And then I gave the concept some considered thought. It’s really not as bonkers as I first thought; both Indian and Mexican cuisines are heavy on the spice, with both using rice as their main source of carbohydrate. Okay, we wont mention the potential inclusion of grated cheese on curry, but it could work. Maybe.
We visit the one in Merryhill shopping centre because my long suffering girlfriend has long suffered with lunch options at her nearby work. Personally, I find shopping centre food halls a depressing site of often mediocre food for a captive audience. I’m an eternal optimist like that.
And here’s the thing; it works. The transition from Indian to Central American is tastefully handled and considered. It helps that the proteins are cooked well and married to sauces that sit with each other. I have a burrito with a Chettinad style chicken that has heat and a nice acidity. Its very good but next time it will be better. I can not blame anything other than my eagerness to throw every offered ingredient in amongst the mix. I make mental notes of what works and what doesn’t for my next visit. More soured cream and lime, less jalapenos. No cheese. The choice of curry can stay.
The same process is followed with my girlfriend’s wrap, though as always, her choices are better. She takes a tikka style chicken curry, forgoes the rice and goes heavy on the coleslaw. Its full of crunch and vibrancy; the spices given the space to take centre stage and sing. She points out that as far as lunch options go, this is the clear winner. The concept works less well on nacho’s. Whatever way you look at it, its curry on Dorrito’s with cheese. And that is just wrong. The sauce has nowhere to penetrate. Perhaps it would have been different had we had the paneer that we asked for, but they had sold out, so we will never know. Mutton makes an appearance in a ‘wraposa’ – a hybrid of a samosa and toasted sandwich. It’s a killer concept and a total steal for less than a couple of quid, helped by thick shreds of meat which dissolve in the mouth.
The pictures don’t do it justice: After all these are a collection of things accumulated in a tortilla, or pressed together in a sandwich toaster. But it works, its affordable, and its seriously better than the tosh you normally find near a H&M. My opinion here is somewhat irreverent, the only time I go to Merryhill is when I am summoned to; its neither close to me in distance, nor my idea of a fun day out. My girlfriend on the other hand is there all the time, shopping and eating and doing what whatever women do on their lunch breaks. Despite sharing the same initial scepticism as me, she has already been back for that wrap. Its her new lunch of choice. And for a women that knows what she likes as much as her, that is high praise indeed.