“Totiyia”, my colleague corrected me. No, I was positive that it was Tortilla. She quickly explained that a double "L" in the Spanish language is pronounced as ‘yi’ unlike the English language. So I now go around pronouncing Tortilla the correct way and getting puzzled looks all round.
Anyway, Tortilla, which has set up shop at Canary Wharf, is the choice quick lunch option amongst the working crowd these days. In terms of location, there are few places to beat Tortilla’s current site – the ground level of Canary Wharf DLR station where the human traffic easily runs up to tens of thousands on a typical workday.
Though it has been around for some time, I have always been put off by the long snaking queue in front of it. Tortilla’s Canary Wharf branch opens at around 11am everyday and I suspect the queue just forms up quite soon after. Well, after I got an email from Tortilla on a promotion offer, I decided to check it out.
As expected, I found myself at the end of a very long queue with at least fifteen hungry souls in front of me that day. But what was unexpected was that the queue was moving really fast and I was right up front under two minutes. I found out immediately – Tortilla’s serving counter functioned like a well oiled machine with a staff heating up the tortilla, another for adding rice, beans and mains (steak, chicken, pork etc.), another to add sides (cheese, lettuce, guacamole etc.), another to wrap the resulting burrito for either eat-in or takeaway, yet another to process payment. Ford would be proud of Tortilla’s assembly line. In fact, Tortilla reminded me of Wasabi in that respect.
I felt a bit harried though. As it was my visit to Tortilla, I wasn’t quite sure about which options to go for. Obviously, I didn’t want to break the staff’s momentum and hold up the queue so I went for the basic steak burrito (£5.45) with no frills. Tortilla's interior was rightly filled with the spicy smell of Cholula and Valentina sauces but I come to realise that the sauces was only available for eat-in as there was no sachets for takeaways or I have missed that. A pity really, for burrito without a tiny splash of hot sauce just wouldn’t taste right.
On hindsight, I should have gone for some guacamole. Without anything to hold the rice and beans together, my steak burrito was all over the place once I got through the tortilla. That said, it was a generous portion and I didn’t have to hunt for any tidbits for the rest of the day. If only I’ve got some Tabasco as well.
The kind folks at Tortilla has offered four vouchers to the readers of London Chow. These vouchers can be redeem against a burrito, wrap, taco or salad at any of the five Tortilla branches in London. To win one, simply drop an email to email@example.com with "I am hungry for Tortilla!" in the subject line. Winners will be drawn randomly and will be informed via email. Contest ends on 18th Feb 2011.
Restaurant Martin Wishart - Edinburgh
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