Food-enthusiast Danielle tells us her thoughts on her recent Wagamama visit
Wagamama is always a strong go-to place for dinner if you’re in the mood for something quick yet filling, which is guaranteed to be delicious while still being on the ‘exotic’ side.
Since going vegan last year, I’m always on the look-out for dedicated vegetarian and/or vegan menus which don’t restrict meal choices to one or two options, which Wagamama definitely deliver. Its vegetarian/vegan menu boasts seven sides/starters, nine mains, four extras and thirteen desserts, which is a strong selection even for the pickiest of eaters.
We went on a quiet Tuesday evening when it wasn’t too busy, and were pleasantly surprised at how spacious the restaurant’s seating area was compared with other Wagamamas we’ve been to. The menus were given to us promptly (one regular menu and one vegetarian/vegan menu), and our drinks orders were taken.
Although this is one of the only Wagamamas in the country that serves cocktails, we reluctantly turned them down as unfortunately we weren’t feeling 100%. Instead, we ordered two positive juices to try and drink our colds away. They were filled with pineapple, lime, spinach, cucumber and apple, which were refreshing and surprisingly tasty (plus ordering green juice always makes you feel like a bit of a health guru!).
Spoiled for choice, we finally decided on our food: to start, we ordered the Yasai Gyoza and the Duck Wraps with Asian pancakes and cherry hoisin sauce.
The Yasai Gyoza were perfectly cooked (which can sometimes be tricky with gyoza) and filled to the brim with different vegetables. They were served with a dipping sauce, which seemingly was made up of a blend of soy sauce, chilli, garlic and possibly ginger. The dipping sauce gave the gyoza a sweet yet spicy kick, and tasted absolutely amazing – so much so that I actually kept the remainder of the dipping sauce to use with my main later.
My friend thought that the Duck Wraps were delicious, and the cherry in the hoisin sauce was unusual but made the dish really flavourful. The duck was perfectly cooked and crispy and the vegetables were fresh and crunchy, balancing each other out nicely.
For mains, after a lot of deliberation, we settled on a Kare Burosu Ramen and a Chicken Raisukaree, with the white rice substituted for brown.
My friend told me that she thought the brown rice in the chicken Raisukaree gave the dish a more of a nutty flavour, which was perfectly balanced out by the zestiness of the lime and coriander. The meal definitely had a kick to it from the chilli but the coconut made the spice a lot more bearable. Overall, the curry was delicious and the combination of flavours worked extremely well.
The Ramen consisted of shichimi-coated tofu, which was perfect crispy (a must for tofu!), grilled mixed mushrooms, pea shoots, carrot, chilli and coriander, on a bed of udon noodles in a curried vegetable broth. I often find myself needing to add extra flavour to ramen broths, such as soy sauce, but the combination of the curried broth and the flavours from the mushrooms and chilli made the dish taste absolutely beautiful. The udon noodles were definitely filling though, and the only downside to the meal was my appetite, which decided suddenly that it wasn’t large enough to fit the entire dish. If you’re wanting a healthy, warming, flavoursome dish which will definitely fill you up, you can’t go wrong with a Wagamama ramen.
Overall, the food was fantastic and the service was even better. In true Wagamama style, the food was delivered quickly and every dish was full of different flavours, all working together to balance and compliment the others.
We have no doubt that we’ll be coming back to Wagamama in the next couple of weeks, each trip offers a whole range of new flavours with new options being released fairly frequently. Our Japanese food cravings have definitely been filled, well at least for now anyway!