Found on every high street and for good reasons too. I must admit on my first visit to Wagamama I hated it, I was with another person and I just couldn’t get comfortable on their school bench style seating and having to get up close and personal to strangers. It really wasn’t an intimate setting at all so I boycotted it through my teenage years but then fell in love with it after giving it a second chance.
One thing I like about Wagamama is the ever changing menu and the different offerings at different locations. Some places you find sushi other places you find pho. Pan Asian would be the best way to describe this cuisine.
Some must have starters are their steamed soya beans also known as edamame beans with chilli or garlic salt. Great to nibble on and so fresh. Two more must have starter are the chilli squid, crispy and chewy and packed full of flavour and they serve it with a tangy coriander and garlic dip which enhances the flavours. The last is the gyoza and I mean any of these steamed or fried. On this visit we tried the duck gyoza fried served with a hoi sin sauce. The duck is so juicy and tender which is a skill to achieve with duck as most cooks and foodies will know.
Number 71 has always been my favourite dish. The Chicken Katsu Curry, as always I asked for extra curry sauce as I like my food to be hot and wet. I have the oddest way to describe this dish yet if you like the two food I am about to say then you will get what I mean. If you are a fan of fried chicken and curry then the Katsu Curry is basically the happy medium between the two. Chicken breast coated in breadcrumbs, topped with rice and smothered in curry sauce, served with a side salads and pickles. I love this dish and just can’t get enough of it. If you are a veggie lover there is a veggie option which is just as good and instead of chicken you get sweet potatoes and aubergines which are under yummy.
Dishes are served quick so unless you ask for your starters and main course to be served at different times they will arrive as and when each dish is ready if you don’t. So do make this clear when you are placing your order how you will like your dishes served.
Service is generally pretty slow so don’t be surprised if you have to flag a waiter down to take an order or to get your bill. However, Wagamama are fully aware of this flaw and have recently created an app so that customers can pay for their meal and leave when they are ready.
It’s a cheap yet satisfying dine with huge portion sizes so there is no way you will ever walk away from here hungry. Just be prepared to be a tad annoyed about service should you not have the app.
Something I have had to ponder was how healthy Wagamama actually is. I’m currently on a mission to lose some weight so am always interested in how many calories are in each dish so I can pop it into my fitness app to keep track of how many calories I am consuming and burning. So for a restaurant that prides themselves on healthy and positive eating hub I didn’t even think this could be an issue for me. After a few clicks on their website in which they proudly display nutritional information I was horrified to find that the Chicken Katsu Curry was a horrific 1147kcal and Elena had beef noodles which came in at 993kcal!!! This made me exceed my daily target of 1400kcal! The chilli squid is 492kcal!!! The duck gyoza is 292kcal!!!
Now we understand that in theory each ingredient is healthy and nutritious however, can Wagamama really justify stating they are a positive eatery when one meal is more than half the daily calorie allowance for a female of 2000kcal? Is McDonalds healthier than Wagamama with fewer calories?
It would be interesting to know your thoughts on this.
46-48 Wimbledon Hill Road, London SW19 7PA