I am a long time Wagamama fan – bordering on slightly obsessive. They first hooked me in with the food. Oh my GOD I LOVE THE FOOD. The staff are always so attentive and friendly. In the past few years I had a new reason to add: they are absolutely AMAZING for people with allergies. Too often restaurants will say “oh, errr, well, the kitchen has nuts in it soooo…y’know” as if to say ” we have nuts in the kitchen so LOL OOPS if we cross contaminate and kill you but that’s on you because we told you” *eye roll*
Wagamama only allow a manager to take your order and will bring you a ring-binder with all recipe information, including which changes (if possible) can be made to cater a dish to you. They dedicate a chef to you to ensure no cross-contamination and they make you feel 100% safe. Most places are nice about it, but these guys go the extra mile for your comfort and ease. Im not the one with the allergy, but I SO appreciate that.
I noticed that they made a separate vegetarian and vegan menu, so for Veganuary I made sure this was my first outing!
Mixed Mushroom & Panko Aubergine Hirata Steamed Buns
I adore these wee Asian buns. I order them every other time I go, and they usually have a mayonnaise in them. I honestly couldn’t really tell the difference – they taste just like the usual, didn’t seem drier or anything at all. They just tasted like what I always order. The mixed mushrooms are really richly flavoured, and the crispy Panko aubergine gives a really satisfying texture to go with the softness of the buns and mushroom.
These are vegetable filled Gyoza which are grilled – I can never decided if steamed or grilled are my favourite! They’re both great. I love the chewy texture you get with grilling though. The chilli and coriander dressing was lovely too!
Yasai Yaki Udon
You can swap your noodles with any dish, but we both had udon noodles during this visit. I absolutely love those chunky noodles! The Yasai Yaki dish is essentially just a stir fry of mushroom, pepper, bean sprouts, white and spring onions and the dish is topped with pickled ginger, fried shallots and sesame seeds. This dish is just so simple but lovely. I just can’t get to grips with picked ginger. It’s so pink and pretty but I just hate it for some reason! Luckily it’s easily picked off!
Kare Burosu Ramen
This is where my story gets weird. I guess, it’s where I got weird.
I ordered this dish expecting the chillies and a curry broth, but I wasn’t prepared for how spicy it was. It’s very hot! I ended up blotchy on my skin as a result (a first for me). I asked for the ingredients in case I did have some sort of reaction to maybe an additive or something, but it was freshly made and I recognised everything written down! Weird! I have to say, the staff were so lovely. Genuinely concerned for me despite me telling them I don’t have allergies and I wasn’t at all unwell, that it was probably just too spicy for me. It just furthered my love of how seriously they take food safety.
I’d order this ramen again, but ask them to make it less spicy if possible because the ferocious heat aside, it was absolutely delicious. I really liked the flavours! Tofu, however, just isn’t for me – I’ve tried it so many times and if Wagamama can’t make me like it then I quit! It tastes of nothing. It looks like halloumi and just doesn’t taste of it. Or anything. Except empty sadness.
If you read all that rambling – well done! I hope my Veganuary posts are useful to some of you out there and perhaps enlightening to others! If you have any recommendations then please hit me up!