As someone who's favourite cuisines are Thai, Japanese and Vietnamese, it's surprising that until recently I hadn't visited Wagamama before. Wagamama are renowned for their oriental dishes from their warming bowls of ramen to their deliciously seasoned Pad Thai. Their menu is an eclectic mix of pan-asian cuisine and everything is made from scratch, in the kitchen right in front of you. A few weeks ago I was asked by the Manchester Spinningfields branch if I would like to visit Wagamama and try some of their new dishes. I said yes without hesitation and couldn't wait to finally pop my Wagamama virginity.
On arrival I was introduced to Zoe the branch manager and she talked me through the menu and gave us a few suggestions in regards to what we should order. Zoe was really friendly and talked so passionately about the Wagamama brand. Her enthusiasm about the dishes got me really excited about trying them for myself. To begin with my husband and I ordered two fresh juices from the new juice menu - I opted for the tropical juice and my husband tried the fruit juice. Both juices tasted very refreshing and healthy. They weren't loaded with sugar and both of them tasted very natural.
Once we were given time to peruse the menu and sample of juices, the waitress came round to take our orders. As it was our first time at a Wagamama restaurant, we both went crazy and ordered as many starters/sides as we could get. My husband had the pork ribs, the Ebi Katsu (prawns in bread crumbs with a spicy sauce) and I ordered the Yasai Steamed Gyoza and the wok-fried greens. I loved my Gyoza - the wok-fried greens were lovely, but the pak choi was a little bit on the watery side for me, nevertheless, I still ate it all. James also enjoyed his starters, his face looked like a child opening his Christmas presents as he reached out and sampled all the dishes.
When it came to main course, I knew I had to order the Pad Thai. Pad Thai is one of my favourite all-time dishes. I ate so much Pad Thai when I was in Thailand and it's one dish that I never get bored of eating. I ordered this as I wanted to see if Wagamama could do my favourite dish justice and they smashed it. In fact, the Wagamama Yasai Pad Thai is one of the nicest Pad Thai dishes I've ever had. The dish had so much flavour, yet tasted so light and the hint of lime took this dish to another level. My husbands main course was equally as impressive. He chose the Tamari Chicken and he really enjoyed it. The Tamari chicken dish has sweet potato in it, something my husband eats nearly everyday and he said that it was great to have sweet potato in a dish that he isn't used to and he would happily order it again.
After my main course and far too many sides, I was too full for dessert, but my husband told me we couldn't leave without trying at least one of them. As both of us love cheesecake, we decided to share the passionfruit cheesecake and I'm really glad we did. The cheesecake was soft and the base was so buttery and it had the most juicy passionfruit sauce on top. It was heavenly and made us fall in love with Wagamama even more.
It's not often that you go to a restaurant and leave with a great big smile on your face knowing that the service, the food and everything in between was absolutely flawless - usually there's something to criticise even if it is minor. At Wagamama, everything that day was perfection and it was a great first experience. The food was excellent and there's a large variety of food for vegetarians like myself who often get the short straw when it comes to restaurants. My only regret right now is that I hadn't discovered Wagamama sooner. I can't wait to go back and try more dishes on the menu.
Have you been to Wagamama before?
*My meal was complimentary, but my views are my own.