Some lunchtimes all you want is the Japanese-inspired food of Wagamama delivered straight to your office/home/destination of your choosing. And so the task falls to Daily Info to review this culinary experience:
For the sides there were plenty to share:
Jen: the edamame were nice, quite salty, with just the right tenderness. One dish that doesn't suffer for being transported and having an extra minute of steaming. The crispy squid were not as crispy as it would have been in situ, but nevertheless lovely. This was the first squid I'd ever tried because everyone said squid was rubbery. But this isn't at all. It's a little chewy but mostly crisp on the outside and melting inside, like a really posh fish finger. The sauce is tangy and a perfect accompaniment, and impossible to recreate.
Katy: I had the Ebi Katsu, which are panko-coated fried prawns served with a spicy garlic and chilli dipping sauce. They were just lovely; crisp, decent sized prawns accompanied by a fiery sauce. A great way to start the meal.
Patrick: the duck gyozas were crunchy, full of duck. Sticky sweet hoisin-laced plum-flavoured sauce to dredge them in. Delightful if not as fresh-tasting as the noodle dish. Mmm noodles.
For the mains it was a mix of curry and ramen for us:
Jen: My curry was the chicken itame. This is one of the dishes which is free from gluten and dairy without modification, so it's lucky I really like it. It's one of those assembled dishes, built up of rice noodles, chicken, pak choi, mushrooms, and a hefty kick of chilli, all in a coconut milk broth. I find it the perfect balance of sour, mellow and crunchy with veg. And because it's a soup it's really filling.
Russ: I went for the ever dependable chicken katsu curry. A popular choice it is nonetheless one that I always enjoy and this dish was no different. Generously portioned with enough rice, chicken and sauce to make a hearty meal, this is my idea of heaven. Everything is well cooked and the sauce is tasty but not overpowering as it can sometimes threaten to be with a katsu curry. Great comfort food.
Patrick: Seeking something nourishing and warming, while not over-stuffed with chilli, I went for the shirodashi ramen. A 'slow-cooked, seasoned pork belly' on noodles in chicken broth. Garnished with pea shoots and something a bit like pickled bamboo shoots. (Menma? Quite possibly. Nonetheless, a nice texture and agreeable sharpness). The now-trademark half of a 'tea-stained' egg languished somewhat within the bowl - I don't think eggs do well on take-outs.
Overall, however, I was very pleased. The pork was half melt-in-the-mouth, half good roasted texture. The chicken broth was indeed rich, and the garnish both fresh and crunchy. Having been on the look out for something warming and nourishing, I got exactly that. A good option if you don't want the full kick-in-the-face of chilli ramen, but like the idea of the nice noodley soup. Have you had the noodle dream yet?
Katy: I too went for the shirodashi ramen. I'd had this at a Wagamamas a few weeks' ago and really enjoyed it. Although I'm not a huge fan of pork in general, the pork belly was full of flavour, the broth was soothing and the noodles were cooked well. This is the ideal dish if you're feeling a little poorly and are in need of comfort food which feels healthy. I was a little sad that the spring onions were missing and the egg appeared to have been hard boiled in water rather than soft boiled in tea but otherwise it was just what was needed for a mid-week meal.
Wagamama is a great lunchtime treat that is conveniently delivered. It has many comfort food options and the Daily Info team found it tasty particularly the standout noodles.