Wagamama was found over 25 years ago specialising in the Asian cuisine and practicing the philosophy of Kaizen. Kaizen means good change, it shapes every dish they make and strive to ensure all the meals are created fresh. Wagamama prides itself in creating menus that inspire, sustain, soothe and are nourishing. We were recently invited to taste out the new summer menu, in this article we share our experience.
When the invite landed in my mailbox I read it with bated breath not knowing what to expect. I was over the moon when I learn it was an invite to review the Reading branch. Before I knew what my fingers where doing I texted my sister and we agreed on a date. The weekend couldn’t come fast enough for we had scheduled a sisterly date. Thankfully the weather was incredible over the weekend we even managed to nap in the park.
Lunch at Wagamama Reading
Over the last couple of years, I have lost count of how many times I have visited Wagamama branches. I have been for lunch and dinner and almost always I order the same thing ‘Fire-Cracker’. The only change I make is either firecracker chicken or firecracker prawns, both are delicious. I am one of those people who once they find what they like, they rarely change. That has been my routine for the last couple of years until our recent visit. And let me tell you, I am so delighted to have tried other items from the summer menu.
One thing that we have always loved about Wagamama is the quality of the food served in their restaurants. There has never been a time I have visited and not enjoyed the food or the service which is always exception. Yes sometimes the wait can be a-bit longer if the restaurants are busy but it hasn’t been a our experience. Our experience at the Reading branch certainly affirmed our love of Wagamama and it’s people.
As part of their philosophy of Kaizen, Wagamama always try to bring good change to their restaurants. Every season they try to introduce new items to the menu and we tried the newer additions. These include: Tama Squid, Harusame glass noodle salad, Vegastu plus few drink additions like sake. You can find the full menu.
We had arranged to arrive at the restaurant at 1.30pm, we were quickly shown to our table. Within a few minutes our server introduced himself and allowed us to ask questions before browsing the menu. We quickly made our decision of what we wanted to start with as well as drinks. For the drinks, I opted for mid saké – Japanese rice wine and my sister chose ants craft beer. Both these items are new items to the summer menu, both very refreshing and vegetarian friendly.
For starters both my sister and I were very keen to try the Tama Squid – squid ball infused with cheese. This is the first cheese based dish Wagamama has done, it’s a tasty dish for sure and crunchy too. The dish is described as ‘crispy fried squid balls, drizzled with okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise, finished with Aomori and bonito flakes.
One thing I have been craving badly over the last few weeks was steamed buns. We decided to try the hirata steamed buns stuffed with Korean barbecue beef +red onion. These are the fluffiest and softest asians buns I have had in a long time, best served warm.
I am one of those people who loves a good salad but it has to have meat in it. It’s rarely for me to enjoy a salad without meat in it so I made sure our choice has meat. One of the new salads on the menu is harusame glass noodle salad. The glass noodles are an addition to the already expansive noodles on the Wagamama menu. The glass noodles were mixed with kale, edamame, adzuki beans, mange tout, blackened carrots and pea shoots. Topped with fresh mint, crispy fried shallots and dressed with spicy vinegar. The combination of flavours had us confused but happy at the same time with crunchiness of the salad.
When it came to the mains, we knew exactly what we wanted to eat, something new and something old. Something new my sister opted for Vegastu – vegan cats curry, sultan coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs. Covered in an aromatic curry sauce with sticky white rice and a seasoned side salad.
I however opted the Wagamama ramen, something I have been craving for the longest time. What I loved about the ramen was it had everything; chicken, pork, prawns, mussels as well as a yea-stained egg. Best ramen I have had since I returned from Korea and happy to eat it again and again.
The portion sizes of both the Vegastu and ramen were huge and very filling so much that we took some home. The starters as well as the salad is enough to have a full stomach we didn’t really need the mains or dessert. But that’s unlike us and besides we were eager to try as much as we could on the summer menu.
Now, when it comes to dessert it doesn’t matter how supposedly full I am there is always room. I have a knack for creating space in my belly, big enough for as much dessert as I need. During our visit to Wagamama, I opted for yuzu and lemon tart served with fresh raspberry compote. As for my sister she loves her sorbet, she chose pink guava and passionfruit sorbet.
We enjoyed our desserts a little too much and was ready for seconds but alas we couldn’t. As I write this post I am salivating just looking at the pictures of the food and the desserts. We can not recommend them enough, I have another girls night in Wagamama arranged.