A Family Feast At Wagamama

It’s just dawned on me that my last post about Wagamama (visiting the St Peter’s branch in Manchester) was just over a month after Tom was born – and he’s nearly a year old! Doesn’t time fly. Back then it was our first restaurant experience since he came into the world and this time round, it was certainly a bit of a contrast to a tiny sleeping baby!

I’ve mentioned before how impressed I am with the staff at Wagamama, having been countless times now; they are knowledgeable about the items on the menu and are clued-up on allergies or intolerances; their policy is accommodating and taken seriously without alienating or making it difficult to order, plus everything is freshly made so it can be easy to swap ingredients out for alternatives.

As always we started with the edamame beans (honestly, I could eat bowls of them for days) with plain salt instead of the chilli garlic ones for a change, which are equally delicious. Accompanied by an Asahi beer for James and the Supergreens juice for me – a refreshing blend of apple, mint, celery and lime – we ordered Tom a bowl of the Mini Chicken Cha Han from the menu: stir-fried white rice with chicken, egg, sweetcorn, carrot, mangetout and amai sauce. At 11 months old he’s at that stage of weaning where we’ll let him try pretty much anything (to a certain degree haha) so this was a really enjoyable and obviously messy experience. He loved the egg chunks and gnawing on the chicken, and although he wasn’t too fussed about the sweetcorn he wolfed down a decent amount of the rice. Yes lad!

Aiming to push the vegan offerings, I went for my usual favourite: Itame Yasai; rice noodles in a spicy green coconut and lemongrass soup topped with stir-fried beansprouts, red and spring onions, bok choi, peppers, mushrooms and chilli. garnished with coriander and fresh lime. Absolutely packed with rich, fragrant and punchy flavours, this is a dish that really warms you up and gets the tastebuds going. Even on a hot evening this was exactly my meal of choice and a firm staple on the gluten-free menu.

It’s a shame the Vegatsu – Wagamama’s vegan version of their infamous Katsu Curry – contains wheat as I was well game for trying this, although James took that opportunity in favour of his usual meat-filled order. Made from seitan coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs, covered in an aromatic curry sauce with sticky white rice and a seasoned side salad, he was actually surprised and pleased with how close to the original it was – slightly different in texture but still offering a chunky, satisfying texture and flavour the curry is well known for. In his words, “Decent. Very little difference. Recommended to any vegan/veggie friends out there.”

Onto dessert: In my last review I covered how much James loved the Chocolate Layer Cake, made up of layers of chocolate sponge, dark chocolate parfait and hazelnut cream, served with vanilla ice cream. NOM. I fancied something refreshing so went for the Pink Guava & Passionfruit Sorbet with mint which was the perfect combination of sweet and tangy, light but creamy, which Tom also enjoyed too!

Thanks for having us Wagamama, we’ll be back again soon 🙂