Monday, 11 July 2016

10 Things Everyone Should Know About Wagamama

Just recently we were invited to sample the new menu at Wagamama at Intu Metrocentre, you may remember we visited the Qube in May and sampled some of the Wagamama offerings there so we jumped at the chance to try more.

I'm a big Wagamama fan already because they are fab with allergies, have a full and comprehensive allergen list, they are happy to prepare stuff how you need it and are great at answering any questions. I will admit though that I'm a creature of habit and generally (well always) order Kare Lomen when I go.

We had an amazing time and tried so many dishes some of which I would never have ordered in a bazillion years like chilli squid, liquorice teas and Mochi! The Golden Child really loved hat they had decorated the table for him, and all the staff had signed a card too

Here's some video from our trip

OK First here are 10 things I didnt know before our visit to Wagamama
  1. Wagamama means Naughty Child
  2. 1-5 in Japanese is (phonetic spellings sorry) Itch, Knee, Sun , She, Go 
  3. Wagama practice the Kaizen approach of no boundary's, this is for staff and customers so the kitchens are open for customers to see, the staff can move between departments and locations its a very clear open philosophy
  4. Wagamama have just launched a new menu in Spring and alongside that have started publishing recipes on the table mats for you to take home and make your own yummy food
  5. If you have an allergy they know every bit of every bit of everything in the kitchen, this is because they produce their own sauces and base recipes and so tracing back the food supply is easy.
  6. the area on the left is the allergy station and the pans all have indicators on the hadles!
  7. They have separate pans and cooking and prep areas for allergy dishes to avoid any cross contamination
  8. Wagamama and Intu Metro Centre have a recycling programme for all of their glass paper plastic and even FOOD waste!
  9. Liquorice Tea tastes nothing like liquoirce and is so sweet and rich and lovely its well worth a try (thank you Sarah Ann)
  10. They have forks on the table! YOU DO NOT NEED TO USE THE CHOPSTICKS although I really like to, if you struggle you can cheat and use the kiddy ones which are more like tongs than sticks!
  11. You can just about ask any food or restaurant related question in Wagamama and there will be someone who knows the answer and is happy to chat with you. I like this, we have inquisitive children, I like them to learn things and they have!

Before I tell you all about the yummy food I want to tell you our thoughts on Wagamama, the restaurant is bright and spacious, it has booth seating (quite unusual for a Wagamama) and bench seating so at busy times you could be sat at a long bench near other parties, the thought of this used to bother me but actually its quite nice, you can neb at other peoples food choices, we have even shared tasters with a family before, and it all adds to the vibe of the place. The staff are efficient but friendly so if you are in a hurry and you need to be in and out that is fine, if you want to ask questions and get advice, that's cool too. I saw lots of examples of staff chatting and pointing out different things on the menu and helping people choose things they would like.

Right, now back to the food Here is all the yummy scrummy food we had and what we thought

  • Ebi Katsu  - crispy fried prawns in panko breadcrumbs. served with a spicy chilli and garlic sauce. garnished with lime

 I'm totally not pals with prawns so I didn't try these but my Golden Child loved them so much he ate 2 portions!
  • Chilli Squid - crispy fried squid dusted with shichimi. served with a chilli coriander dipping sauce

squid would never ever be my menu choice but oh my! these were totally gorgeous not at all chewy or overly fishy and the chilli was just right the portion was huge and fed all of us easily

  • Wok Fried Greens - tender stem broccoli and bok choi, stir-fried in a garlic and soy sauce

another dish I wouldn't normally beat a path to order (seriously if I'm eating out it ain't greens that I'm after!) but this was truly lovely the broccoli was so succulent the veg had just the right crucnch and the dish had a lovely smokey flavour,

  • Steamed Gyoza - five tasty steamed chicken dumplings, served grilled and with a dipping sauce

this is one of my favourite sides, the dumplings are great for sharing and the dipping sauce is simple but really tasty


  • Yasai Surendra's Curry - a rich, hot and spicy green curry made with vegetables, jalapeƱo peppers, onion and ginger. topped with sweet potato straws and served with steamed rice

we were told this was the recipe of a Wagamama chef's mum which made its way onto the menu and I can see why, its packed full of flavour, not as hot as I had expected given that it has jalepenos, the sweet potato straws add a texture to the dish and it is tasty and filling as you can see the portion is huge.

  • Firecracker - a fiery mix of chicken, mangetout, red and green peppers, onions and hot red chillies. served with steamed rice, sesame seeds, shichimi and fresh lime

The Mr had this and he likes real spicy food so found himself a little disspointed that it wasn't as hot as he had expected, but he enjoyed the dish and said he would order it aain which basically is the highest praise he dishes out!


  • Mini Chicken Katsu - chicken breast deep-fried in panko breadcrumbs, served with sticky white rice, carrot, cucumber and sweetcorn. served with your choice of either katsu curry or amai sauce

this was the absolute favourite with the big kids its really simple, sticky rice with an almost chinese style curry sauce served seperately and breaded chicken slices which were demolished in seconds

  • Mini Chicken Cha Han stir-fried white rice with chicken, egg, sweetcorn, carrot, mangetout and amai sauce

another really simple but healthy dish that the kids love, it was packed full of chicken and a perfect balance of vegetables

  • noodles with fish (no soy sauce)

I'll be honest here, fish and noodles with no soy sauce or dressing did not appeal to my taste buds, I like a bit of flavour and kick to my noodles, but we do struggle to find dishes without soya or dairy and so Termite was happy and I was confident we weren't in for a poorly time, she ate all of it so it must have been tasty. I loved that this was no trouble to ask for or prepare, some places are not keen on dealing with allergies and Ive even heard stories of big chain restaurants making customers sign a waiver!!!!


  • Fruit Ice Lollies - Perfect for Termite and her allergies

  • Mix it up Mochi - ice cream a combination of all three flavours of our mochi ice cream. little balls of ice cream wrapped in a layer of sticky rice, served with sauce

Possibly the strangest things ever in the world, these are ice cream balls coated in smushed sticky rice! I don't describe them accurately but imagine really thick flavoured rice paper wrapper around ice cream! The sesame ones were my favourite and the coconut were really good too. They have a strange texture but I can totally see the appeal and they are definitely worth a try and they go really well as a refreshing and light dessert with the style of food we had eaten

  • Mini Cakes - passion fruit cheesecake, white chocolate and ginger cheesecake or chocolate fudge cake

Now for me cakes just don't go with this style of food, but that is really personal choice. These cakes were tasty and rich and just the perfect size after such a lot of food and they certainly disappeared quickly with my family

  • Banana Katsu - banana in panko breadcrumbs with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream (please note this was demolished so quickly by the Monkeyfooted males that I didnt even manage a decent picture so this one is courtesy of Wagamama
Image result for wagamama banana katsu
These are a bit like banana fritters but not so greasy so for me really tasty (I can't stand the battered ones you get elsewhere) the portion was just enough and the salted caramel ice cream was so flavourful and creamy. I could have ate just a bowl of that!


We tried a selection of fresh fruit juices, Peanut loved the 'tropical' which is mango apple and orange, I loved the 'clean green' which is celery (which i hate,) apple mint and lime we also tried the apple and orange juices and of course my biggest surprise, liquorice and peppermint tea which tasted nothing like the black sweetie liquorice that I hate but instead tasted rich sweet and warming (if that makes sense) it was so lovely I now drink it at home!

We loved our visit and we will definitely be back, thank you to Sarah Ann and her brilliant team of chefs and staff xx


  1. Ah I did not know that Wagamama meant Naughty Child! From the sounds of it they deal with allergies really well which is lovely to see x

  2. Visited here at the weekend after you praised them for dealing with allergies.They were amazing, the best experience I've had so far eating out with multiple allergies. Nothing was a problem

  3. I have never visited a wagamama before, the food looks and sounds amazing though. My teen has bad allergies so somewhere like this would be perfect for her to eat as I always worry when we dine out. It sounds so family friendly too x

  4. looks yummy, its one of the few that i havent treid in there now, will have to give it a go x

  5. We just love Wagamama for family eating out. It's one of our absolute faves. Their kids menu is accessible for kids while being nutritious unlike many places. Like you, Arlo has allergies but they are great with him. He enjoys colouring the sheets and the food comes quickly so he doesn't get bored. Also like you I tend to order the same each time - Yasai Cha Han. I also love their fruit juices, plum wine. Now I'm wanting to go!