Blog review of Wagamama, Westfield, London
As the days get colder, darker and gloomy there’s nothing like a hot spicy soup or plate full of griddle fried noodles to warm you up. The finance team and I headed out for a Friday treat to Wagamama, a Japanese/ Asian Fusion noodle chain.
The restaurant was particularly busy today; pay day, lunchtime rush, yummy mummies and student crowd joined the queue which was already out the door.
The restaurant is laid out with a japanese feng shui style of living; clean, wooden long tables give the sense of diners to eat as a family – everyone sits and eats together.
Soya sauce, chilli oil and dried chilli salt sit neatly alongside your throw away table mat and chopsticks.
The menu is split into categories of starters, teppanyaki, donburi, ramen, curries, chilli dishes, sushi, desserts and drinks.
The staff all wear red t-shirts and dash around with a nifty electronic menu taker. They write your dish number on your table mat I’m guessing to identify who ordered what but I see it as pointless – just ask!.
First up were the drinks, freshly made juice made up of blended apple, orange & passion fruit. Full of goodness and a great detox drink.
One starter intrigued Dale, the half boiled tea stained egg – yes half an egg not whole!. We wondered if it will be like the fermented egg which is a delicacy across Asia. Sadly not, it was just a half coated hard boiled egg stained in tea. No extra rotten egg smell.
Their deep fried chilli squid is spicy and crunchy coated squid ringlets accompanied with a sour dipping sauce. Recommend!
After glancing over the hugely populated menu I chose the new Chicken Itame curry, a green coconut milk and lemongrass base soup with chunks of chicken, fresh chillies, rice noodles and stir fry vegetables. A firey creamy broth overflowing with vegetables and plenty of succulent chicken is the perfect addition to a wintery day. A little steep at £9.95 however see it as a treat.
Two of my colleagues went for the Yaki Udon dish, thick teppan fried noodles with chicken, prawns, stir fry vegetables, drizzle of curry oil and topped with sesame seeds. It was just the right size portion, very tasty and full of delicate flavours.
I didn’t manage to get a photo of the 4th dish but it was a Wagamama favourite of chicken katsu curry, a panko crusted chicken escalope smothered in a curry sauce served with boiled rice and a salad topped with red pickled cabbage. Sam’s review: a substantial dish at not too expensive a price of £9.40 certainly filled a large hole without burning one too large in the pocket. There can be no complaints on the quantity of food where the Katsu curry is concerned, although for the amount of rice you might want a little more sauce. The salad was fresh and the dressing delicious. A recommended dish.
Even though they tell you that your food my not come out at the same time you always hope that it will.. not this time!. The udon noodles came out shiftly with a little nudge so did the katsu curry however my itame took ages!!. my colleagues were half way through their meal when mine arrived. They obviously cook the popular dishes first or in bulk with the not so favoured dishes last. I understand that they are busy and rushed however I am paying almost £10 for a noodle soup, a little better customer service is not much to ask for.
Getting the attention of the waiters was a mission and half, we only have an hour (hour and a half max) so we need to eat, pay and go. Got the bill but again we had to wait for someone to take payment. We ended up going up to the counter to pay which again was slow. Sorry no tip was left.
Yes the food is always full of flavour, comforting and exactly what is says on the tin but Wagamama really needs to work on their customer service. There are cheaper and just as good noodle bars around however Wagamama offers variety. Their ingredients are unusual to the point you need a appendix to figure out some of the seafood, herbs and vegetables on offer. I love their worm like udon noodles, healthy hearty soups and their eastern inspired curries.
I’m going to give Wagamama a sandwich review; great food, awful service which can easily be improved but with great company you’ll sure to be back to try more.