Bringing the best of Japanese cuisine to the rest of the world, wagamama has become a household name when it comes to authentic, Asian eats. It's Alan Yau behind the magic here, the guy that also drives the super popular Busaba Eathai and Hakkasan, so you're guaranteed he kinda knows what he's doing when it comes to great food. But if you don't believe us, check it out for yourself…
Your Japanese food fix, sorted
No matter what type of Japanese food you're after, wagamama is sure to have what you fancy. Curries made with meat, seafood or tofu, ranging from the mild and fragrant to the hot and spicy. We love working our way through their ramen choices: a hearty bowl of hot broth, filled with fresh wheat noodles, different toppings and garnishes, your choice of chicken, duck, pork, omelette, beef or seafood.
Their menu also boasts Teppenyaki and Donburi dishes, along with three types of special Omakase, and new twists on old classics, like Pad Thai salad – when you want something a bit fresher than the usual noodle-y standby.
It's their Katsu Curry that takes the crown as one of the most popular dishes on the menu though. You'll find chicken or a sweet potato, aubergine and butternut squash combination given the katsu treatment here, served up in an aromatic curry sauce with sticky white rice.
The name wagamama comes from the Japanese word for 'self-indulgent', 'self-centred', 'selfish', 'disobedient' or 'willful'.
The first wagamama – inspired by fast-paced, Japanese ramen bars – opened in Bloomsbury, London in 1992. Celebrating ramen and Asian food in all their glory, one of the founders hoped to 'push the boundaries' and move into a completely different design and menu direction than most early 90s Asian restaurants in the UK.
And it worked. There are now 140 restaurants, 120 in the UK, and others popping up everywhere from Europe to the Middle East, as well as New York City in November 2016.
If you're not in the mood for a full-on main, wagamama also has loads of sides and smaller dishes, like fluffy steamed buns, five types of gyoza, and duck wraps. Try a trio of starters like Bang Bang Cauliflower along with wonderfully addictive Edamame and Lollipop Prawn Kushiyaki for a less filling but just as interesting main dish, or as starters for a large group.
Kids haven't been left behind, with many of their popular dishes done 'mini' style, so little ones can choose their own perfectly sized dish.