Review: Wagamama’s new menu is “a juicy mash-up of flavours”

Wagamama introduced some brand new dishes to its menu yesterday, so we sent our Lifestyle Editor, Cat Talbot, and her deputy, Becky Lancashire, to give it a try.

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MAIN COURSE

Steak bulgogi, £13.50

Cat’s View: IMG_3275For me this dish was not only full of flavour but looked amazing! The noodles were my favourite of the dishes I tried and the steak was cooked beautifully. As a Wagamama newbie, I would never have thought about going there for steak, but I would definitely recommend it.

Appearance: 4/5 | Taste: 4/5
Value for money: 5/5

Becky’s View: This dish was presented beautifully, with the tenderness of
the steak immediately catching my eye. The meat was cooked to perfection, and the crispy noodles, fresh coriander and spring onions contributed to make a juicy mash-up of yummy flavours. I personally wasn’t keen on the kimchi which came with the dish; however, this did not distract from the variety of flavours I did enjoy.

Appearance: 4/5 | Taste: 4/5 | Value for money: 4/5

Grilled duck donburi, £13.95

Cat’s View: IMG_3273This was my ultimate favourite and actually my biggest surprise. I am a big fan of duck and I wasn’t sure whether it would work with the fried egg – but it worked a dream. The rice complimented the flavours of the duck well, and if I could give it more than a 5, I would! The portion size was generous and I was left feeling very full but most definitely satisfied.

Appearance: 4/5 | Taste: 5/5 | Value for money: 5/5

Becky’s View: Like Cat, I wish I could give this dish more than a 5/5. Not only new to the menu, this dish has completely stolen the spotlight of every other option on the menu. The variety of flavours from the juicy duck, spring onions and rice was delicious, and the addition of a fried egg on top was surprising yet incredibly enjoyable. I would definitely go back for more of this dish!

Appearance: 4/5 | Taste: 5/5 | Value for money: 4/5

Shirodashi ramen, £9.75

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Cat’s View: I have to say this was a bit of a disappointment for me. Compared to the other mains, this was my least favourite, but it was still full of some delicious flavours and again was a very generous portion for the price. The combination of soft noodles and pork belly worked really well together and the pork was cooked beautifully.

Appearance: 4/5 | Taste: 3/5
Value for money: 4/5

Becky’s View: Having always been a fan of ramen dishes, particularly the Wagamama RamenI didn’t hesitate to try this new dish. The soft noodles were soaked in a delicious broth below a bed of juicy pork and greens. Admittedly, this was my least favourite of the three mains, but it was still made a very enjoyable meal.

Appearance: 5/5 | Taste: 3/5 | Value for money: 4/5

SIDES

Duck wraps in lettuce, £5.95

DSCF1777Cat’s View: This was a great dish and I was pleasantly surprised at how much the duck was complimented by the lettuce. For me, it felt a bit healthier and lighter than a normal duck pancake which, with the size of the main meals, meant I could enjoy the taste more without feeling too full. It’s a great side to order for the table so you can all have one.

Appearance: 5/5 | Taste: 4/5
Value for money: 4/5

Becky’s View: When the waiter described this new side order to me, I have to admit I wasn’t convinced it would be one I would be open to ordering again. Little did I know how surprised I would be! The greens blended well with the duck, and made it much lighter than a standard duck roll. The order consists of three large lettuce leaves filled with the duck, so it’s great for an extra snack to accompany your meal.

Appearance: 5/5 | Taste: 5/5 | Value for money: 4/5

Chilli squid, £5.95

IMG_3272Cat’s View: I could have eaten an entire dish just of these. I am a big chilli fan and the flavour was one of the best I have ever tasted. They were handy bite-sized pieces of squid you could dip in and out of, and would be great for sharing. I will definitely be heading back for these.

Appearance: 4/5 | Taste: 5/5
Value for money: 5/5

Becky’s View: This wasn’t the first time I’ve tried this side, and it certainly won’t be the last! I consider this to be one of the best I’ve ever ordered. The balance of the chilli flavouring with the juiciness of the squid was the perfect balance, and the accompanying sauce was just right, leaving a pleasant tingle on my lips. The portion size was as expected for a side, though once I’d finished eating it I have to admit I couldn’t help but crave more!

Appearance: 5/5 | Taste: 5/5 | Value for money: 5/5

DESSERTS

Mochi balls with raspberry sauce, £4.95

IMG_3278Cat’s View: This dish had me curious from start to finish. When I saw the combination of ice cream and sticky rice on the menu, I had no idea what they would taste like – but I had to try. The raspberry ice cream was beautiful but for me, the texture of the rice layer was not something I would go for. However, for the price I think it’s definitely something you should get for the table to try and get everyone talking.

Appearance: 3/5 | Taste: 3/5 | Value for money: 4/5

Becky’s View: It was a brave decision to order something completely different, and a decision that brought with it both positive and negative feelings. The raspberry flavour of the ice cream was strong, fruity and addictive, and was a nice finish to the meal. However, the addition of the rice outer layer was rather unusual and produced a strange texture. If you’re looking for something different, or you’re brave enough to venture, I’d definitely recommend giving this a try!

Appearance: 4/5 | Taste: 3.5/5 | Value for money: 4/5

3x mini cakes, £3.95

IMG_3279Cat’s View: This dish is perfect if you can’t decide which dessert to go for. The combination of the three pieces worked really well. For me, the passion fruit cheesecake was my favourite; the flavour was strong and fruity and it was a great palette cleanser at the end of a meal. I thought it was one of the best for value for money too.

Appearance: 4/5 | Taste: 4/5
Value for money: 5/5

Becky’s View: We’ve all been there – craving a third course in a restaurant but being forced to decline the offer to see the dessert menu due to a lack of space in your belly. Well, this dessert solves this problem. Just a small slice of three different types of cake is both satisfying, yet not too filling. The selection included chocolate fudge cake, passionfruit cheesecake, and a white chocolate and ginger cheesecake, all of which were delicious. The range of flavours was perfect – I really enjoyed this dessert.

Appearance: 5/5 | Taste: 4/5 | Value for money: 5/5

DRINKS

Repair Juice, £4.50 (large)

Cat’s View: This was a great surprise for me as some juices with kale in can taste very ‘green’, but I thought the addition of the lime and apple made this one sweet and delicious. The colour wasn’t very appealing but that’s something you can expect from any place with those juices. For me, it complimented the meal perfectly and was a healthy option that I would recommend.

Appearance: 3/5 | Taste: 5/5 | Value for money: 3/5

Becky’s View: As one of the new juices, I thought I’d give it a go. A mixture of lime, apple, pear and kale, this was tasty and healthy at the same time. Although enjoyable on its own, I wouldn’t advise having this with a meal as it tends to be quite filling.

Appearance: 3/5 | Taste: 3.5/5 | Value for money: 4/5

Tropical Juice £4.50, (large)

Cat’s View: This was a more traditional juice option and it didn’t dissapoint flavour wise. It tasted very fruity and fresh and was a great option of drink when you arrive. For me, I didn’t like the consistency too much but Becky was a big fan.

Appearance: 3/5 | Taste: 3/5 | Value for money: 3/5

Becky’s View: Yellow in colour, and delicious in flavour; I really enjoyed this tropical juice drink! As with the repair juice, I think it is better alone than with food, and a good option for those who aren’t ready to embrace the green and gulp down a glass of spinach or kale.

Appearance: 3/5 | Taste: 4/5 | Value for money: 4/5

Green Tea, £0.00

Cat’s View: We all love free stuff, so this was a great treat that added to the meal just perfectly. I would definitely recommend you have this at the end of the meal to finish it off. They come in lovely little ceramic pots which I adored, and it tasted amazing too.

Appearance: 5/5 | Taste: 5/5 | Value for money: 5/5

Becky’s View: Wagamama offers a small cup of green tea for free, which is a great way to cleanse the pallet after a delicious meal. It was soothing and tasty and, in my opinion, miles better than any green tea bags I’ve ever bought off a shelf. Even if you wouldn’t normally give green tea a try, this could be a great opportunity for you to start!

Appearance: 3/5 | Taste: 5/5 | Value for money: 5/5