Nestled in the Arc Shopping Centre in Bury St Edmunds sits Wagamama, the Japanese/Asian Fusion noodle chain, offering a new twist to dining with fresh food in a friendly, vibrant setting.
Rachel Ducker and the Bounce Magazine team, were invited along to try out some of the dishes off the popular summer menu.
Here’s what we thought…
“Like the food, the interior is minimalist, modern and fresh.
Stylish lights hang above the wooden tables with metal legs, it reflects a Japanese Feng Shui style of living; giving diners the sense of eating as a family – everyone sits and eats together. Soya sauce, chilli oil and dried chilli salt sit neatly alongside your throwaway table mat and chopsticks.
One of the great things about Wagamama, apart from their relaxed seating style, is they like to mix things up a bit and every so often they add new dishes.
The current summer menu is split into categories of Sides, Teppanyaki, Omakase, Donburi, Ramen, Curries, Salads, Desserts and Drinks. With a large range of dishes ranging from Japanese to Thai, many of which sounded very tempting to us, makes for difficult choosing, so its worth having a sneak peek at the menus before hand.
At first, I struggled to decide what to order; thankfully our waitress was patient and helpful, helping us to decide on which starters (sides) would best suit our tastes.
“The waiting staff write your dish number on your table mat to identify who ordered what, it confused me at first but it makes for quicker service!”
In the end, we decided to share a selection, which included ‘Mixed Mushrooms & Panko Aubergine Hirata Steamed Buns’ – two small, fluffy Asian Buns stuffed with Mixed Mushrooms and Panko Aubergine, served with Japanese Mayonnaise and Coriander. The buns were almost like a fat mini-pitta, open at the sides with the filing on show, the ingredients were a match made in heaven, especially for veggies like me, oh and did I mention everything is cooked fresh in the kitchen so you can substitute ingredients if necessary.
We selected the ‘Chilli Squid’ – Crispy Fried Squid dusted with Shichimi, served with a Chilli Coriander dipping sauce. I could have sat there for hours on end eating the Chilli Squid, but unfortunately I was supposed to be sharing! The spicy and crunchy-coated squid ringlets accompanied with a sour dipping sauce is certainly one I would recommend!
Also in the line up were the ‘Duck Wraps’ – shredded Crispy Duck served with Cucumber and Spring Onions, served with Asian Pancakes and Cherry Hoisin Sauce, along with Ruth’s favourite, ‘Duck Gyoza’ – five tasty Fried Duck Dumplings served with a dipping sauce.
You can have the sides as starters, just like we did, or you can have all of the food coming at once with the main dish, which is the traditional way of eating Asian food. The portions weren’t too big, serving as finger food before the more filling main dishes.
For the main course, James selected the ‘Teriyaki Beef Donburi’. Before long a large bowl arrives (as in, much larger than your standard cereal bowl) filled to the brim with sticky White Rice, Beef Brisket in a Teriyaki Sauce shredded Carrots, Pea Shoots and Onions, garnished with Sesame Seeds and served with a side of Kimchee.
Sam opted for the ‘Teriyaki Sirloin Steak Soba’ – grilled Sirloin Steak with Soba Noodles in Curry Oil, Mangetout, Bok Choi, Red Onion, Chillies and Beansprouts in a Teriyaki Sauce, garnished with Sesame Seeds.
I decided to order a big, filling, main dish. Sadly on this occasion there were no Tofu dishes available, which alarmed me as a ‘selective’ vegetarian, however, my main dish more than made up for this. I selected the ‘Shitake Donburi’ – Shiitake Mushrooms and Broccoli Omelette served on Brown Rice in a Teriyaki Sauce garnished with Shredded Carrots, Spring Onions, Chilli and Pea Shoots, with a Fried Egg and an added side of Kimchee (a favourite of mine from my Korean travels)! It was delicious, as it turned out; it was a rather scrumptious dish consisting of many levels of flavours and textures.
Finally, Ruth went for the ‘Teriyaki Chicken’ in Teriyaki Sauce with sticky White Rice, shredded Carrots, Pea Shoots and Onions, garnished with Sesame Seeds and served with a side of Kimchee.
All dishes arrived in a similar format, but were completely different in their own way.
We all had just enough room for dessert (and a helping of Sake). The dessert ranges from Banana in Panko Breadcrumbs with a scoop of Salted Caramel Ice Cream to Yuzu Ice Cream and Chocolate Layer cake.
Overall the food is always full of flavour, comforting and exactly what is says on the tin. The ingredients are unusual to the point you need to Google some of the seafood, herbs and vegetables on offer, but I love the fact the food is healthy, hearty and great value for money.
Wagamama we will be back!”
OR MORE DETAILS:
www.wagamama.com or call 01284 711987