Would a trip to Wagamama's float everyones boat???
A trip to the new Whiteley shopping Centre and Deans choice took us to Wagamama’s. A clean spacious restaurant where it is nice to be able to talk to everyone at the table without feeling squashed in and helped create a pleasant atmosphere. The only criticism is that the toilets are quite small, but on a positive note were very clean and tidy.
Dean felt the restaurant was well lit with large glass windows providing natural light. The tables are laid out with adequate room in between with cushions on the chairs provided added comfort. The waiters provided a good level of service, humour and information.
There is definitely a large choice on the menu and the waiter was more then willing to explain any dishes and offer any advice in regard to spiciness and general appeal of some of the dishes.
Whilst several of us had not been to a Wagamama’s or a Japanese before this really helped us to decide what we wanted to try. Also as some of us were not too keen on Japanese in general the waiter’s advice was invaluable.
He told us that the sides could be served as starters or served as it is ready, as everything is cooked fresh and served immediately. We chose to have them arrive when they were ready and although some of us were waiting longer than others, we were happy to wait as it had been explained to us.
He also explained when we sat down which items were not available on the menu. This really helped when selecting, as nothing is more disappointing then being told you cant have a dish after you have ordered it!
Although Clair had the pulled pork dumplings after the waiter informed us that the original choice of BBQ ribs was dropped by the chef before cooking... a whole tray apparently! We were recommended the pulled pork starter and it was definitely a great recommendation as they were delicious!
Clair also had a rice dish as a main course, with chicken, courgette, spring onions and mushrooms in an oyster and white wine sauce with ginger. Clair thought It was lovely, but very filling, meaning she couldn't finish it all! Portion size is obviously not an issue here!
As for Dessert Clair had a white chocolate and ginger cheesecake. It was nice, but not something she would say was amazing. Clair does prefer a crunchier base where as this one was very crumbly and soft.
Dean had the Wagamama pad Thai for his main (Which is chicken, prawns, rich noodles, peanuts, leeks, shallots and chillies). It was really good and a tasty blend of ingredients. For dessert he had chocolate fudge cake and ice cream. He was also really lucky as the slice of cake was huge. Although before having his dessert he tried some of Mike's Firestarter meal, which was really tasty, but blimey it was hot and Dean feels he is used to spicy food!!
Mike thought the food was excellent. He had the spiced chilli squid for starters. Which was excellent. His main was the chicken firestarter. It was really nice, but agreed with Dean that it was extremely hot!
As for Dave, he started with the Pulled Pork Gyosa which were pulled pork dumplings and very very tasty. His main was the chicken katsu curry, which was tasty without being overly hot, and the sticky rice certainly helped with his first foray with chopsticks!
He did however feel it was weird how the starters came out with the mains too.
His dessert unfortunately, was not so good. The portions were tiny, but then again, so was the cost. The three cakes were tasty, and it was nice to try some things he wouldn't normally try.
Gemma and Peter opted for the Duck Dumplings to start and they were duck meat in light short crust pastry in a mini pasty style - not what either of them was expecting but definitely delicious The hoisan sauce was lovely too and perfect for the dumplings. Gemma did try Dave's pulled pork ones that came in a pancake style wrap and they were also very nice.
For her main Gemma had the chicken and prawn noodle with vegetables and sesame seeds which was easy to eat with good flavours that did not over power the dish. It was a shame however that there was only 2 small prawns in it – the dish would have been far better with a more equal share of chicken and prawn.
Gemma felt that it was quite a light main so enjoyed the offer of puddings. She opted to have the trio sample of ice cream in rice balls. These were lovely ice creams but she was not a fan of the rice coating (worth a try but not her cup of tea). She did try Dave's trio of cakes and again they were nice but the sauces were a bit overpowering and she wouldn't have been able to eat a larger piece of any of them.
So all in all a good restaurant and a great way to introduce someone to Japanese style food.
Marks out of 10 ...........................................A karate chopping 8