Wagamama, London Bridge
If you’re looking to pay restaurant prices to eat in a canteen at vastly different times to your companions you’ll love Wagamama, an inexplicably popular Japanese style eatery where the food comes in vats and you are sometimes expected to eat using an actual ladle.
The menu at Wagamama mostly centers around noodles in their various guises. Noodles in sauce (soggy noodles), noodles in soup (very soggy noodles) or the rather avant garde noodles in no sauce (not at all soggy noodles). There are also rice based things which seem to involve big piles of rice topped with a hat of questionable meat and a few uninspiring vegetables.
On my visit I tried the Teriyaki Chicken Donburi. I needn’t have bothered. The highlight of the dish was the industrial sized bowl of rice which sat beneath the meat and had no discernible faults. The meat had an unusual charred taste and rubber like texture which made it an actual chore to eat. I wish it had never happened.
Teriyaki Chicken Donburi
Little brother went with the seafood ramen, which he struggled with because it came in a trough, and contained many a piece of ‘seafood’ which was not from the sea at all. I think it was… (gasp)… TOFU. This mystery meat had been cunningly shaped like squid to convince an undiscerning diner of its lies, but we were not fooled, oh no!
But rubbish food aside, the thing that really bugs me about Wagamama is this: Wagamama say it is their ‘philosophy’ that food comes at different times so that you ‘enjoy it while it’s at its freshest’ or some such shit. They say its because the food is PREPARED TO ORDER. As if in all other restaurants they just have pre-prepared dishes lounging about in the kitchens, in the desperate hope that someone might order one or two before they get cold and withered. Wagamama is the only restaurant that I know of that makes a point of shunning conventional dining practise and ensuring that someone at your table sits for at least ten minutes staring at you eat, looking all sad and melancholy and thin with hunger. This is not a philosophy, it’s a bloody cop-out and it pisses me right off.
Gluten Free? Sort of. Some dishes are, some aren’t. Some could be if they left bits and bobs off, but they refuse to do so for reasons known only to themselves.
The Verdict: NO!
3/10 (for having chairs and tables and a roof and Diet Coke)