Saif Rehan documents his first taste of Japanese cuisine at Wagamama
Wagamama is a worldwide Japanese restaurant offering a new twist to dining. Fresh food in a friendly, vibrant setting is exactly what I look for.
I am not one who dares to dine at posh, expensive places and, from the outside, that’s what Wagamama appears to be. Intrigued by the temptation of Japanese cuisine, I decided to brave it, and found myself pleasantly surprised by the establishment’s atmosphere; the waiters were all wearing jeans and a Wagamama t-shirt and the restaurant buzzed with activity and bustle, creating a stark contrast from the overly formal and regulated feel that I was anticipating. We were greeted warmly and given the menu. At first I didn’t know how to react, or even what to order. Japanese food is quite abstract compared to the Pakistani cuisine I am used to. I decided to play it safe and ordered a Sprite and jug of Water.
At first, I struggled to decide on what to over (I didn’t even how to pronounce the names of many of the dishes!) Thankfully, the waiting staff were patient and helpful, helping me to decide on which starter would best suit my tastes. In the end, I decided to set myself a rule: choose anything that sounds unique and hopefully it tastes as nice as the name!
The starters that we ordered—the Lollipop Prawn Kushiyaki, Chilli Squid and Yasai Gyoza, turned up within ten minutes of us placing our order. The portions weren’t too big, serving as finger food before the more filling main dishes. However, I could have sat there for hours on end eating the Chilli Squid—they were as nice as chips! (Don’t worry, I know what you’re thinking—I was with a friend; I couldn’t possibly eat three starters and a main dish all on my own!)
For the main course, I decided to order a big, filling, main dish (which the waiter recommended), which was the Teriyaki Salmon Soba. This was simply a grilled piece of salmon (healthy), topped with soba noodles and vegetables. It was delicious, not too spicy and not too tangy. The salmon split in half with minimal effort using my fork and was cooked very well.
Unlike the starters we received, the main courses were huge and definitely hit my appetite well. I can proudly say my friend and I finished exactly what we ordered (even though the portion sizes were massive!) I could clearly taste the Japanese influences in my food.
I would highly recommend this restaurant as a place to go with friends and family. The establishment is suitable for many occasions, from evening meals with friends and family to lunch snacks. Our full meal cost us £50, which seems to be quite reasonable in the busy end of Manchester. The waiters are all extremely friendly and helpful.
For more information on Wagamama, please visit their website and Facebook page:
The restaurant itself can be found at the following address:
1 Spinningfields Square,