wagamama is a chain of japanese fast food restaurants all over london. it is consistently rated at the top of the charts by zagat’s and is counted amongst the best of london eateries by many of my friends and colleagues. i woke up yesterday craving hot and spicy food (but not indian!) so decided to check out the wagamama’s at oxford circus after browsing through the sales at selfridges, h&m etc.
we had a lazy start to the day so didn’t actually get to lunch till well after 3pm. i was stunned to see a long line of hungry tourists and londoners waiting patiently for a seat in the packed cafeteria-style establishment this late in the afternoon. surprisingly, we were seated within 10 minutes and our food arrived shortly after ordering.
though this is a japanese restaurant, you won’t find any sushi here. wagamama is modelled on the ramen bars popular in japan. expect noodle soups, chilli men (curried noodles), tepen and lots of interesting side dishes including edamame and gyozas. vegetarians have a nice variety of dishes to choose from including soup, noodles and rice-based choices. i ordered a nice big bowl of mixed vegetables and tofu in a miso soup with noodles. i add lots of chili oil to spice it up. the soup filled and warmed me up simulatenously! i washed it down with apple and lime juice.
h and i also shared a side order of vegetable gyoza that was brought to our table much after the other items so the waitress took it off our tab which I thought was a very nice gesture. wagamama reminded me a lot of republic at union square in manhattan. delicious food, communal atmosphere and excellent value for money.
101a wigmore street, london, W1U 1QR
tel: + 44 (0) 207 409 0111