Vegan at Wagamama
Josh has climbed on board the blogging train tonight to tell us all about his recent vegan food adventure inside the UK version of international chain restaurant Wagamama.
Take it away, Josh.
I recently found myself in Ealing Broadway (West London) in need of a satisfying meal. Normally, I might consider a vegan pizza from Santa Maria but I was with a coeliac friend so vegan and gluten free options were the criteria. Thankfully, Wagamama stepped up.
When we arrived we asked our server about vegan and gluten free options and he presented us with a folder which showed allergens across all of Wagamama’s dishes. In addition to listing which of the non-vegan/non-gf items could be modified to suit our needs, the folder also suggested some common menu items for vegans and coeliacs. The manager then came and spoke to us to ensure we understood the special diets information and asked if we were ready to order.
I went for the yasai gyoza to start: delicious flaky pastry with mildly curried vegetable filling and a dipping sauce. They were tasty enough but not mind-blowing.
For a main, I ordered the yasai itame: vegetables and rice noodles with tofu in a spicy coconut soup. Again, the dish was tasty but lacked a bit of oomph. As with many restaurants there was a serious overkill of onions (I get it – they’re cheap and tasty but enough already!) and too many funky, chewy mushrooms… but the broth had nice spicy, sweet and sour undertones going on which went well with the noodles, tofu and vegetables.
My friend ordered a gluten free item but it wasn’t vegan (boo!) so I didn’t take a picture of his meal.
Overall it was an ok-ish meal. I won’t be hurrying back to Wagamama but if I’m ever in a similar situation, at least I know that there’s a chain restaurant out there that appears to give serious consideration to vegans.
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It looks very simple but with not too much fat as often in asian cuisine….You’re right : “I won’t be hurrying back to Wagamama but if I’m ever in a similar situation, at least I know that there’s a chain restaurant out there that appears to give serious consideration to vegans.”
That’s so funny, I had the Yasai Itame last night as well (but I started with the edamame, which I love!) I had loads of onions too, I forgot to tell them to take them out as I don’t like them, I agree with you, it’s ok, but not amazing, but I really like how they cater for vegans! 🙂
I used to dine at Wagamama’s a lot until I went vegan. The yasai itame is my favourite Wagamama dish. I usually don’t order it unless I’m very hungry as it it is quite filling. I agree with Josh about the chewy mushrooms, but I love the broth and the tofu and all the veg. Yum. Wagamama’s is an OK place to visit if you are dining with omnivores.
I haven’t been back to Wagamama’s since I ordered the gyoza off the vegan menu at the Newcastle branch and when i bit into one I discovered they had mixed mine up with a simultaneous order for the chicken ones. The staff were suitably horrified and apologetic. They refunded my meal and offered me a free replacement but I had lost my appetite by then.
I am not a fan of Wagamama. I always find their stuff rather tasteless and they served my friend pork instead of veggie spring roles. A big no-no in any vegan’s book! Pho has tastier vegan options in my opinion. Though regardless of the restaurant or quality of the food, vegan options anywhere are always welcomed.
The saien soba is vegan if you order it with udon noodles and is super delicious. Lovely broth with big chunks of tofu. Incredibly hearty on a winter’s day! I really appreciate having Wagamama as a standby for decent vegan food, easily found in most cities.
We got a snotty attitude at Wagamama in Glasgow after when we asked if the noodles could be cooked in vegetable stock as stated they would on their menu if you asked, they then brought out a bowl of plain noodles in veggie stock not the dish asked for, The waitress then argued in the middle of a crowded restaurant with me my GF and her boss that that was what we had asked for. Will never go back.
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Years ago, Wagamama used to be excellent. Haven’t been in years, but went last year and couldn’t believe how crap they had become. Shame.