Without a doubt Wagamama’s is one of my happy places. Whenever I have dined with them be it lunch or dinner, my meal has been delicious. They have recently launched their new separate vegan and vegetarian menus along with their new Jinzu Fever Gin and Tonic.
We went along to indulge in their new and old menus and see what was new on the vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free front.
Their new Jinzu Fever Gin is made with jinzu, a japanese inspired gin, infused with cherry blossom, yuzu and sake. It’s served with fever-tree tonic and garnished with fresh lemon and pink peppercorns. It evokes images of cherry blossoms in your glass!
We kicked off with two wee fruit juice tasters. The Repair (top right) which is kale, apple, lime and pear. This was really earthy with a sweetness at the start from the pear and finishing with a tart lime flavour. And the Tropical (bottom left) – mango, apple and orange.
We worked with the manager and staff allowing them to order us bowls of food that they thought best showed off their menus and new additions. First to the table was three of my favourites.
The vegetable gyoza (VG and V); five tasty steamed dumplings, filled with vegetables and served grilled and with a dipping sauce. Other starters on the vegan/vegetarian menu included the Bang Bang Cauliflower – crispy, wok-fried cauliflower coated in firecracker sauce mixed with red and spring onions and garnished with fresh ginger and coriander which sounds super tasty and the Raw Salad of mixed leaves, edamame beans, baby plum tomatoes, seaweed and pickled mooli, carrot and red onion; topped with fried shallots and finished with the wagamama house dressing. I was tempted to try this but only for about 3 seconds.
The chicken gyoza, grilled with a soya dipping sauce. I could eat several hundreds of these every day.
The Tori Kara Age – seasoned, crispy chicken pieces dressed in and served with
a spiced sesame and soy sauce, garnished with fresh lime. You need to squeeze the lime over these gnarly bits of chicken!
Up next came the fight of the sticky buns! The Hirata steamed buns to be precise. These come served as two small, fluffy asian buns served with japanese mayonnaise and coriander.
We tried the vegetarian one of mixed mushroom and panko aubergine. Tasty little morsels but up against the chicken one, the chicken one wins hands down.
The crispy seasoned chicken with fresh tomato against the soft sweetness of the bun…mmmmmm.
The two main dishes were two that I hadn’t tried before. Both are from the Omakase section of the menu. Above is the Seared Nuoc Cham Tuna on a bed of quinoa with stir-fried kale, sweet potato, edamame beans, red onion and peppers; garnished with coriander. I can’t recommend this dish enough. The tuna was just slightly seared and pink in the middle. It fell apart in large silky chunks. The mix of vegetables and quinoa along with the tuna makes for a perfect texture combo.
Now this is a genius dish. It’s the Tonkatsu consisting of pork belly coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs and drizzled with a sweet soy marinade; served with sticky
white rice and dressed mixed leaves. Pull the leaves aside and you’ll find fingers of crispy breaded pork belly cooked to perfection. The cold crunch of the salad along with the crispy hot pulled pork and sticky white rice, leaves you wanting more. We demolished this dish!
For vegan main courses you could try the following dishes. Yasai Pad Thai (vg) – rice noodles in an amai sauce with tofu, beansprouts, leeks, chilli and red onion, garnished with fried shallots, peanuts, mint, coriander and fresh lime or new to the menu is the Kare Burosu Ramen (vg) which is shichimi-coated silken tofu and grilled mixed mushrooms on a bed of udon noodles in a curried vegetable broth, finished with pea shoots, carrot, chilli and coriander.
After finishing our Gin and Tonics we found we could squeeze in some desserts and opted to try a few of their ice cream flavours.
Coconut reika (V) topped with coconut flakes and a passion fruit sauce is utterly indulgent and delicious.
The Guava and Pink Grapefruit sorbet is a heavenly flavour combination and the perfect end to a meal if you want something to cleanse the palate.
The Vietnamese coffee ice cream (v) served with a chocolate sauce and caramelised sesame seeds. Have this is you want to skip a coffee as it has a good strong coffee hit.
And lastly we tried the Spiced mango and coconut parfait (v) topped with puffed quinoa and passion fruit coulis. This is like eating iced curry and is strangely more-ish. It’s well frozen so wait a few minutes till it starts to melt before digging in.
I have eaten in a few Wagamamas across the UK but do visit the most in Edinburgh (obviously!) The staff at Lothian Road and St Andrews (where I visit the most) are truly fabulous. Always super friendly and happy.
Thank you to Wagamama Lothian Road for my invite to review your menu! As always a fabulous dining experience and as always, I will be back!
Wagamama, 1 Castle Terrace, Corner of Lothian Road, Edinburgh Tel : phone : 0131 229 5506 www.wagamama.com
My Spoon Award : Tartan Spoon