Monday 22 November 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 22 - Wagamama

It's eating out week! I've enjoyed cooking up a storm & trying new recipes for MoFo but I'm happy to be back to my usual restaurant reviewing ways this week especially as the week'll be ending with a trip to Paris Vegan Day. I'm SO excited, come & say hi if you're going to be there!

Wagamama is a chain of pan-asian inspired noodle restaurants & you can find one (or sometimes more!) in most major UK cities. They've just started popping up in mainland Europe, Australia, New Zealand, The Middle East & the USA too, so look out for them where you live. They aren't a vegan company but the staff in all the locations I've visited have been really knowledgeable and they even have a special vegan section on their website so you can check out all the options before you get there.

My favourite thing from the menu is probably the Saien Soba, all you need to do to make the dish vegan is to swap the soba noodles for udon or rice noodles because for some reason their soba noodles contain egg.

The menu describes this as noodles in a vegetable soup topped with fried tofu, beansprouts, courgettes, asparagus, red onions, leeks, mushrooms, mangetout & garlic, yum. This dish is ridiculously filling & I haven't managed to finish a whole bowl of it yet!

My second choice is probably the Yasai Cha Han, to veganise this one you just need to ask for it without the egg.

This is stir fried rice with fried tofu, mangetout, mushrooms, sweetcorn & spring onion, although you can't see the mushroom in this picture because that's Nick's Yasai Cha Han & he hates mushrooms - a lot. This dish comes with sides of miso soup & pickles, we never eat the pickles (ewww!) but the miso soup's delicious & full of tiny cubes of silken tofu.

If I fancy a change the Yasai Yaki Soba's another good vegan option although it needs a couple of changes to make it vegan. You need to change the noodles from wheat to udon (or rice but I don't think that's work so well here) & get them to leave out the egg.

These teppan fried noodles come with beansprouts, peppers, white & spring onions, mushrooms & garlic and are garnished with fried shallots, sesame seeds & coriander vinegar. It's pretty good but compared to the last two dishes I felt like it was missing something - I think I'll see if I can get this with tofu next time.

There are a couple of vegan options I haven't tried yet, there's a Raw Salad & the Yasai Chilli Men which is like my fried noodle dish but with chilli. The only side dish that's usually vegan is the edamame but at the moment they have a seasonal side of Asparagus & Shitake Mushroom Gyoza with a lemon and cracked black pepper sauce that's vegan, it sounds delicious & I'll be e-mailing trying to convince them to add it to their regular selection of sides. Wagamama also do great juices, the Fruit Juice which is a blend of apple, orange & passionfruit is great as is the Apple & Lime juice & they even do free Green Tea with your meal - not bad for a chain restaurant!


  1. Wagamama ROCKS! We always go there when in the UK. And PARIS! YAY! How exciting.

  2. I love Yasai Cha Han, especially the pickles! Will have to try the first dish you mentioned, it looks great. I used to love a salad they did as a main course but they stopped doing it a few years ago.

  3. Sounds great. There isn't one in Edinburgh yet, so I may need to take a trip through to Glasgow to try it out.

  4. sounds awesome and that soup looks freaking awesome.

  5. Ooo mushrooms? That's like, my weakness XD You Europe-dwelling people are so lucky...

  6. Thanks for this, we have a Wagamama in MK but I've never dared venture into it.

  7. JoJo,

    It's Mat. Just to warn you off the Yasai Chilli Men. Knowing you are not such a huge fan of the hot stuff, this will make you unhappy!

  8. I Looooooovvvee wagas. We just got one in Camberley, I can't tell you how over excited I am about it!

  9. Can I have your pickles then?

    We tried making a Waga stle ramen soup at actually went very well! Yum noodles!

  10. I'm going on Thursday to the one in Harrogate, can't wait, I love the food! The Yasai Chili Men is lovely, but quite hot. I can't remember what I usually order, it's soupy and limey and lovely!

    If you ask them they should have a list of the vegan menu items behind the counter, it's in their handbook in case you can't remember what you wanted to order, I always forget!

  11. I love the Chilli Men, you can even get their sauces in jars which are nice for quick stirfries at home :)

  12. Wagamama is one of my most favourite restaurants! I must go their at least a couple of times a month to eat. It's so tasty and reasonable. I love japanese pickles and have them with everything!

  13. The yasai chilli men I had in a Birmingham branch of Wagamama the other day was nowhere near overly spicy, and was so good that my boyfriend and I ordered a second plate of it to share.

    I forgot you can get their sauces in supermarkets... MUST get a jar of the chilli men.


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