On Tuesday I was lucky enough to be invited by the lovely PR team at Voice Communications to an exclusive VIP event at Wagamama’s in Intu Lakeside, Essex. With Wagamama being one of my favourite restaurants, I replied to the email quicker than you can even say Wagamama. Have I said Wagamama enough yet? If you haven’t been to Wagamama’s before, they are a Chain restaurant which serves ‘pan-Asian food in the style of a modern Japanese ramen bar’. On my first trip there, I had no idea what to expect as I am not particularly cultured and enjoy a greasy fish and chips far too much however I was absolutely blown away by the mixture of flavours that melted in my mouth. I recommend heading down there to try it out and be brave – try something different and I bet you’ll love it! My favourite is the Chicken Katsu Curry and I don’t even like your standard curry sauce.
Wagamama’s at Intu Lakeside has recently been refurbished with snazzy mirrors, a more open kitchen/front of house space and a new VIP head chef table. This table is where the chef comes to prepare before opening and some of the tables in new restaurants even feature taps at the end where chefs will prep new dishes. Arriving at Wagamama’s, we were greeted by a very friendly chap and shown to our table where the restaurant manager and PR contact were waiting for us. The aim of the evening was explained and we were introduced to the head chef who has been working for the chain for over 20 years! Now that is what you call dedication. Alongside their new menu and restaurant décor, Wagamama’s have introduced new takeaway packaging which is recyclable and microwaveable! It also looks pretty damn stylish. Who even knew they did takeaway?
Boy was we spoilt when they brought out the new dishes for us to try! We started with sides and for me, the sides are always the best. Brought to our table were four delicious dishes, although one slightly funny looking. All of the dishes came with a little dipping pot of dressing to accompany and suit the food. I couldn’t chose a favourite if I tried, for somebody who is funny about food and sticks to what she knows, I was surprised how much I enjoyed tasting and trying something new – and I loved all of them. The sides we tried included the Chilli Squid, Ebi Katsu, Pulled Pork Steamed Gyoza and Duck Gyoza. I wish I had focused more on the photos but to be honest, I wanted to get tucked in!
Already feeling full after testing the sides, we then got to sample three mouth-watering mains which included the Seafood Ramen, Sirlion and Shittake Ramen and Short Rib Ramen. These dishes essentially involved meat, noodles and soup – made with plenty of fresh and vibrant ingredients. Out of the three, I think the Short Rib Ramen was my favourite. The meat literally fell off the bone as it had been cooking for hours. The fish dish was something I’d never consider trying but it was enjoyable however I’m not sure I could eat a whole portion – on that note, can we please talk about how big Wagamama’s portions are?!
I love that the dishes are so tasteful yet are a good healthy option when eating out. Here’s a link to the Wagamama’s menu which I am sure will help describe the food a lot better than I can. My opinion – just head to your local waga’s and try everything, get recommendations from the staff and ask for the head chef to surprise you.
Thank you so much to the lovely ladies at Voice Communications, Intu Lakeside and Wagamamas. I had the most delightful evening with my blog bestie, Hannah, meeting new Essex bloggers and eating the scrummiest food. I’ll be using my ever so generous gift voucher for a trip as soon as I can as I can’t wait to get back to those shrimps.