Wagamama on New Street was one of the first places I reviewed when I first changed this blog to a food blog. It was brand new and I had managed to get myself into one of their trial shifts. I remember having the teriyaki lamb chops, which were fantastic. Sadly these aren't on the menu anymore but Wagamama remains one of my favourite chain restaurants. There's something for everyone, it's simple, it's not too expensive, it feels sort of healthy. It opens late.
I returned to New St Wagamama just before I returned to school for a Thursday treat. Did you know you can get free green tea with your meal? Yes I'm sure most of you do but I only found out a few months ago and now I never miss out. I love the little cups they come in too.
I discovered Hitachino Nest beer when it was beer of the week at Purecraft Bar (you get the bottle of the week free with your Independent Birmingham card when you buy a meal on a Sunday). Hitachino Nest is a Japanese brewery who make such light, tasty beers. My favourite is the red rice but the white ale is lovely, flavoured with orange peel and nutmeg. Hitachino Nest can be expensive but it's a reasonable £4.95 at Wagamama. Whenever I am eating this style of food and spot Hitachino Nest on the menu, I always choose it1
Another thing I've only started having at Wagamama in the last few months is 'starters' which they call sides. Wagamama isn't traditional dining- your food comes when it is ready. So, if you order sides, they will probably come slightly before your main but will still be there when your main does appear.
Edd and I decided to choose a side each; one we hadn't tried before. Edd chose Pork Ribs (£6.75). Small, neat ribs had tender meat in a Korean BBQ sauce- sweet and 'super good' according to Edward.
I loved the addition of sesame seeds.
My choice of side was Ebi Katsu (£6.95). King Prawns deep fried in breadcrumbs with a chilli and garlic sauce. I usually go for the grilled prawn lollipops, which are beautiful but these were fantastic too.I loved all the fresh chilli on there. Don't judge me but I ate the crispy tails too.
Such a treat.
Onto mains and we both chose a Donburi dish- bowls of rice, meat and veg. Hearty but with a side of kimchee to cut through. Edd chose the Grilled Duck Donburi (£13.95) which is rather an appealing bowl of food.
Shredded duck leg, plenty of veggies and salad, sticky rice and a fried egg. Plus kimchee on the side. I know what I'll be trying next time! Egg makes everything better and the veggies and salad kept things light.
I chose the dish I had on my second ever visit to Wagamama (the first time I had a delicious sea bass and mango dish which no longer exists). Chicken Teriyaki Donburi (£9.95). This wasn't quite the same as Edd's donburi, but it had the base concepts- a bowl of rice, tender meat, veggies and salad.
Donburi is such a comforting dish with the yummy teriyaki chicken and rice, but the carrots, pea shoots and spring onions make it seem a little lighter and add texture.
Then you can choose to snack on the kimchee or add it in- I like to add it in for the crunch and the sharpness.
Something about Wagamama makes me feel very content and full without being stuffed. I always enjoy my food there and I love the calming dark wood in the modern Wagamama's.
A lovely meal- go and try the prawns and the duck donburi!
Wagamama, New Street, Birmingham
Photos by Helen and Edd.
Food was complimentary for review purposes.