This is a slightly different kind of post today because I didn’t just wander into Wagamama and order my usual…as is usual…
No no, this time I was invited to hang out with Steve Mangleshot, the executive chef for the company. The man behind the menu, if you will!
My usual (usual = I worry that I’ve Instagrammed it too much) order is the Salmon Teriyaki Soba. It is absolutely to DIE for. A huge fillet of fresh salmon on top of soba noodles which are tossed in red onion, red chillis, spring onion coriander and bok choi. I’ve tried a few dishes on the menu but this is my go-to and absolute soul food.
My side order of choice is the Tori Kara Age (which I have been pronouncing incorrectly since… forever!) – lucky for me this was one of our samples!
Tori Kara Age is one of the most moreish foods ever for me! Chicken thigh meat (in all its glory) is seasoned well and deep fried until crispy. Dip into your soy/sesame sauce and you’re good to go! It’s simply the best thing ever!
Next up we’re the Hirata Steamed Buns…
Mixed mushroom and Panko Aubergine
I was stunned by how much I enjoyed this. I do believe my train of thought was something along the lines of “daft crap vegan option” but when I tasted it I absolutely loved it! The crispy aubergine paired with the soft mushrooms was just amazing. I will be ordering these!
Korean BBQ Beef
Although these are the buns I was excited for out of the two samples, I preferred the vegetarian option! With that said, they were genuinely delicious. Wagamama sous-vide their beef so it was pull-apart-perfect!
Lollipop Prawn Kushiyaki – oh my. Such huge, juicy prawns and they’re cooked so perfectly that the texture got me first. I definitely over cook my prawns at home – these reminded me how simple and wonderful some spicy prawns can be!
PS. The lime is coated in sugar and grilled which gives a finger licking drizzle. Mmmm.
The Chicken Gyoza are exactly what they say on the tin – perfectly lovely chicken in a little gyoza envelope! I can’t get too excited about these though – the menu has so much more to offer! When you order gyoza you can choose whether you want them fried (like the ones pictured) or steamed.
This was a brand new thing for me to try, the Duck Cha Han Donburi. I’m going to give such a mixed review here so bear with me!
The slow cooked duck egg is a no from me. I didn’t even try it as it just puts me off – the same happened when I tried a similar dish from Bò Kantina in Glasgow. The slow cooked duck was absolutely to die for though – it was seriously tasty. The shredded lettuce and cucumber were gorgeous too but the rice didn’t go (for me). I’d personally pick this dish apart as there were excellent components but all round it’s not for me. I would love the duck and cucumber in the steamed buns, or maybe with some nice and simple udon noodles.
Short Rib Ramen= live food porn.
Oh my. It’s visually exciting, the smell is intoxicating and the taste was just B-E-A-UUUTIFUL. The beef is sous vide cooked to perfection:
The meat is served with a generous portion of ramen noodles, spicy soup (that stuff is sweet ‘n’ spicy delicious liquor!) and lovely fresh pea shoots. A topper!
The Chicken Raisukuree is so delicious but the added bonus is you can tell it’s good for you as you eat it. The vegetables in the curry are still crunchy and so fresh – you just feel the vitamins entering your system when eating it!
This is such a weird dish for me. The Ginger and Chicken Udon Noodles is really plain and boring, if I may be blunt. But there is something so addictive about it. The udon noodles for a start are amazing – so chunky and kinda slimy, in a good way! If you’re nervous about trying new things and have a plain sense of taste you’d like this. I wouldn’t order it as there are too many more exciting options, but I’d certainly steal a few bites off a friend!
This is the Firecracker Chicken – which wasn’t part of the sample evening, but it’s a new dish I tried just after. A delicious, fiery and rich dish which is worth a try!
This was a truly fantastic evening – especially for a Wagamama Addict like me. It allowed me to sample the aforementioned dishes and really see what I’m missing by ordering the same thing over and over. Will I change my order? Mmmmmmmm…Yes and no. Mood dependant. Salmon Teriyaki Soba is my comfort food.
Will it push me to make some of the dishes from this book my sister got me years ago?
Will I accept another invitation to hang out with Steve Mangleshot and eat all his delicious food? Absolutely.
Thank you to Steve and the St Andrew’s Square restaurant in Edinburgh for hosting. the evening – it was absolutely amazing. I’m definitely fatter and happier for having attended.