Before Wagamama’s opened up in Lincoln I had never really tried Japanese food, but now I am a complete convert. I have been several times since my first group visit last year and I really love the restaurant atmosphere, how the food is presented and of course how it tastes.
The restaurant is built on the site of the old habour master’s building which sits over the Brayford Pool and has amazing views of the pool and University of Lincoln behind. Inside, the restaurant is minimalistically furnished and seating is communal, which personally I really like. We visited late on a Friday night and didn’t book a table, so we had to wait for around 15 minutes to be seated (Which was fine as by the time we were seated we had decided exactly what we wanted).
We ordered our drinks first, and all decided to have the free green tea. I also ordered a peach iced tea and the rest of the group ordered drinks from Wagamama’s selection of fresh fruit juices.
This time I visited with a group of friends, so we decided to order two starters – the chili squid and duck gyoza. I have tried the duck gyoza a few times before but not the chili squid, so I was excited to try something new! The squid came presented as twisted small sticks, with a chili, garlic and coriander dipping sauce on the side. They had a really interesting flavour which was a mixture of salt and shichimi (A Japanese spice mixture containing seven different flavours) and were complemented very well by the chili sauce. I will definitely be ordering them again!
The duck gyoza were as good as I remember, packed full of shredded duck and wrapped in deep fried pastry. The spicy cherry hoi sin sauce is delicious and has a great flavour. They are definitely one of my favourite dishes, and worth a try if you decide to visit!
Chili Squid with dipping sauce
We ordered our main dishes at the same time as our starters, and they came just as we finished. Wagamama’s serve your order as soon as it is ready so not everyone on your table will get their food at the same time. In our group we ordered three different dishes – Chicken Katsu Curry, Pork Ramen and Yasai Wagamama Pad-Thai.
The chicken katsu curry is a deep fried chicken breast coated in panko breadcrumbs, topped with rice covered in curry sauce. It also comes with a leafy salad topped with red pickles – which are really tangy and delicious! This dish is a pretty safe introduction into Japanese food if you have never had it before, it isn’t as spicy as some other dishes and has interesting flavours. A lot of Wagamama dishes are fairly spicy and tend to come with very large portions of rice, which I almost always have to leave.
Chicken Katsu Curry
None of my friends have had the pork ramen before, but it sounded really interesting so two of them decided to give it ago. It comes served in a large deep bowl, and is filled with noodles in miso, ginger and chicken soup. On top are slices of barbecued pork, pea shoots, wakame (Edible seaweed), spring onions, menma (Japanese bamboo shoots) and one of my favourite Wagamama’s additions – half a tea stained egg. The pork was slightly fatty, but the broth was packed full of noodles and vegetables. Which made it pretty filling and warming on a cold evening.
The Wagamama Pad-Thai is my all time favourite dish, and no matter how many times I say I’m going to try something new and look through every dish on the menu I always end up choosing it. It is the perfect combination of lots of different Japanese flavours, textures and tastes, which means you get to try loads of things all in one dish.
It comes in a shallow bowl, with tamarind egg fried rice noodles in the bottom – this is topped with a mixture of egg, beansprouts, leeks, chinese chives, spring onions, garlic, ginger, mint and chillies. On the top are fried shallots, peanuts, coriander cress and a slice of lime, which give an interesting crunchy and citrusy taste to the whole dish. You can either order the Pad-Thai with chicken and prawns, or Yasai (Which is fried tofu). When I first ordered the Pad-Thai, I had never tried tofu before so I decided to play it safe and have chicken and prawns, which was really good. However, one trip I decided to give the tofu ago, and I have to say I actually prefer it to the chicken and prawn. The fried tofu is soft inside, slightly crispy on the outside and soaks up all the delicious juice.
I really love the Pad-Thai and would definitely recommend it, however it can be fairly spicy with the chillies and may be too hot for some people who aren’t a fan of heat.
Yasai Wagamama Pad-Thai
I definitely recommend visiting Wagamama’s if you are interested in Japanese food, or just feel like trying something a bit different. The service is quick and friendly, and the experience of communal dining is really interesting and fun. There are loads of different types of Japanese cuisine on the menu to try, from ramen (Noodles in broth) to Kare (Japanese for curry – typically with coconut milk and lemongrass at Wagamama’s).
I will hopefully be visiting again soon, and will try and choose something different, maybe the chicken raisukaree or chicken itame (But I always say that and it never seems to happen!). I would also really like to try some of their desserts, as I always end up too full by the end of the meal. In particular the sweet ginger and apple gyoza or interesting flavoured ice creams 🙂
A Day in the Life…