Return to Wagamama: order envy

On Thursday I had lunch at Wagamama with my sister jl, on a short visit from Sydney, and her best mate M.

Here’s M’s grown-up drink (M and jl each had a glass of white wine) and my kiddie one – well not really, but side by side it kind of looks that way! My drink is no.6 on the menu, apple, mint and lime juice (AU$4.00).

A glass of wine and a juice

The juice was really delicious and refreshing. You can tell it’s been freshly made by the thick layer of apple froth on top.

Apple, mint and lime juice

We shared a plate of 100. ebi gyoza (AU$8.80), described on the menu as “fried dumplings filled finely chopped king prawns, water chestnut and spinach, served with a chilli, garlic and soy sauce”. They really weren’t kidding about the “finely chopped” prawns! There was barely any prawn in the two dumplings I ate – in fact, the filling was mostly green and I initially thought we’d been been given some vegetarian gyoza by mistake – until I found a miniscule morsel of prawn tucked away in the corner of the first gyoza I ate – the very last bite! The flavour was yummy though, and I always love the crunchiness of water chestnuts.

Ebi gyoza

I ordered 76.chicken tama rice (AU$15.00), which was rice served with sliced and grilled chicken breast and stir-fried zucchini and shitake mushrooms in a thickened oyster, garlic, ginger and wine sauce. The presentation made me think of a moat (well, one littered with edible flotsam)! The gingery sauce was especially tasty – there was lots of it – and the rice was perfect for soaking it up. The chicken was thinly sliced and cooked nicely – though if it had been dry the sauce would’ve revived it quite effectively. I really like zucchini, but wished it hadn’t been left in such large chunks. The slices of cooked onion were delicate and sweet. Overall a thumbs up from this ginger and chicken fan. A great dish for a cold day.

Chicken tama rice

M ordered 42. yaki udon (AU$16.00). Apparently this is his favourite dish at Wagamama, and the only dish he ever orders. M is a staunch believer of “When you’re on a good thing, stick to it”, which is a philosophy I also subscribe to most of the time, as demonstrated by the regular appearance of certain dishes on this site. This dish appears under the “teppan” section of the menu (“noodles cooked on a hot, flat griddle”), and according to the menu consists of udon noodles, egg, chicken, prawns, shitake mushrooms, leeks, red capsicum, beansprouts and Japanese fish cake in curry oil. The dish is garnished with fried shallots, red ginger and spicy ground fish powder (my sister and I initially thought the fish powder was meat floss!).

Yaki udon

My sister had 36. chicken kare lomen (AU$14.50). Here’s where the title of this post comes in. This looked and smelled amazing, so much so that I wished I’d ordered it myself (I hate when that happens)! The spicy soup is made with coconut milk, lemongrass, shrimp paste, chillies, fresh ginger and galangal, and is served with ramen noodles, sliced grilled chicken breast, beansprouts, cucumber, lime and fresh coriander. The curry was an enticingly goldeny, orangey colour, streaked with coconut milk trails. Its aroma was gloriously curry. Next time I eat at Wagamama I will DEFINITELY try this myself. A version with grilled king prawns instead of chicken is available for $17.50. My sister is going to laugh when she reads this and realises how much I was drooling over her dish! I enjoyed my lunch, but yeah, order envy definitely reared her ugly green-eyed head!

Chicken kare lomen

I know a couple of people who haven’t been impressed with Wagamama, but I’ve liked it both times I’ve eaten there (see the previous post about my birthday lunch in April at Wagamama). The service has been pretty good, the food tasty and on the table super fast. I’m looking forward to the next time – when I order the chicken kare lomen :). Might get Jac to meet me there for dinner one night after work.

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