I don’t write many restaurant reviews here and that’s not because I don’t eat out (I do, more than my bank account would like) but because a restaurant really needs to have a wow factor for me to acknowledge it here. You don’t want to read about the meal I had where the steak was overcooked and the potatoes pitch perfect – anyone can write that for you, or tell you in 7 words, in real life. For me to want to take my time to blog something I have to be over the moon about it and in this case I am. Confession, I have always been a bit over the moon about Wagamama. I like it as my guilty pleasure comfort food restaurant where the food is consistent and fresh, and like any other “chain” restaurant I can rely on my order, I like that sometimes.
|MMM. Wagamama Glazed Ribs. Fall off the bone tender.|
My first experience with Wagamama was FIVE years ago in Convent Garden London on a warm evening. I don’t remember my main course but I remember the ice cold Kirin in my hand and the way it commingled with the salty softness of edamame as I popped them one bean at a time from their pods and onto my tongue. I remember adoring the big communal tables and the raucous rugby team that was sitting next to us (BF, BF’s Aunt and I) as we ate our big bowls of noodles and broth. It felt right. We ate at that Wagamama twice over our one week stay in London, twice. When I came home I longed for the noodles I had had and the edamame. We went back to our small college town in rural Maine gushing about Japanese noodles from our trip to London, when not six months earlier we had been in Japan (and had not come home gushing about the noodles, possibly I should return).
|Suribachi Chicken Wings – Sweet and Spicy, FORTHEWIN|
I waited patiently for my return trip to the lovely British city – I wanted more noodles, needed them. Then on the phone with BF’s Aunt we were told Wagamama had opened a branch in Boston. I lit up like a Christmas tree and we came down for a visit. I ate lots of edamame and ginger-scallion noodles, perfect on that cold January afternoon. Fast-forward a couple years, BF and I have just graduated from college and are looking into moving out of Maine, we chose Boston as it was familiar and we had family here. Jobs were acquired and as we settled into a routine which included Wagamama, especially in the winter after a long day at work. It was comforting food that left us full and happy without emptying our wallets or threatening late fees on our student loans. It felt like an indulgence and wasn’t really.
|Chicken Katsu Curry, the Katsu Curry is, hands-down, my favorite thing on the menu.|
Now I am here, a blogger and occasionally someone who is lucky enough to get to eat those favorite things of mine for free and with favorite people. Tonight was one of those times. And when the hankering for Wagamama hits you just can’t ignore it, you might make those noodles or that curry feel neglected, and that, my friends, would be very sad indeed.
|Bloggers Who Rock! Megan and Amanda. Aren’t they the cutest?|
*Wagamama provided this meal free of charge to me but all opinions based here are strictly my own.