Domestic goddess and backyard explorer with a passion for freelance writing!
Published October 28th 2014
Consistent Asian flavours tailored for the Western palate
This is one of our family's favourite restaurants, if not the most favourite, and therefore one of the first restaurants I ate at with my husband in London. Asian food was no new thing for me coming from Australia where we are so spoilt for choice with various ethnic options such as Japanese, Chinese and Thai probably due to our direct proximity to the Asia Pacific region. I did note that whilst London did have Asian options, they were a lot fewer to come by than what I was used to back home; and I suppose this was why my family thought Wagamama was such a hit. It filled the void by being Japanese inspired, healthy- ish, herbivore friendly, safe due to the consistency of flavours, and readily available by being a relatively widespread franchise. The downside however, was that it wasn't inexpensive but then again this was London where food isn't really that cheap. Again, I'm comparing to Australia where there is an abundance of competition for the same, and therefore generally very competitive prices for generous quantities of food, which suited us just fine.
That day we visited the Holborn restaurant for lunch. Easy to access by train, the restaurant was not difficult to find located in a busy area. Bookings weren't essential either. It was a rainy afternoon and we dumped our wet umbrellas in the basket provided near the front door. We walked passed a wooden bar along a narrow -ish hallway to enter a large room, with multiple long wooden tables from end to end, joined to make rows of communal seating. This created a somewhat collegiate atmosphere, kind of like a university mess or school canteen but classier. That particular afternoon was during the week not to mention it was a late lunch past two pm, hence not at all crowded, with only a handful of visitors.
The menu seemed appetising with a good amount of choices ranging from curries, noodles, salads, raman, teppanyaki, chilli dishes etc. The service was friendly, with our meals in front of us after an average amount of wait time, and looked amazing. The vegetables appeared to be fresh, crunchy and glinting with oil, so we could feast with our eyes before we tucked into the meal. My stir fry noodles with vegetables and my husband's pad thai (playing it safe), were both delicious. The portion sizes were average, and so there was still room for dessert. The dessert menu by the way looked exotic with fascinating blends of fruit and Asian ice creams which I would love to try another time.