I love Wagamama's and so do my children, and I've always appreciated the range of vegetarian options they serve. I was invited to have a taste of the new Autumn menu, and with advice from our waitress chose three of the new vegetarian courses to try...
We were first! So we got to choose where to sit, and I love the balcony area in the Manchester Trafford Centre restaurant. You can actually watch the chefs preparing your food for you...
We started by ordering drinks, and the fresh juices at Wagamama are always truly delicious and very cleansing. If you haven't yet braved one, you should. I chose 'Positive' which contains pineapple, lime, spinach, cucumber and apple, and my partner went for 'Blueberry Spice', which is blueberry, apple, carrot and ginger.
Starters are something I have a lot of experience of. Twenty years ago when I went out for a meal I'd often end up with a plate of starters as my main course, because the only vegetarian dish was laced with cheese - which I have to tried to like on many occasions, and failed wholeheartedly. It's not an issue at Wagamama.
Our first starter was Bang Bang Cauliflower - Crispy wok-fried cauliflower coated in firecracker sauce. Mixed with red and spring onions, garnished with fresh ginger. (£4.45)
This was gorgeous and a very unusual dish for a vegetarian. Sticky sauce is not something I've ever had before bizarrely, yet I've served my children and partner various dishes using it. Wagamama have reworked their Firecracker Sauce so that it is vegetarian, and it's really tasty. A little sweet for me, but still delicious, and the twice cooked cauliflower was perfect, retaining it's shape and giving a good bite to the dish.
Our second starter was Mixed Mushroom and Panko Aubergine Hirata Steamed Buns - two small, fluffy Asian buns served with Japanese mayonnaise and coriander. (£4.95)
These steamed buns were absolutely divine. A really enjoyable treat that surpassed all of my partner's expectations. Perfectly steamed buns, rich mayonnaise, truly crispy coated aubergine and mushrooms that were beautifully cooked to retain flavour and texture. I honestly couldn't ask for more.
Our main dish was Shiitake Donburi - Shiitake Mushroom and Broccoli Omelette served on brown rice in a Teriyaki sauce. Garnished with shredded carrots, spring onions, chilli and pea shoots (£8.75).
Everything was hiding underneath the omelette, which was really tasty and nicely seasoned. This dish really shows off the produce used, which was market fresh and delicious. The rice was only slightly sticky, and complimented the omelette and vegetables really well.
Wagamama aim to please, and as all food is cooked for you, it can often be adapted to your specific liking. They also have a small kid-friendly menu, and a non-Gluten menu. They look after their ever-friendly and helpful staff too - who receive 100% of all tips.
I was really majorly impressed with the new vegetarian additions to the menu. Each mouthful was delicious and bouncing with flavour and freshness, and we were both full after eating less than £20 of food in total. Vegetarian food IS being taken seriously, it's no longer an annoyance or an afterthought, instead it's challenged the chefs to come up with recipes that really make the most of what is available, to provide dishes full of flavour that really satisfy.
Wagamama have restaurants all around the UK, you can find your nearest one on the Wagamama website. They also now do take away - check out my review of the Wagamama take away service.