Wagamama Japanese Restaurant
1, The Printworks
Tel: +44 (0) 161 839 5916
the Way of the Noodle
A Japanese noodle
book containing 50 recipes for ramen, soba and udon noodles and
their soup stocks and toppings. It also includes a chapter on
health, and topics such as the history of the noodle, Zen, Bruce
Lee, and a day in the life of the successful fast-food noodle
Friday 5th July 2002
Dave Wardell, our resident vegetarian correspondent, and I decided that Friday lunchtime was a good time
to go into Manchester centre from our office near Wilmslow. We had also decided that Wagamamas would be
just right. I had been there before, and to their outlet in Soho, but Dave hadn't tried this distinctive
style of restaurant.
Unfortunately, this Friday was particularly bad for traffic, and a trip which normally would take us
twenty minutes took over an hour. This didn't leave us much time.
When we entered, at around 13:00, it was about 15% occupied. Iordered a "raw juice": carrot, cucumber, tomato
orange and apple, and Dave asked for green tea (offered free of charge with meals on request)
The restaurant is downstairs, set out with ranks of fixed tables and benches, with the kitchen area visible
at the far end. The waiters are uniformed, and equipped with electronic gizmos to take your order, which they
also scribble onto your paper place mat.
We shared a side dish of yasai gyoza, five dumplings filled with cabbage, carrot, water chestnut, onion
celery and chinese leaf, served with a chilli, garlic and soy sauce. We both enjoyed the dish.
Dave selected the Yasai Korroke - three potato, green pea, carrot, onion and sweetcorn cakes in a tamarind
sauce, served with green leaves garnished with seaweed and red papper.
I went for Yaki Udon, teppan-fried udon noodles with shitake mushrooms, eggs, leeks, prawns, chicken
red peppers, beansprouts and Japanese fishcake in curry oil, garnished with spicy ground fish powder, fried
shallots and red ginger.
I tried some of Dave's dish, and found that I really liked it. Dave tried some of mine, and I think he
was interested, but happy with his own choice. I thoroughly enjoyed my dish, but found I was taking too much
time struggling to use chopsticks to eat the sometimes long and elastic noodles!
We ordered a couple of beers to finish off. By this time, the restaurant was probably over 60% occupied, and
I noticed that there were Japanese customers. I have never been in a Wagamamas without there being Japanese
customers, and I take this a pretty good recommendation.
The bill came to just over £22, and we were both well pleased.