Nestled in the Liverpool New Mersey Shopping Centre, Wagamama’s have just opened a fantastic new branch and we were lucky enough to be invited to the launch.
The feel-good Asian-inspired and Japanese restaurant is the perfect place to relax and re-energise with their soulful food and delectable drinks. ‘Kaizen’ meaning ‘good change’ is at the heart of the Wagamama philosophy which is perfectly encapsulated in their welcoming reception, relaxing atmosphere and commitment to sustainability. With indoor and outdoor seating, Wagamama’s provides a calming atmosphere to refuel and unwind.
As a part of their philosophy, Wagamama’s put a focus on fresh and healthy food whilst ensuring the dishes retain a burst of favour. Everyone will feel welcome as their extensive menu offers vegetarian, vegan and non-gluten dishes as well as happily catering for allergies, intolerances and sensitivities and offering a broad children’s menu. Their success at offering these dishes is demonstrated in their winning of the PETA’s 2017 Vegan Food Awards.
We began our night with a selection of sides and two glasses of bubbly prosecco. The steamed edamame beans served with chilli garlic salt came first and proved an appetising dish. After tossing up the bowl to coat the beans, simply put one edamame pod in your mouth, slide out the edamame beans with your teeth, and discard the pods. A great way to engage all the senses.
Next, we were treated to Wagamama’s new summer dish, Tama Squid. Crispy fried squid balls, drizzled with okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise finished with aonori and bonito flakes which you can watch flutter beautifully before your eyes. One of the most welcoming aspects of the restaurant was the friendly and helpful staff, their in-depth knowledge of the menu and flavours and their willingness to guide you through the menu if like me you are unfamiliar with some of the Asian ingredients. The crispy outside and soft inside prove to be a treat to the senses and will surely be a summer favourite.
Making cauliflower cool again, the bang bang cauliflower coated in firecracker sauce will set your taste buds alight. Whilst cauliflower might not be your go-to side, we can’t do enough to recommend this dish! Wagamama encourages their diners to try new things although you might be hesitant, I doubt you can go wrong with any dishes on the menu. The crispy fried squid dusted with shichimi and served with a chilli coriander dipping sauce was a personal favourite along with the steamed pulled pork gyozo. With or without their dipping sauces, the sides offer a surge of flavour and make for a great addition to any main.
For our mains, we opted for the grilled teriyaki lamb and the teriyaki soba with sirloin steak. The lamb served with mushrooms, asparagus, kale, mangetout and chilli was served on a bed of soba noodles in a pea and herb dressing and garnished with coriander. The teriyaki soba noodles with sirloin steak was served with mangetout, bok choi, red and spring onions, chilli and beansprouts in a teriyaki sauce.
Wagamama’s food is cooked fresh and brought straight to the table with no need for heating lamps and we could definitely tell! The meat was tender and succulent with a mouth-watering blend of flavours. With a more than decent portion size and kaleidoscope of flavour, the value for money is unquestionable.
We finished our evening with some delicious deserts, indulging in the chocolate layer cake and the yuzu and lemon tart which taste even better than they look, and that’s saying something!
Winding down the evening, we enjoyed a Jasmine flowering tea and enjoyed watching each bulb blossom beautifully on infusion. With an impressive drinks menu there is certainly a drink for everyone, with fresh juices, soft drinks, expertly crafted beers, wine and tea, all selected to compliment the dishes. The on-the-house drink is green tea which is offered for free and a perfect perk to wash down any meal.
Positivity and mindfulness are part of the Wagamama ethos and make the restaurant somewhere to revitalise and reenergise. With a focus on healthy food and sustainability, diners can enjoy a guilt-free flavorous meal. Beyond the food, Wagamama is part of the sustainable restaurant association, 99% of all eggs served at Wagamama are free range and all restaurants are powered by renewable electricity.
For a fantastic fusion of flavours and invigorating drinks head to Wagamama’s for a relaxing meal. We’ll definitely be going back as soon as possible!