Wagamama is a chain restaurant found all over London and known for its huge bowls of ramen and tasty pan-Asian rice dishes. All is served in a cafeteria atmosphere that is a noisy slurpathon. As you enter, check out the open kitchen and listen to the roar from the dining room where benches rock with happy eaters. The restaurant's trademark motto is “positive eating + positive living” and you can feel that energy as soon as you walk in the room. With branches all over town, the Bloomsbury location was a convenient few steps from my hotel. Despite its street façade (pictured below), the entire dining room and kitchen is in the basement.
For my Sunday dinner, I ordered the miso soup and pickles (soup flavored with miso paste, wakame, tofu and sliced spring onions); chicken katsu curry (chicken filet deep-fried in breadcrumbs, served in a light curry sauce and japanese-style rice, garnished with a combination of mixed lettuce and red pickles); and to wash it all down a glass of apple/organge juice. Still wanting more, I went ahead and ordered for dessert the coconut reika (three scoops of coconut ice cream topped with a mango sauce and toasted coconut flakes) and coffee. All of it yummy. It's actually difficult to resist the dessert as the selections are printed on the restaurant's placemats.
The restaurant gets awfully busy but service is rather quick. All servers take your order electronically on handheld computers and the order is then zapped to the kitchen where it is prepared immediately. It's a fun, good place to eat. By London standards, the meals here are reasonable for a restaurant. Entrée dishes run between GBP7-10. The restaurant is open Mon-Sat 12noon-11pm, Sun 12noon-10pm; no reservations. More information at www.wagamama.com.