When I saw the email inviting me along to the opening of Wagamama in Speke, I honestly let out a little cheer. I love Wagamama. Absolutely love it. It’s such a firm favourite that I often get Wagamama takeaway when I’m away with work because you know it’s always going to be good.
As soon as I arrived (earlier than everyone else, no shame in my game) I was offered a G&T. Ideal. Once everyone else had arrived, we were given some Haiku dice and a fantastic lady whose name I have forgotten (I’m so sorry!) talked us through the history of haikus and encouraged us to write our own.
And so on to the food. Between four of us we had nine starters, four mains, four desserts and four pots of tea. It was amazing. The brilliant thing was that the chefs and brilliant staff encouraged us to try everything which meant that I cheated on my beloved chicken katsu and got to find a new favourite. Hint- they are all my favourite. Here are the highlights:
This was amazing! The marinade was spicy but the cauli really balanced the flavour to make it incredibly moreish.
Crispy fried squid balls, drizzled with okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise and finished with aonori and bonito flakes- it moves! This was a standout, I would never have tried this ordinarily and it is honestly amazing.
Lightly seared, marinated steak, thinly sliced and served with chilled- I love rare steak so this was amazing and the ponzu mayo was delicious.
It was a feast. And so in an attempt to be more restrained (boo!) we only ordered one main each.
This is my absolute standout of the evening. Just look how perfectly that steak is cooked!
What was weird but brilliant was, in spite of how much we had eaten, everybody was really excited for dessert. I think this speaks volumes about how fresh and light the food was (and not to how gluttonous we are!), you didn’t have that uncomfortable, post-Chinese takeaway feeling.
And finally, dessert. I don’t often get desserts in pan-Asian restaurants because I’m always slightly disappointed but unsurprisingly, the desserts in Wagamama didn’t disappoint.
Why have I never had this before?! I don’t love banana or salted caramel yet I ate this in about two spoonfuls. It was brilliant.
All in all it was a brilliant evening and I know that next time I visit, I’ll make sure to try something different and not stick to the old favourites.
Wagamama is open now at New Mersey Retail Park (ie. Speke)- you can find the full menu here.