#Veganuary at Wagamama Metrocentre [AD]

This meal was complimentary, however, all views remain my own.

Japanese: Wagamama (わがまま)  Translation: Naughty Child

January always brings an influx of Vegan offerings and as a fairly new Vegan, this brings me great joy! So many resturaunts are now offering Vegan options, which is a great move into being more inclusive of those with different dietry requirements.

Wagamama actually launched their vegetarian/vegan menu back in the summer last year. I remember popping along with Yasmina to try when it first became avaliable, and believe me when I say it has some pretty tasty meals on offer.

Earlier in the month Intu Metrocentre invited myself and seven other bloggers along to their Wagamama restaurant to sample their Vegan offerings to help celebrate Veganuary.

Once we had all arrived and settled into our seats we were offered samples of some Vegan-friendly soft drinks, a cool and refreshing cucumber and mint, my personal favourite. We also had mango and ginger, which had a kick of cayenne pepper to tickle your tastebuds.

All About Wagamama

The assistant manager, then talked us through the history behind the brand whilst we waited for the first few dishes to come out.

Wagamama actually began back in 1992 – did you know it had been going that long? I sure didn’t. They opened their first restaurant in London, where they focused on the fast-paced, freshly made and nourishing Asian food they’re infamous for.

Using fresh ingredients, packed full of flavour and served as and when the dishes were ready. Over the past 26 years, they’ve focused on refining their flavours, experimenting with new recipes and grown to the brand we all know and love today.

Starters and Appetisers

We were then introduced to a range of different starters available on the Vegan menu, this included Edamamme beans which come salted, or if you can handle the heat, with chilli. These are a great source of protein and so easy to nibble away on as they also taste delicious!

We also had Wok Fried Greens which is one of my personal favourites, which are packed with flavours of garlic, ginger and soy and totally irresistible. These were served alongside some Yasai Steamed Gyoza and a plateful of Yasai Yaki Soba with Udon Noodles.

The Yasai Yaki Soba is something I’ve never tried before, but quickly became my favourite dish of the night. I’ll definitely be ordering this next time I head to Wagamamas.

A peek into the kitchen

Whilst waiting for our next round of food to be ready, we headed to the kitchen to learn about how all the vegan food is prepped and made to order.

It was interesting to hear that the staff begin the day by prepping all the fresh ingredents together. This helps ensure all of the produce is as fresh as can be and all ready to go when orders come in.

The kitchen itself has separate cooking stations for the Vegan dishes and those that contain meat, fish and dairy. This is a new addition to their kitchens and allows for the food to be completely free from cross-contamination.

Main Dishes

After our little tour of the kitchen facilities, it was time to sample some more dishes. First up was the mixed mushroom and panko aubergine Hirata steamed buns. I’ve had these a few times since they launched and they’re quickly becoming a firm favourite. Crispy panko vegetables served in a soft and squishy steamed bun – delicious!

Here we got to sample two different dishes containing Tofu. Kare Burosu – a curried noodle dish topped with silken tofu in a crispy spicey crumb. The second was the Yasai Samla Curry. This contained a much firmer version of Tofu and is my preferred way of eating it. This just proves how versatile Tofu can be, it’s all about how you prepare it.

The final main dish we got to try was the infamous Vegatsu Curry. This was the one dish I was most looking forward to. I’d never had a chance to try this before, so was excited to see what the fuss was about. The dish itself is made from Seitan, a meat substitute made from wheat gluten.

I had pretty high hopes for this dish, and truthfully it wasn’t my favourite. I’ve had Seitan before in the past, but personally I found this dish a little too heavy for my liking. However luckily for me, their Yasai Katsu Curry is now Vegan friendly as they’ve ditched the egg in the coating.

We finished our very large meal, with two of their Vegan friendly desserts. Two flavours of fruit sorbet, Lemongrass and lime, and Pink Guava and passionfruit.

We all agreed that we would happily purchase the Pink Guava and Passionfruit sorbet in a giant tub to eat at home. For something that contains no dairy, it was so creamy and rich like normal ice cream.

A huge thank you to Intu-Metrocentre and Wagamama for allowing us all to sample their Vegan delights. There are definitley a few dishes I probably wouldn’t have ordered of my own accord. But will certainly be eating next time I’m there.

Have you tried any of the Wagamama Vegan dishes? I’d love to know what your favourite dishes are!

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This meal was complimentary, however, all views remain my own.