The Restaurant Chain
Wagamama is one of the biggest names synonymous with Japanese cuisine in the UK. In fact, it has it’s roots firmly in Britain; the first ever restaurant was opened in Bloomsbury, London, in 1992. Since then, the brand has exploded and boasts more than 140 restaurants. The vast majority of these are still on British soil but there are now branches in countries like Qatar and Greece.
This is a chain I have visited a fair few times. In terms of lunch, it is definitely on the pricier end of the spectrum and it probably is not the place to go for an intimate dinner as the tables are large and can be quite long (think old-school canteen-type seating…)—which means you will probably be seated next to someone you do not know. This is not the type of restaurant where you can reserve a private table for two. This time, I visited the Stratford, East London, branch located within the manically busy Westfield Shopping Centre.
I ordered the Grilled Duck Donburi: Tender shredded duck leg in teriyaki sauce with a side of rice and cooked and raw vegetables with a fried egg on top, all served with a side of kimchee. At £13.75, it is one of the pricier things on the menu. I always ask to swap the white sticky rice for brown rice as it is a healthier alternative. I believe these components translate to an healthy meal – brown rice, grilled meat and vegetables. Moreover, in terms of taste you are definitely not scrimping—it is laden with flavour. I know it is pricey, but duck is always going to be a premium ingredient. I would say the ratio of rice is a bit high and I didn’t finish all of it…but I did not need to polish it all off it to satisfy my hunger anyway – it was filling enough.
I really enjoyed this BUT the calorie count, as I later discovered, was RIDICULOUS. The calories in this dish (with the default white rice option) are a staggering 1133kcal…no wonder it was filling…
I think I will have to try something else next…the calorie count in this dish is too high for me to get this again. They have recently expanded their menu and now there are several really nutritious, lower calorie options offered. The following look like better options for me:
Seared Nuoc Cham Tuna (522kcal): ‘Seared nuoc cham tuna steak on a bed of quinoa with stir-fried kale, sweet potato, edamame beans, red onion and peppers. garnished with coriander.’
Pad Thai Salad (342kcal): ‘Ginger chicken and prawns on a bed of mixed leaves, mangetout, baby plum tomatoes, shredded pickled beetroot, carrot and red onion. garnished with fried shallots and served with a side of peanuts and a nuoc cham and ginger miso dressing.’
Warm Chilli Chicken Salad (487kcal): ‘Stir-fried chicken with red peppers, mangetout, tender stem broccoli and red onion on a bed of baby gem lettuce. dressed in a sweet chilli sauce. garnished with chillies, spring onions and cashew nuts.’
I am truly shocked by the calories in this meal, I could have pigged out on a burger and fries for those calories…I will be more wary in future.