Saturday, 7 July 2007

Wagamama @ Birmingham

This is a bit old story.

Dim and I went to the Birmigham brunch of Wagamama restaurant. For those who are not British, Wagamama is a very popular restaurant franchise that offers pseudo Japanese style foreign food (bit complicated, I know, but I will explain later).

I knew that it was very popular, but I never brought myself to eat there, because 1) I don't know even 1 Japanese who like Wagamama, 2) it is not so cheap that I can forget about the bad food.

But one day a colleague of mine spoked about it enthusiastically and even gave me a 2 for 1 discount ticket, I decided to give it a go.

The Birmingham outlet is in Bullring with the entrance facing to St. Martin's. There almost always is a buzz, and also that night, it was near full.

This is what I ate: seafood ramen. "Ramen" is originally a Chinese style noodle dish, but it transformed into something different in Japan and you cannot find the same thing in China.

The soup did have something reminded me of Japanese food, but it was a sort of the thing I did not tasted in Japanese ramen. Above all, the noodles were real trush: there was nothing similar to Japanese noodles used for ramen. Absolutely disappointed. I would get 10 times better noodle dishes in nearby Chinese restaurants for less.

This is Dim's seafood rice. Stir-fried food in gooey sauce poured over rice is the kind of dish you can find in Chinese restaurant in Japan. Again, the soup had something wrong about it, and had an unpleasant burnt taste. Although the rice itself was ok, it was a bit mean and not satisfactly. Again, better at nearby Chinese restaurants.

We, or at least I, went out completely mystified. Why the British people like Wagamama so much remained a mystery to me. Paying a bit less than 10 pounds, I felt ripped off. I would rather go to any of the Chinese restaurants in the area, and pay 15 pounds.

Only thing that impressed me was the service. It was very quick and the waiting girls were all smily (smily waiters are rarity in Chinese restaurants).

We won't return.