Modern Japanese Food @ Wagamama Amsterdam Restaurant
I bet those who are residing in London will be familiar with this household brand, Wagamama. Founded in London, Wagamama is a British restaurant chain which specialized in Japanese cuisine. The modern Japanese Ramen bar ambiance is perhaps the signature of the restaurant where space and minimalist design is emphasize via long wooden tables and benches to create that spacious and clean atmosphere.
I did not get the chance to try out the food in Wagamama during my last visit to London as the outlet (near to the Eye of London) was always packed during lunch hour. I was thrilled to learn that there is actually a Wagamama restaurant here in Amsterdam. I had no objection at all when Phoebe suggested we give the Amsterdam's outlet a try.
We reached the restaurant at 6.15pm. To our surprise, half of the restaurant has already been filled and the friendly waitress had to put us on the window seats. Seriously I have no issue with it as I prefer natural sunlight for my shots.
The waitress who served us was helpful and courteous. With a constant smile, she patiently run through the menu with us and make sure our orders were correctly taken. First impression was indeed very good and I truly enjoy my fresh mint tea. The sparking lemon juice was good too, this signature drink of Wagamama comes highly recommended.
The pork ramen caught my eye while scanning through the menu. I am not a big fan for pork but couldn't resist a bowl of steaming hot, rich and flavorful pork ramen from ‘Yamagoya’ Japanese Restaurant back home. Being the famous brand, I have high expectation in Wagamama's pork ramen. I expect perfect 'Onsen' egg, thick and flavorful broth (which had been cooked for more than 10hrs), thinly sliced pork belly, seaweed, sour ginger pickles and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
My bowl of ramen looked prefect but tasted average at best. The noodle was alright but the broth and the side dishes was really below par. It tasted entirely different from what I expected. The broth tasted more like diluted miso soup and not even close to authentic pork ramen's broth. Despite the generous portion, I was turned off by the chewy and chunky pork slices. They were way too thick and borderline inedible.
Phoebe’s teriyaki chicken rice was actually pretty good if not being spoil by the ill-cooked rice. The perfectly grilled teriyaki chicken was good but couldn't salvage the damage done by the under-cooked white rice (under-cooked rice tastes awful).
It was not entirely a negative experience patronizing Wagamama after all. In fact, we both walked out the restaurant with a big smile. Guess what ... Wagamama was running a buy-one-free-one promotion, so we only paid half price for our main courses.
Perhaps it was not a day for pork ramen and teriyaki chicken rice. We may be back again for something else, maybe the curry katsu don (curry chicken rice) and stir-fry ramen.