After a few too many Friday night drinks with the girls, my beverage consumption got the better of me. We had been at Cargo Bar and Wagamama was just around the corner so the group of us decided to go and grab some dinner and warm ourselves up.

There was a small line of awaiting customers, but they offered us the menu so we could start deciding on our orders. The place was packed out, but since there are so many long communal tables the turnover of customers is quick.

Our usual entree of edamame beans was ordered; we were given the choice of a salt garnish or garlic chilli salt. Went for the spicier option but couldn’t really taste much of the chilli, more the garlic. We were warding off any vampires for the rest of the night without a problem.

Second entree was the yasai gyozas, which are grilled vegetable dumplings filled with cabbage, carrots, water chestnut, onion, celery and chinese leaf. The filling was a bit too dry for my liking, and the outside shell was rather chewy. Added some chilli to the soy sauce and got a bit more flavour running through it.

The sweet potato kusabi was a winner between all of us, the thinly cut and fried chips were the perfect after drinking indulgence food, we couldn’t get enough of the wasabi mayonnaise either.

Two of the girls went with teriyaki dishes. The first was the stir-fried chicken and red onion in teriyaki sauce with a side of rice, red pickles, mixed leaves and topped with sesame seeds.

The second was the grilled salmon piece on top of rice and steamed bok choy, garnished with nori and sesame seeds and drizzled in the teriyaki sauce. The sauce was yummy and had that slight smokiness to it; I especially liked the presentation of this dish. The nori gives it height and the bok choy brightens the dish up against the bland pink and brown colours.

Due to the rain and cold wind outside two of us went with a ramen soup. As usual my eyes were way too big for my stomach and I chose the deluxe Wagamama ramen of noodles in a vegetarian soup with seasonal greens, wakame, sliced chicken, grilled seasonal fish, fried tofu, prawn, marinated and grilled mushroom and kamaboko***. Soup was also garnished with menma (lactate-fermented bamboo shoots) and spring onions.

*** Kamaboko- had no idea what this was when I ate it. After a bit of Google action I have discovered it is the pink and white floating thing in the soup. It is a processed seafood product popular in Japan in which various white fish are pureed and combined with additives like MSG. It is then formed into a loaf and steamed until cooked and firm. You then slice the loaves and serve hot or cold with dipping sauce or in various hot soups or noodle dishes.

The chicken ramen seemed a lot simpler in comparison to my copious number of ingredients dish. The soup was made of noodles in a chicken broth, topped with grilled chicken breast, seasonal greens, menma and spring onions.

Both soups did the trick and not only warmed us up, but made as feel relatively sober again. With our full bellies satisfied we headed off back into the cold to head home. Overall the experience was enjoyable as the restaurant is definitely made to service groups of people well. The food was lacking flavour in some of the dishes and the service wasn’t great, but for a meal that is quickly served and does the job of filling you up, then this is the joint.

Wagamama

49 Lime Street, King Street Wharf, Sydney, 2000

Ph: (02) 9299 6944

Web: wagamama.com.au