My New Favourite Restaurant

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Wagamama Glasgow Fort review and walkthrough
For about two years now Wagamama has been one of my favourite restaurants, I know, I know, I say that about just about every single restaurant I visit, but for real my love for Wagas is a big one. We started out as strangers, y'know I was nervous going into something new, I had never... I had never tried Japanese styled food before, it was a jump for me, I was outside my comfort zone, but Wagas made me feel comfortable and after that first date, I just couldn't get enough. 

Okay, okay, jokes over, let's get serious. I, along with my best friend and fellow blogger Ashley, was invited to Wagamama at The Glasgow Fort to taste the new additions to their menu and meet their head chef, of course I jumped at the chance because 1. I love Wagamama and 2. I love food. 

Yesterday evening we went down to the restaurant to be greeted by the head chef, a waiter and then the manager. We were seated straight away right by the kitchen, so we could literally see what was being cooked. Sorry, to the Glasgow city centre Wagas, but this one's interior is incredible. the tables are placed around the kitchen, which is sat completely open in the centre of the restaurant, while other tables were against the massive windows. I love that you could watch the food being cooked, you could talk to the chefs and cooks as they worked and were able to see that all the food was cooked there and then, completely fresh. 

Wagamama Glasgow Fort review and walkthrough
Fresh juice - Repair: kale, apple, lime and pear.
The head chef came over and stood with us, going through the menu and new additions with us. He explained that they have recently added a lot of gluten free options to the menu in the rise of gluten free eaters, but because there seems to be a stigma around those who eat gluten free they opted to place the options into the main menu, so no one feels embarrassed to ask for a gluten free menu. I love that they put so much thought into it and clearly care dearly about their customers. 

He told us that the newer section was added into the top right hand corner of the menu as this where people's eyes tend to go to when they first open a menu, magazine, flyer etc. I think this is amazing, because it's true, it's it? He was incredibly easy to talk to, so lovely and friendly, down to Earth. Which I love because I haven't had the best service in other Wagamama restaurants, so I will definitely be opting for this one instead. 

A lovely bubbly waiter approached us and asked if we wanted drinks. If you know me, you know I love juices and smoothies, I make them all the time at home and I love a load of the Wagamama juices. They have added three new to the menu - positive, repair and power. I opted for repair, pictured above, which includes kale, apple, lime and pear. It was one of THE best juices I have had and I will be attempting to make it myself at home. 

Wagamama Glasgow Fort review and walkthrough
Wagamama sauces - back row left to right = hot to mild


As we sat talking the head chef asked us about our blogging, our lives and so on. He then got some of the Wagamama sauces out and sat them on the counter, he explained that the sauces are made in the restaurant for each dish and that the four sauces in front of us ranged from hot to mild. We began by tasting each one with our spoons and I will admit the hottest was my favourite, I know, I'm strange, but I LOVE hot sauces. He explained that with a lot of restaurants they use powder to thicken and give the spicy flavour to sauces, this leads to that dry mouth feeling, but with Wagamama the sauces are made with a range of spices and chillies. 

He then went on to explain that everything is made in store in front of you when you order it and nothing is reheat as they have no microwaves in store, if someone wants something reheat they chuck it out and start again. Everything is prepped the night before and put in zip lock bags ready to be cooked fresh the next day and anything not used is chucked out. This is absolutely amazing as everything you eat is super fresh. It also means that any alterations can be made to the dish for allergies or just preferences.

Wagamama Glasgow Fort review and walkthrough
Chilli squid with chilli coriander dipping sauce

After our little taste test we got a starter, neither of us had ever tried squid before, in fact I was so scared to try them, I am not a seafood fan at all, I don't like the texture, I don't like the taste, BUT I am trying to go out of my comfort zone and try new dishes so I was up for having a nibble. I loved the coating and the flavour I just couldn't take that texture at all, the coriander dipping sauce though, that was great. I like that I tried something new and now I can say I tried squid, maybe I'll have another go, get over my fear of that texture. 

The chef explained to us that in this Wagamama they like to encourage their customers to try new dishes as many people come into Wagas, get the same dish every time and don't try anything from the massive menu they hold. With this in mind they encourage people to try dishes, but if you don't like it, you don't pay, they take it away, make you a fresh dish you will like.

I LOVE this, I am a massive foodie and lately I have gotten into the swing of trying new foods, new restaurants and stop confiding myself into one little section of a menu. I like that they encourage people to step out their comfort zone, giving them the security of being able to swap it for something else. 

We also got to speak to the lovely manager for a bit, she was so lovely and kind. Asking us all about our blogging experience and studies. I loved how much everyone seemed to care for the customers and had such an interest in them. Everyone was so down-to-Earth and easy to talk to. 

Wagamama Glasgow Fort review and walkthrough
Chilli chicken ramen
We then ordered our main dishes, I normally go for the curries, katsu being my favourite, but I decided to go for something else and opted for their chilli chicken ramen dish as I love spice. First of all, lets just comment on the sheer size of this dish. It was massive and packed full of yummy goodness. Chicken, noodles, red onion, bean sprouts, edamame, spring onion, chillies, coriander and fresh lime.

The broth was super spicy and yummy, the noodles were so soft, the veg lovely and crisp and the chicken incredibly tender. I will definitely be ordering this dish again, I was given a little wooden ladle which I ended up scooping the broth out with to eat alone, because it was so yummy. I took the leftover home and my family fought over who could get a taste because it smells just as good as it tastes. 

Although the dish was spicy, it was not too hot, for me anyway, and I ate a great deal of it. The chicken was so tender and not at all chewy, because I mean, who wants chewy chicken? It was really ironic as we were sat at the perfect spot to watch our dishes being cooked. I loved this, you could see that everything was fresh and being cooked on the spot with a lot of care. We were so impressed by how quickly the main dishes were brought out to us, it was some of the quickest service we have ever had, but the food was still cooked to perfection.

Wagamama Glasgow Fort review and walkthrough
Chocolate fudge cake
For dessert I ordered the chocolate fudge cake, which the waiter commented on as the "biggest dessert on the menu". I am drooling remembering how gorgeous this cake was, so soft and tender, it had the perfect combination of sponge and chocolate filling. It was served with wasabi chocolate sauce, which I want in a jar, and vanilla pod ice cream. Scooping up them all in the one spoonful was perfect, so beautiful. I wish I asked for a slice to bring home, because words cannot describe how wonderful it tasted. 

Wagamama Glasgow Fort review and walkthrough
Peach iced tea
Who thought I'd go to Wagas and not get the peach iced tea? I finished my meal off with a refreshing glass of my favourite iced tea to ever grace the Earth and I have tried A LOT of ice teas. It is so refreshing and flavourful. It has the perfect combination of peach flavouring and tea. Not too much of either. 

The service in this Wagamama restaurant was outstanding. Everyone we spoke to was so talkative, so lovely and out-going. No one made us feel intimidated or uncomfortable, which we both agree we have felt in an other Wagamama restaurant. We learned a lot about the new dish and how Wagamama works and I walked out the restaurant noting it as one of my favourite restaurant experiences. We also got a lovely little goody bag with a Wagamama cookbook in it, so I can try (and fail) at cooking some dishes at home, I am so excited. 

Also, a tip from the chef, which I will always be taking on board now. Check a restaurant's bathroom before eating there "If they can't keep their bathrooms clean, what hope is there for the kitchen."

What is your favourite Wagamama dish? Have you tried anything I have mentioned? 

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Disclaimer: I was invited along and got this meal free of charge, but all opinions are my own. 

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