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“Yes, I did it again”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of Wagamama

Wagamama
Ranked #82 of 327 Restaurants in St. Albans
Cuisines: Japanese, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Kids, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Brunch, Lunch, Highchairs Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Level Contributor
70 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Yes, I did it again”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2013

More years ago than I care to admit, I used to live in central London whilst attending university.

My college was very cosmopolitan, with a high proportion of Hong Kong, Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese. With Soho on my doorstep I became acquainted, at one point, with virtually all the Chinese restaurants that area had to offer; and almost invariably was accompanied by an expert guide, ie a native Chinese. Ditto to Japanese restaurants in London with Japanese students, although at a lesser frequency due to the cost of the food and my impecunious status as an undergrad student.

As a result of the learning experience I became pretty adept at both identifying Chinese and Japanese food in their various forms, knowing what I liked and knowing what did and didn’t go to making a good quality Chinese and Japanese meal.

The popularity of Wagamama has always, and continues to, puzzle me. It is, ostensibly, based on a Japanese style ramen bar, but I suspect that few Japanese would be seen dead in there.

I’ve never managed to “get” this place; couldn’t figure out why the British would go for such a bland and unenticing pastiche of Japanese fast food.

Due, I can only assume, to a temporary lapse of sanity I visited again tonight.
Nothing’s changed. The place was still busy as hell; bustling with young ‘uns either finding a place on a bench, or leaving after their meals. And alive with chatter, people eating, and another Wagamama franchise coining it in.

I don’t object to their success; simply can’t understand it. Their quality of food reminds me of my incipient cooking attempts as a 19 year old student in a hall of residence occupied mainly by Chinese who made it clear what they thought of my cooking. The food in Wagamama is crafted with as much artlessness, and is bland enough to extinguish any appetite I had when entering.

I really must stop going there.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank RadlettGastronomer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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274 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    81
    107
    53
    23
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Has gone downhill.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2013

We used to dine quite a lot at Wagamamas in St Albans as it was reasonably priced, child friendly and felt like "healthy" food. Unfortunately on our visits of late the price of the food has gone up and not the quality ( maybe everything has gone up in price to be fair).

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank PickyVicki66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Always Good”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2013

I've been visiting Wagamama's for years, always have a great meal in there, love the style where you sit along the long tables and the food comes when it's ready as you never have to wait long for food, price for main meals is decent considering you get a good feed!

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Michelle T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hertford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
364 reviews
200 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
“A quick stop with good food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2013

Christmas shopping with a great food break! With this restaurant, you always get freshly cooked food and the serviuce is prompt and efficient. Always good and a communal dining experience to boot.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank SueWithaView
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Could be better value for money”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2013

Always good, you know what you are going to get and the service is good and efficient.

There is a new item on the menu that is not good 'value for money'. Beef & Lettuce Wraps at £5.00+ for 2 pieces of lettuce and less than 2oz of veg and beef is not good value. As nice as it is you have to have something substantial for the price. Certainly far less than shown on the Website picture.

This let down something that is normally very good.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Keiron S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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