Restaurant Name: Wagamama
Location: 33 Customhouse Quay, Meridian Building (Queens Wharf)
Date: 1st March 2014 (7.00pm)
Food Type: Japanese
Wall to wall glass facing the wharf gives a very picturesque view of the bay while inside wooden tables are lined side by side in a communal setting reminiscent of school camp eating facilities. Whilst the lighting encapsulated above in a wooden frame is not what I consider eye-candy it does a fantastic job illuminating what lies in front of you whilst shielding your eyes from direct light. Not your standard chair either, these are high chairs that span the length of the table, much like pews. Overall it has a very distinctive and trendy feel to it.
Not exactly built for intimacy, this place has more of a communal vibe just by virtue of its décor. You may very well be sharing the same seat with any number of strangers especially when this restaurant is in full swing. But you knew this going in (unless of course you were too pre-occupied to scan the area before you ventured in).
The uniform the floor staff wore was casual – t-shirt and dress pants. Very practical as this place caters to a large crowd. Even so, the staff we encountered were most efficient in executing their tasks. Would've been nice if our service came with a smile but one can be forgiven seeing the frantic pace the staff are put under.
In Summary: (5.5/10)
I would soooo love to give this place a glowing endorsement seeing as I grew up fishing on these wharves making the bay view a memorable one. The food too was lovely, and the speed with which it arrived was impressive. And the price, very affordable. But I so hate those chairs – with a passion. Had the food not arrived as promptly as it did I think I would've lost circulation to my legs. My dining partner told me I just need to sit properly to which I told him to screw it (paraphrasing that last part).
(1) Starter: (8/10 –a great dish)
Chicken Yakitori – skewers of grilled chicken and spring onions coated in yakitori sauce $9.90
What's not to like – it was cooked well and the sauce was divine. Sure, it arrived after my main meal but our waiter informed us this may be the case, so all good.
(2) Main: (7/10 – ok, just never had food burning my lips before)
Firecracker – Tender marinated chicken breast stir-fried with snow peas, red hot chillies, red and green capsicum, spring and white onions in a fiery sweet and hot sauce. Served with steamed white rice and garnished with shichimi, sesame seeds and lime $18.90
I've had the Thai version of this at Monsoon Poon and enjoyed that immensely. This dish doesn't quite measure up to it. That is not to say it was terrible, because it was pleasant for the most part. I just haven't quite mastered the art of dealing with food burning my lips.
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