Credited with bringing the Japanese noodle bar into the mainstream, Wagamama still does exactly what it says on the tin. The menu is dominated by noodles – mostly wok-fried or in broth – & portions are generous throughout. It’s not expensive, either: classic yaki soba, a heaped, glistening plate of wheat noodles tossed with shrimp, chicken, sprouts, scallions, & pink slivers of Japanese pickle, weighs in at a mere £7.60. Mains represent the best value for the hard-up, but for flavour & innovation make room for sides & puddings. A newish dish of glazed chicken wings is a savoury, sticky, smoky treat, while the creamy cheesecake topped with tart Japanese cherries – also new to the menu – is a terrific way to end a meal. Seating is at long, communal tables & service is efficient – too efficient for some, who find the practice of delivering dishes in no particular order an irritation.
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