A whiff of Pan Asian flavours at Wagamama
April 18, 2018 | 5:42 PM
by Salim Al Afifi
Wagamama Oman in Qurum

Asian cuisine has gone from being niche to one of the most popular foods around the world. It’s a cuisine that brings about a burst of flavours that teleports your senses to another planet, full of contrasting ingredients and interesting aromas. This week I decided to hit the road to Wagamama, a newly opened UK-based franchise that serves Pan Asian-Japanese dishes.

Wagamama opened only four months ago in Qurum at the Qurum Complex and has become a favourite, and busy restaurant, for folks around town. So I picked up my colleague and drove to the place for a fun dining experience.

Before we dive into it, understand that the Japanese word Wagamama translates in English as a spoilt or naughty child. Interesting.

Wagamama Oman interior

As we arrived, we were mesmerised by the interiors that served industrial, broadway-theatre realness with a combination of wooden materials in shades of brown, accented with hints of contemporary decor, ceiling-to-floor windows, and live cooking station. It added a fun character to the restaurant; one of the best minimalistic dining atmospheres in town. And, there’s an exterior seating area for those who enjoy the outdoors.

After exploring the restaurant, we picked a beautiful corner by the window and sat to be served. The staff were friendly, and we even had the pleasure of meeting the chef himself, Daniel Bettio, who’s been with the Wagamama team for years, and was there to guide and tell us all about the cuisine.

The menu is clean and straightforward, serving popular Asian delicacies we grew up knowing, such as ramen with a choice of noodles, sticky rices, curries, and more.

Everything at the restaurant is cooked by order and absolutely fresh. The food is ready in 15 minutes flat, and you can get your sides after your main course is served, as there are different counters making different things, and the food must be eaten hot or else it loses its authenticity.

We started our meal with some unusual juices, like Blueberry Spice, which was a concoction of blueberry, apple and carrot with a touch of ginger, and Tropical Juice, which is a combination of mango, apple and orange. Both were very tasty and refreshing.

Wagamama Oman in Qurum

For sides, we had a warm chilli tofu salad, which had a mix of stir fried tofu, aubergines, red peppers, asparagus, mangetout, and broccoli laid on a bed of romaine lettuce, dressed in sweet chilli sauce and garnished with cashew nuts and spring onions. We then had Ebi Katsu; fried prawns in panko breadcrumbs, which was served with a spicy chilli and garlic sauce and garnished with lime. It was quite a highlight, perfectly springy. Another side we enjoyed was crispy chilli squid, fried and dusted with shichimi and served with chilli coriander dipping sauce. Make sure to savour it as soon as it hits the table, for that fresh crispy taste.

As we explored the mains, my eyes went straight to the coconut-based curry, Chicken Raisukaree, a mild coconut and citrus curry made with chicken, mangetout, red peppers and spring onions, and served with white rice, a sprinkle of mixed sesame seeds, red chillies, coriander and fresh lime. The dish was absolutely delicious, and it sure made it to my list of favourite dishes in town. The creamy curry mingles perfectly well with freshly cut vegetables. It’s a must-try for lovers of coconut.

As soon as we finished the coconut-curry we had chilli ramen beef. These are noodles swimming in a spicy chicken broth, and topped with red onions, spring onions, bean sprouts, chillies and fresh lime. It is served in a massive bowl. For our third main, we had Katsu chicken curry, a Wagamama signature dish coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs, covered in an aromatic curry sauce and served with sticky rice and a side salad. It was delicious, too.

No Asian food is complete if there are no noodles on your table. We had Teriyaki Soba salmon. These are soba noodles in curry oil, mangetout, bok choy, red onions, chillies and bean sprouts in a teriyaki sauce, and garnished with sesame seeds. The oceanic flavours gave this dish a fresh taste that’s interesting to lovers of seafood and is another must-try.

We ended our meal with their in-house green tea, which is served complimentary. You can have it cold or hot. But one must acquire a taste for this beverage, and I live for it.

After filling our stomachs with Japanese goodness, we had a sweet treat to balance it all out. We savoured their desserts, starting with white chocolate and ginger cheesecake, which is served with a chilli toffee and ginger sauce. This was followed by banana katsu, where bananas are crispy-fried in panko breadcrumbs, and are served with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream, chilli toffee, and ginger sauce. Both desserts were absolutely magical. What a great way to end the session.

Dining at Wagamama is more than just exploring the menu and savouring delicious treats. The atmosphere levels up the whole experience, making it one of the best in serving vibrant ambience. In short, come here for the food and stay for the experience that is promised to give you a session to remember. –[email protected]



Al Qurum Complex, Qurum

Open from 11am -11pm

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