Restaurant review: Wagamama in Holborn

09:44 05 March 2013

Chilli squid with garlic and coriander sauce.

Chilli squid with garlic and coriander sauce.

Archant

If you are one of the few people in London who has not been to a Wagamama, firstly that’s quite an achievement, and secondly where have you been?

Wagamama

123 Kingsway, Holborn, London, WC2B 6PA

Tube: Holborn

Tel: 020 7404 8552

Opening times: Monday- Saturday 11am-11pm, Sundays Noon-10pm

Dinner for two - £40

The first of the Japanese inspired restaurants mushroomed up in Bloombury back in 1992 and since then the brand has gone global opening restaurants in 17 countries.

One of the factors in the chain’s success is the huge bowls of steaming ramen, that’s noodles in broth to you and I, topped with fresh vegetables or meat.

The restaurants apparently take inspiration from the traditional Japanese raman bars and all follow a similar set up with long, lightwood tables spanning the width of the restaurant with benches either side.

This does of course mean it’s always a bit of a gamble who you are going to end up sitting next to.

The latest branch to open is in Kingsway, Holborn which, considering its location, is remarkably spacious, even if it doesn’t have a single window.

We decided to go against the grain and not order a huge bowl of soupy noodles and instead try a selection of side orders.

Both duck and vegetable dumplings were good but the chilli squid with garlic and coriander sauce was the winner, especially when eaten with the raw salad with Wagamama dressing.

Wagamama employs more than 3,000 people worldwide, and the staff at this branch did them credit and also deserve a mention.

Often with the larger chains they are stuffed full of students battling with their university debt, but the staff here were older and seemed to take their jobs seriously which made dinner much more pleasant.

Unlike some of their other restaurants you cannot see the kitchen which makes it a much quieter dining experience, that is of course if you like that sort of thing.

Wagamama is a reasonably priced and quick place to have dinner.

The communal dining and sitting on benches may mean it’s not suited to long leisurely dinners, but if that’s not what you’re after, it’s well worth a visit.

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