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Food with a Japanese and pan-Asian flair that is good for the soul and served in a friendly atmosphere
Settled in the UAE since 2004 with their first outlet in Dubai, we had to wait 14 years before Wagamama finally made its debut in Abu Dhabi.
If you haven’t visited this popular Japanese chain with a pan-Asian flair, you should give it a try, especially if just like us, you can’t resist a ramen bowl, fried or steamed gyozas or spicy curries.
Located on the third floor at Abu Dhabi mall, the restaurant opened its doors on the 31st of October 2018.
The day of our visit, the place was totally packed at lunchtime-which proves that the residents were eagerly awaiting its arrival!
The restaurant decor is minimal and the design has a Japanese aesthetic with all the furniture made in wood. We enjoyed sitting in the wooden alcoves – fitting either 4 or 6 to 8 people – that give visitors enough privacy while still being able to watch the ballet of waiters and chefs in the open kitchen preparing appetizing starters and mains, non-stop.
If you can, pick a table at the back of the restaurant as you get a striking view of the Beach Rotana pools, the sea and Al Maryah Island and of course, the impressive Cleveland Clinic.
The menu is divided into different sections
It includes Gyoza, ramen, sides, curry, tepanyaki, omakase – the chef’s special dishes fresh from the kitchen-donburi and salads. Wagamama also offers a vegetarian and vegan dishes only menu.
We started off our lunch with a bowl of salted edamame (28AED) and soon after our starters arrived on the table, perfect to share: the chicken wings were glazed with a spicy yakitori sauce and topped with spring onions and sesame seeds. We also gobbled down the yasai gyozas (32AED)- from the vegetarian menu.
In the mains our partner ordered a prawn raisukaree (64 AED). Prepared with a mild coconut and citrus sauce, the dish was very colourful and flavorful with crunchy mangetout, red chillies, red peppers, spring onions, coriander while the white rice was topped with a lime slice. A winning dish that we will surely order on our next visit.
Having ramen bowls only when visiting Dubai, we picked a vegan ramen bowl, the portion was so generous we actually couldn’t finish it. Prepared with large udon noodles cooked in a curried vegetable broth, the ramen was quite spicy. The hearty broth was filled with silken tofu cubes, a mix of grilled mushrooms, carrots, coriander, pea shoots and chilies. Fairly priced at 52AED, it was again a winner, and we will certainly order it again. There are also many other ramen options, including seafood, grilled duck or chicken. The menu mentions you can actually make your own ramen bowl choosing your preferred broth base- spicy, light or rich.
For dessert, we opted for mochi and shared three amongst us (41AED) – vanilla, strawberry and pistachio. Cut in halves, they were the perfect end but next time, we will probably pick the yuzu and lemon tart that comes with a raspberry compote.
The vegetarian and vegan menu
The Abu Dhabi restaurant is the first out of the eight UAE Wagamama outlets to propose a vegetarian and plant-based vegan menu. So if you either want to introduce more plant-based dishes in your diet, Wagamama Abu Dhabi offers an interesting variety with 4 main in the vegetarian and 7 in the vegan menu, 7 sides in all and 7 desserts in all.
To conclude, if you are into Japanese and Asian food that is not about sushi, we urge you to visit this spot that brings together quality, fair pricing, and a dynamic and vibrant team that is happy to assist and advise.
Oh, and to end on a high note-Wagamama offers a takeaway option, which we are eager to try very soon!
WAGAMAMA ABU DHABI | Third floor at Abu Dhabi mall
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