A chain of noodle bar restaurants operating in London and Dublin.

ethos

"to serve great, fresh and nutritious food in an elegant, yet simple environment. to provide a helpful, friendly service and value for money

"positive eating is consciously feeding the body the nourishment it needs to build and maintain a peak physiological state by selecting foods that cleanse and nurture; a controlled, balanced consumption"

What really sets Wagamama apart for me is the fact that it's one of the few places in London where you can get genuinely fresh ingredients without having to pay exorbitant prices.

The atmosphere is kind of like a high-tech school dining room -- long tables where you are seated on benches rather than chairs, and the waiting staff relay your order to the cooks instantly via small PDAs.

The cooking areas are all visible to the diners so you can see your ramen being prepared in front of your eyes.

Particularly recommended are the gyoza dumplings and the delicious chilli beef ramen -- unsurpassable!

For more information check out their website: http://www.wagamama.com

My taste buds veritably pricked up upon seeing an entry on Wagamama, and everything Iain says is spot on. However.......

The first Wagamama opened on a small street tucked away near the British Museum and was frequented exclusively by young fashionable folks, so it started out as a Londoners' secret, but then, as is the way of these things, through word of mouth it became more mainstream and therefore less desireable. The final nail in it's coffin of coolness was its inclusion in tourist guides causing hoards of them to descend on the place and drive out the regulars who did not wish to sit at the aforementioned canteen style benches, where one is perilously close to their fellow noodle-consumers, and listen to tourist chat.

The opening of more branches (Camden, Marylebone etc.) made it a "chain restaurant", certainly more forgiveable than a "theme restaurant", but somewhat ruining the kudos, and for me meant I could no longer view it as a rare treat when I found myself in the Holborn area, but more a staple of my diet.

Still, the food, the Plum Wine and the waiters are all yummy.

Just to quickly note, wagamama means selfish in japanese. The choice of name is appropriate, as the helpings at wagamama are ginormous.

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