Edinburgh’s Favourite Wagamama Dishes
We look at the favourite dishes of wagamama diners in the Scottish capital
We all play favourites, whether it’s a particular pair of shoes that get more wear than most, or the one sibling who always gets the nice birthday presents. Things are no different in food, as Japanese-inspired noodle bar wagamama have revealed the four dishes that are the favourites of their Edinburgh diners across their three locations in the capital.
First on the list is a Japanese classic, chicken katsu curry. A staple of Japanese menus since being introduced to the country during the Meiji period in the 19th century, katsu is a thick, warming curry that’s both savoury and sweet. The vegetable-based sauce is paired with fresh chicken breaded in Japanese panko breadcrumbs for a hard-to-beat crunch, and a texture that matches perfectly with the smooth sauce and accompanying sticky rice.
If chicken katsu curry is a warming hug, wagamama’s chicken firecracker is more of a fierce sprint. It’s a drier curry than the katsu, built upon a fiery, spicy mixture of chicken and fresh vegetables – peppers, onions, mangetout and red chillies – that will wake up even the most jaded of tastebuds at the end of a long day. Squeeze some fresh lime across the curry and steamed rice, and you’re onto a winner.
Next up is a classic noodle dish that brings together a whole host of flavours, textures and sensations together in one freshly-grilled collection. Yaki soba comes from the Japanese cooking style called teppanyaki, with dishes cooked on a flat teppan grill; think less ‘one pot’ cooking, and more ‘one grill’. While it’s known as one of the more theatrical forms of Japanese cuisine, wagamama’s yaki soba keeps things simple and focuses on great ingredients and flavours. Soba noodles are cooked alongside egg, peppers, beansprouts and white and spring onions, alongside chicken or prawn. As it’s leaving the kitchen, the whole dish is garnished with crispy fried shallots, tart pickled ginger and refreshing sesame seeds, making for a dish that has something for everyone (even if you won’t want to share it).
And of course, a favourite meal is nothing without that one side dish that goes well with everything. Clearly, Edinburgh diners have a soft spot for wagamama’s chilli squid, crispy fried pieces dusted in shichimi spice mix. A long-standing favourite of Japanese chefs and home cooks alike, shichimi brings together sesame, ginger, chili pepper, orange peel, seaweed and Japanese sansho pepper in one easy-to-sprinkle bundle. No wonder it’s so popular.
This spring you may find yourself with a new favourite to add to those four, as wagamama are set to launch a brand-new menu full of exciting and intriguing new dishes this May. One dish in particular to watch out for is the Vegatsu – a vegan version of wagamama’s signature chicken katsu curry that has, up until now, only been available at their experimental ‘noodle lab’ test kitchen in London. The chicken is replaced with panko-breaded seitan – a remarkably convincing meat alternative made with wheat flour – in the new vegan dish, with the classic katsu sauce and sticky rice remaining in place. Well, it’s alright to play favourites, but you should always leave room for new ones to join your list...