Monday, October 20, 2008

Wagamama goes Belgian

Let it be said: I love Wagamama. I discovered it in 2001 while studying in London and quickly became a frequent visitor. When I found myself back in Brussels, each trip to London provided more opportunities to head out for some tasty, reliable Japanese yumminess.

Sunday night, Gidon took me to dinner in Antwerp. When our original plans for kosher food fell through (we're in the middle of a Jewish festival and although the restaurants could have been operational last night, they were mostly closed), we started wandering around, scouting out the options.

Lo and behold: Wagamama appeared like a mirage. I could barely believe my eyes. Jumping for joy, we headed in, got our table, and ordered. I'm very sorry to say that much of the joy ended there. Gidon ordered Salmon ramen, I wanted Yasai katsu curry - they were out of both. Of course in my case, they only informed me that they were out after they had accidentally served me the chicken version of my dish, meaning I watched Gidon eat, and then my food arrived, and he watched me eat.

In the end, he opted for a noodle dish but was disappointed to be lacking on the protein front. We split edamame with chili/garlic salt (hadn't tried that before) and some vegetable dumplings, both as good as I remembered. I ended up with tofu/veggie fried rice, which was passable fried rice but not worth a trip to Antwerp.

I don't have a problem with the general Wagamama philopsophy that food arrives as it is prepared. Normally this means that all the food comes out piecemeal, generally quite quickly, and I never mind what order it comes in. But the service Sunday night certainly left something to be desired - like a trip to London.

Still, it is hard to hold a grudge. I have a soft spot in my heart for Wagamama, and if they open a branch in Brussels I'll be more than happy to give it another go. Maybe in a few months' time I'll get my hopes up again and even give the Antwerp branch another chance. They do offer their same nice selection of vegetarian choices, and I can usually count on a good meal there. Let's just hope Sunday night was a fluke.

De Keyserlei 15
Tel. 032349980
Open seven days a week: lunch, dinner and in between

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