I had tried this well-known westernised Japanese franchise a few years ago and had not been impressed by the quality, flavour and prices of Wagamama relative to other Japanese restaurants in Sydney. But walking past the Bridge Street restaurant and smelling the aroma of miso soup wafting past tempted me to go back and try their ramen during a lunch break with work colleagues.
It is not busy at all when we head in at noon and the interior is decked out in a simple manner with high ceilings, slate grey concrete pillars and some blown up graphics of food on the walls. We sit down at a long wooden table for communal style dining and most of us decide to order their Chilli Ramen, while the other decides to go for another popular choice, Chicken Teriyaki with rice.
The Chicken Teriyaki is served with a side of rice and fresh salad on a large plate. The chicken tasted decent, with lots of sweet teriyaki sauce, onions and sesame seeds and went well with the plain rice. The salad was also a good palate cleanser thanks to the vinaigrette drizzled throughout.
Chicken Teriyaki Rice, $18.90
I have to say that the taste of the Chilli Ramen was better than I expected based on my previous experiences at Wagamama. It came with a wedge of fresh lime, which was a different take on the traditional Japanese ramen and if you chose to squeeze the lime juice into the ramen, it transformed it into a more Thai tasting noodle soup, especially with the abundant amounts of bean sprouts they included in the ramen.
Chilli ramen, $19.80
The soup was nice and comforting on a chilly autumn’s day, but a bit thinner in consistency than the miso soup base I usually get at other ramen restaurants. It was not particularly chilli, even though there were chopped chillies in there. All in all, the decent serving of noodles included in the ramen left me with a very full belly by the end of the meal and feeling quite satisfied.
I would come back to Wagamama if I feel another ramen craving during my lunchbreak, but only when using my Entertainment book voucher for 25% off, otherwise it is a bit too pricey compared to other ramens.
38 Bridge Street, Wynyard NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9252 8696
I have to admit that I REALLY like Wagamama. I feel in LOVE with it when I was travelling in London – I’d never tried anything like it before (this was about 14 years ago, and I grew up in a country town with no Jap food). YUMMY.
Interesting! It does inspire a lot of controversy from Jap food lovers who don’t think it’s authentic enough, but I have to say this time when I tried it out again it wasn’t that bad.
Funny that the chilli ramen was not really ramen, nor spicy. I’ve worked fairly close to this place for 3 years and haven’t tried it, I should give it a shot.
Yeah it is worth a try, but is not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea!
I like what they’ve done with the place and its cute for group dinners but I’d take Menya Mappen over them any day hehe. Chicken teriyaki looks good tho!
Oh yes Menya Mappen is such great value and delicious too! One of my faves too 🙂
I don’t mind Wagamama, but you have to go there with different expectations than you’d usually have of a Japanese restaurant. I’ve had their chilli ramen several times, and I think you’re exactly right… it’s almost Thai in flavour! Not a bad thing… just not ramen!
Yes I agree with you entirely about the expectations – I think that’s why it’s one of those restaurants that people either love or hate passionately!
Bridge Rd Wagamama is far and away superior to the Galleries Victoria location. It’s reliable for fresh and tasty, if expensive, food but tends to exist in its own vacuum as far as cusines go – it’s not Thai, it’s not Japanese, but kind of a fusion.
Found your blog today, really like it!
Thanks Lexie! It’s interesting how the quality at the 2 stores differs so much…most of the people who have been to Wagamama TGV are not fans of it, from what I’ve heard.
Yep I’m def in the haters’ camp. It’s overpriced and not as tasty as their authentic jap competitors. I guess it doesn’t help living right next to Ryo’s!! Lol
You’re definitely spoilt for choice living in the North for ramen!
Good post here, being a food lover myself i have been always in search of good restaurants to dine in. Seems like i got to visit Wagamama, Wynyard. Thanks for the post
I believe Wagamama is actually a British franchise based off Asian (largely japanese) foods (or i guess more westernised (or fusion if you will) versions of asian dishes),
I always had a preconception that the ‘non-japanese’ foods would be pretty bad, which really isnt the case,
I think despite the japanese name, Wagamama cant properly be considered ‘japanese’ either and is really its own sort of food.
Im not a fan of the long tables (as much as it makes me feel like a viking), though the little bag? holder thingys below the table is neat. For the price of the meals, i’d wish for something more intimate than a fast-food feel.