This time last week I was getting ready to head to Leicester, a City I seem to be spending more and more time in, for a day of shopping and delicious food with Nancy who blogs over at Sugar, Darling? This time my taste buds were going to be treated to the new menu at Wagamama, situated in the food quarter at Leicester Highcross, and boy was it a treat!
Before this visit I had been to Wagamama twice before; once in central London and once in Birmingham. Neither visit had wowed me and I never saw what the fuss was about, why was everyone raving about Wagamama everywhere I looked? After this visit though, my mind has been completely changed on Wagamama, a restaurant I would definitely visit again soon, and it's the tasty new menu and dedicated team at Leicester Highcross who provided such a wonderful dining experience, that has given me such a positive experience and craving for more.
We arrived late in the afternoon, not long after the busy lunch session which we'd spotted as we went about our day shopping. There were still quite a few diners tucking into food though, which shows that Wagamama is really popular any time of day. Whilst looking over the menu and the tasty dishes on offer we decided on some drinks to get our meal started; Nancy opted for a Peach Iced Tea whilst I opted for a Tropical Juice which was a lovely fresh blend of mango, apple and orange. I'm a big fan of fruit juices and this was just delicious - as was the Clean Green Juice which I tried later on, which consisted of Kiwi, Avocado and Apple.
When it came to deciding on our starters (or as Wagamama like to call them, sides) I decided to go for the Duck Gyoza, whilst Nancy tried the Prawn Gyoza. I've only ever had steamed dumplings before so I was intrigued to try the fried variety. The Duck Gyoza is a selection of 5 duck dumplings with a dipping sauce, which I'm pretty sure was Hoi Sin. The dumplings themselves were very, very crunchy, whilst the duck inside was soft and succulent, lightly flavoured and perfectly finished off with the dipping sauce. I really enjoyed my first try of fried Gyoza and I think next time I visit I may have to try the prawn variety! It was a delicious start to the meal without being too filling.
My main was absolutely delicious. Honestly I have been craving this dish again all week; the beautifully presented and incredibly flavourful Teriyaki Beef Soba with extra Prawns. I could eat this all day, every day. Seasoned with some dark soy sauce and chilli sauce, a dish of grilled medium beef with soba noodles in a curry oil with mangetout, bok choi, red onion, chillies and beansprouts finished off in a teriyaki sauce and garnished with sesame seeds. Delicious! The prawns were perfectly cooked and made a nice twist to a lovely dish; Wagamama are very happy to add and amend dishes to personal taste, so I was really chuffed when they were happy to oblige with my random craving for prawns! I have been raving about this dish all week to my partner and it is definitely going to become a regular for me when I visit Wagamama in the future.
Nancy opted for the Yakitori Duck, which looked absolutely incredible and a dish I almost picked myself, but I am such a clumsy eater that I just know I would have ended up making quite a mess. Grilled duck leg with shredded cucumber, mint, coriander and mooli salad, served on a bed of white rice with Asian pancakes and citrus yakitori sauce.
Despite having visited Wagamama before, I never realised they had a dessert menu. I've had quite the sweet tooth recently so I was more than eager to see what Wagamama had to offer. Both Nancy and I opted for the same dessert, and I am so glad we made the choice we did; the Mix It Up Mochi Ice Cream. Combing all three flavours of mochi ice cream available at Wagamama, these were a delightful dish of little balls of ice cream wrapped in a layer of sticky rice, served with a drizzle of sauce. The flavours were coconut, raspberry and sesame - my favourite was definitely the coconut! I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this dessert and I would definitely opt for it again when next visiting Wagamama, as it's a fab way to try all three flavours. If I could buy these and keep them in my freezer for whenever my sweet tooth decided to strike, I'd be in dessert heaven!
Up until this visit, I have never been wowed by Wagamama. I don't know whether it's down to the location, the new menu or the lovely team over at Leicester Highcross, but I think Wagamama may have just made it on to my 'favourite places to eat' list. Are you a fan of Wagamama too?
You can check out the full menu on the beautifully visual and interactive Wagamama website here.
*I was kindly invited along to Wagamama for a complimentary visit.
All views are entirely my own - Disclaimer.