11th May 2018
On the hottest day of the year so far, Jon Bond went for cool dishes at Wagamama, Tunbridge wells
It may be a pretty huge chain of restaurants around the UK, but Wagamama is still a go-to venue for a high quality food when you're short on time.
The weather was stunning, and Wagamama had its windows open wide, making for a bright and airy atmosphere.
I am a huge fan of Japanese cuisine, so picking from the Wagamama menu always poses a challenge as I'm spoilt for choice. In the heat I'm not looking for anything heavy, so opt for a couple of sides in place of a main. This isn't unusual at this restaurant, where food comes when it's ready rather than being held back in traditional courses.
I order beef tataki, thinly sliced beef, very briefly seared to maintain most of its rareness. Drizzled in ponzu, a yuzu-based vinaigrette, this impossibly tender beef has a citrusy tartness that I simply can't get enough of, so much so I actually dip my other side, chilli squid, in the sauce.
That's not to say the chilli squid is in anyway a let-down. The chilli has quite a flare, which really gives me a needed boost, and the squid is crisp and thankfully not chewy. I often find calamari a risky option for its texture, but there's no need to worry at Wagamama.
I wash all this down with a refreshing Asahi beer - well, on a sunny day, it'd be rude not!
A chain it may be, but Wagamama is still an excellent choice for a restaurant to enjoy either alone or with friends. They are just launching their summer menu too, so I'm sure their choices will continue to delight.