The central Amsterdam outpost of international chain Wagamama follows the same formula as branches in other countries: reasonably priced Japanese food served reasonably late into the night.
I first discovered Wagamama as a wide-eyed, first-year student in London, and was bowled over by the concept of communal tables and discovering that there was more to Japanese food than raw fish.
Ever since, whenever I go to Wagamama - which these days is usually only when I’m strapped for cash, because I think there are better Japanese restaurants in Amsterdam, including UMI Sushi & Grill a short walk away - I inevitably order the yasai katsu curry (sweet potato, aubergine and butternut squash deep-fried in breadcrumbs, served with a mild curry sauce and rice), which Wagamama does really well.
Also good at Wagamama is the yasai yaki soba (teppan-fried wholewheat noodles with egg, beansprouts, peppers, spring onions and mushrooms, garnished with fried shallots, pickled ginger, sesame seeds and coriander vinegar), and the grilled salmon fillet with ramen noodles.
There are officially no starters on Wagamama’s menu, but a range of side dishes which can be ordered at the start of the meal or to complement the main courses. The gyoza dumplings, which are filled with duck, chicken, prawns or mixed vegetables, and served with a chilli, garlic and soya dipping sauce are excellent.
It is Wagamama’s policy to bring the dishes to the table as soon as they are ready, they say to guarantee freshness. It is a nice idea, but in reality it usually means that each person at the table receives their food at different times. This can be particularly awkward if you are the first person to receive your food and are tucking in while the rest of the group looks on.
Wagamama won’t offer any surprises for anyone who has been to an outlet abroad; but for consistently tasty Japanese food in the centre of Amsterdam, it’s a good option.
Mon-Thur and Sun 12.00-22.00; Fri-Sat 12.00-23.00
Telephone: 020 528 7778
Web: go directly to homepage