Restaurant review: Wagamama, The Printworks, Manchester

Adam Lowe

Image: Wagamama Facebook page

Recently Wagamama launched its new summer menu – a menu packed with a seafood, salads and fresh juices from across Asia. Well we were lucky enough to be invited to taste the new menu – and the verdict is in.

For starters (or sides) you can now try the new mushroom onigiri, favoured packed lunch of the samurai. In short: crispy Japanese rice balls that are sticky in the middle for a bit of extra texture.

We tried the delicious grilled pork bulgogi wraps: a streetfood dish of tender pork belly slices, pickled red onions, beansprouts and crunchy gem lettuce. These are served fajita-style for self-assembly, as it were. Also, Wagamama’s popular sesame seed pork ribs have made a welcome comeback, marinated in sticky Korean barbecue sauce, and tasting just as good as we remembered them.

For mains we tried the decadent lobster super salad with citrusy green mango. This was a light, refreshing meal, with the delicate but meaty texture of the lobster.

There’s also a coconut seafood broth – part ramen and part curry – with salmon, scallops, prawns and green lip mussels. The dish comes served on rice noodles in a light broth and makes for a great healthy lunch option.

The grilled tuna with stir fried vegetables is a bit of a twist on the classic nicoise: seared tuna steak and a Wagamama trademark tea-stained egg, served on mixed vegetables with a spicy wasabi avocado dressing. The spice of the wasabi avocado dressing gives this a bit of a kick, but the wholesomeness of the egg offsets this somewhat.

The spicy chilli chicken salad is stir-fried chicken and vegetables in a Korean barbecue sauce, served over crunchy gem lettuce, and looks simply superb.

The summer menu is complemented well by a twisted apple juice with tarragon, star anise and fennel seeds; and a raspberry rush which blends apple and raspberry juices.

Desserts include a sweet version of the onigiri: warm sticky coconut rice balls, deep-fried and sprinkled with caster sugar, and served with tangy passion fruit sauce. Try also the mochi balls: a traditional Japanese dessert of raspberry, toasted sesame or coconut ice-cream wrapped in pounded sticky rice and served with a chocolate-wasabi or passion fruit sauce.

The new summer menu from Wagamama gets the thumbs up from us!

The new menu is out now in all UK Wagamama restaurants, to eat in or take-out. Visit wagamama.com for more information.