On Wednesday I had the absolute pleasure of heading to wagamama at The Printworks, Manchester, for their #wayofwagamama tasting evening. The evening was hosted by Dr Christy Fergusson, a psychologist and food therapist, and wagamama’s executive chef Steve Mangleshot. They gave a brief introduction, explaining that the typical wagamama customer will find a favourite dish and order this every time they visit.
Steve wanted to show us the amazing range of dishes that wagamama offer, using our favourite dish as a starting point to find dishes we would surely enjoy and hopefully broadening our experience of the menu at the same time. I had told the team that my favourite dish would be the mahi mahi curry, which is grilled white fish cooked in a spicy curry sauce and served with sticky rice. I’ve never actually been to wagamama before, but I knew just by looking at the menu that the mahi mahi curry would be “my dish”.
The first recommendation for me was the prawn raisukaree. When Christy explained that your experience of food begins with the smell, before you even taste it, I thought that it couldn’t be more true for this dish. I knew it was a perfect match as soon as I smelt the creamy coconut sauce.
Steve recommended that I squeeze every last bit of the lime on to my dish, as the lime gives it such a refreshing sharp kick, along with those cheeky red chillis! Spice wise, this didn’t blow my mouth off but provided a flavoursome kick, perfect for those with a low tolerance for spice.
My last recommendation was something the team thought wouldn’t be on my list of dishes to try, but would still be something I unexpectedly enjoyed. It was the prawn kare lomen, a dish full juicy prawns & ramen noodles in a spicy coconut sauce.
Although both dishes had coconut based sauces, this was a much different taste, it had a more classic curry flavour to it with a hint of lemongrass. I also loved the addition of beansprouts and cucumber, which cooled down the flavour slightly.
This dish was definitely one I would pick if in search of comfort food on a winter’s evening. Super filling and warming, again with just the right amount of spice.
Then finally, after a little curious eyeing up of Kate’s dish, myself and Marianna were presented with the above. Chicken firecracker. This is labelled as ‘super spicy’, so imagine how cautious we were when tucking into our first bite. Even thought it was full of chillis, it was actually really lovely, much to my surprise. I thought it would immediately burn my tongue off and reduce it to ash, but it was more of a slow burner. Not spicy immediately, which I was thankful for. I wouldn’t order this personally, as I’m way too much of a wimp, but it’s perfect for spice lovers!
A special thank you to Steve and his fellow chefs, who really made me realise how brave I can be when faced with a menu full of unfamiliar dishes. I can’t wait to go back and try something else now!
Are you a wagamama fan? What’s your favourite dish?