This is a ‘pan asian’ chain ‘restaurant’ that specialises in noodles and excels at mediocrity. The atmosphere exudes food court but with an Emo rock/Billy Joel/jazz guitar/chill out soundtrack and similarly schizophrenic service.
Your server asks you if you have been to Wagamama before. Yes, people do make return visits. The place was heaving. This question is really to warn you that your meals will come out in whatever order the kitchen gets them ready in, so in some ways not unlike a more authentic Asian restaurant.
So in no particular order we tried ebi gyoza that tasted only of the dirty oil they were cooked in served with a rust coloured hot-ish sauce, a special of zucchini flowers glazed in a sugary syrup served with a daikon and mint salad dressed in a sugary syrup and served with pumpkin and beetroot fried rice, Thai noodle stir fry which had the decency not to call itself the pad thai it is clearly trying to imitate, tasting mostly of tomato paste and served with a thin, dry wedge of lime, calamari fried to resemble popcorn and the Wagamama ramen - a huge bowl of vaguely flavoured stock with one each prawn, grilled chicken and tofu with a garnish of raw bok choy.
This chain started in the UK before Masterchef and the televisual onslaught of Gordon, Jamie and Hugh began. It’s now in 15 countries around the world. Mains are between $16 and $21.
Perhaps in another location Wagamama could be viewed as exotic, however there is no excuse to eat at such a poor excuse for Asian cuisine in Brisbane. I wish I’d stayed in and had a ham sandwich.
Wintergarden Shopping Centre
171 – 209 Queen Street Mall