Today, I went for a quick bite to Wagamama in the Prudential Center with my friend Randy. I had only been to one Wagamama before and it was in London. From what I remembered, Wagamama was a relatively inexpensive noodle house that proved to be a good time so I was anxious to try out their new second Boston location. Wagamama is open and airy with long wooden tables laid down in rows, not much fuss or muss about the place. This sparser atmosphere works well and lends a clean, modern, and comfortable feel to the restaurant.
We were quickly greeted at the door by a nice woman who brought us to our table. At Wagamama, there is a chance that you could end up sitting right next to someone you don't know since the tables hold at least 20 people. Tonight wasn't extremely crowded so we were able to secure part of a table that was a bit away from people. For drinks, we both ordered Japanese beer. I ordered the Tiger Beer,billed as "a premium beer from the far east with a full flavour and refreshing taste" it was just as it was described, a pretty darn good light beer (with a cool label). Randy got the Kirin Ichiban premium beer, "the fine aroma of hops and joponica rice provides its lighter body and delicate aftertaste". Randy said he enjoyed it very much although I did note it had a bit of a bitter aftertaste compared to the Tiger Beer. (Something I did notice is that no one at the restaurant had a glass of water...not sure if you specifically have to ask or if it costs extra.)
For an appetizer we got a bowl of edamame. Edamame is steamed green soybeans. Ours were covered in salt and chili pepper (just lightly) and they were great. A good snack before our main course.
For our entrees, I ordered the simple Chicken Ramen ($9.50). The Chicken Ramen is "soup and ramen noodles topped with a marinated and grilled chicken breast, seasonal greens, menma and sliced scalion." When it arrived it came with chop sticks and a small ladle that I wasn't quite sure how to use. I enjoyed the Ramen. It was simple but fresh and the noodles were soft and good. The broth wasn't as salty as ramen you buy in the store but I think that's definitely a good thing! The best part? I got to slurp up the liquid at the end right from the bowl!
Randy ordered the more complex chicken chili men, "stir-fried chicken, squash, red onion, peppers, snow peas and scallion served with wheat noodles in a chili sauce made from chilies, ginger, garlic, onion, lemongrass, sweet red pepper and tomato. It was a bit spicy for me but had a good flavor to it and had a familiar tomato sauce taste.
One thing Randy pointed out to me was that at Wagamama, they bring your food out right when it's done so sometimes not everyone is fed at once. This isn't a huge problem since most of the food arrives within 5 minutes of ordering.
I really enjoyed Wagamama. It had a fun crowd from young college students to fancily dressed older women, friends and couples. The wait staff was super friendly and super fast. They even bring the credit card machine right to your table so you don't have to wait too long for the bill. I would definitely recommend Wagamama for a fun quick bite with friends.