Girly Lunch at Wagamama, Intu Lakeside

Dining, Essex, Review, Wagamama,Intu Lakeside
Dining, Essex, Review, Wagamama,Intu Lakeside
A few weeks ago (well the week before we moved), mum, my auntie, Alfie and I went to Lakeside. There were a few shops my auntie wanted to go to while she was over here and I was obviously in need of baby and house bits – it certainly was a successful day! Whenever we go to Lakeside, we always go to Wagamama for lunch – the last time, I was pregnant so was restricted on what I could eat. It’s fair to say I was looking forward to it... even with a hungry and grumpy munchkin in tow.

Upon arrival, we had to wait for a table, not usually something you have to do at Wagamama, but because the waitress was clearing a table big enough for us and the buggy. Most pushchairs and prams were parked up at the entrance, but there was no way I was leaving mine there, especially with our shopping so far! It was fine though – we waited no longer than five minutes and we had plenty of space, with a bench to ourselves. I’m used to sharing tables with strangers at Wagas, so it’s always a bonus when you get a bit of lunchtime privacy!

As seafood was out of the question last time (read: Back for buns and my Wagamama fix at Intu Lakeside), I was excited to be having my all-time favourite Wagas dish: a side of Chilli Squid. It was definitely worth waiting nine months for! The coating was crisp, the squid itself wasn’t rubbery and the chilli was just enough – the seasoning wasn’t as spicy as I had remembered. Of course, we also shared a side of Bang Bang Cauliflower – a regular occurrence since it joined the menu last November (read: New Dishes Galore at Wagamama, Intu Lakeside). My auntie enjoyed it too. In fact we all said we weren’t fans of cauliflower and would only eat it when covered in cheese sauce. But when it’s cooked and flavoured this well, wow!
Dining, Essex, Review, Wagamama,Intu Lakeside
I always used to order the Seafood Coconut Broth, which has now discontinued *sad face*. So when I saw a Seafood Ramen, I just had to go for that instead. Sea bream, shell-on prawns and breaded tilapia on a bed of ramen noodles in a vegetable broth, garnished with pea shoots, wakame and samphire – what’s not to like? Well truth be told, I was quite disappointed. The portion size was huge, with far too much for me – especially after demolishing those sides. The sea bream and prawns were really good; I just wasn’t a fan of the coated tilapia, as of course it was soggy from sitting in the broth. The coconut broth was so flavoursome, but this was rather bland and needed some chilli or something to give it a bit of oomph! I had high hopes following the previous seafood broth, so was underwhelmed... don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but not to the extent I’d have it again.
Dining, Essex, Review, Wagamama,Intu Lakeside
Dining, Essex, Review, Wagamama,Intu Lakeside
My mum and auntie ordered from the Omakase section of the menu: Sticky Pork Belly (with grilled miso aubergine and white rice) for my auntie and Tonkatsu (a pork katsu curry with white rice and mixed salad leaves) for mum. I got such food envy when I saw my auntie’s dish arrive. It was something I was tempted by and when it arrived, it was presented well and looked and smelt so tasty. The two dishes took a little longer to arrive, but as a seasoned Waga-goer, I’m used to either starting first, or snacking on sides while waiting for my main dish to arrive. It was the former this time and my meal came while I was feeding and changing Alfie. It was still piping hot once I’d finished and returned to the bench!

As always, the service was very good and the food, hot and fresh. I can’t believe that once again I didn’t have room for dessert – someone find me a better dessert than Mix It Up Mochi!

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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