A lifelong resident of Vancouver – a city that is often known for having the best Asian food in the world – I can’t quite figure out how or why I managed to be in London sitting down for my third bowl of soup noodles in ten days.
But there I was sharing a bench with fellow travellers at the Wagamama conveniently located in London Heathrow’s Airport patiently awaiting the arrival of my pork ramen.
My low impulse controls and hankering for vat of steaming noodles apparently could not withstand the ten hours it would take to make it back into Vancouver so in the end, I’ve really nobody to blame but myself.
Though secretly, after spending the past ten days spotting the myriad of bustling Wagamama’s throughout the city with their clean, bright, and trendy interiors, I’d been hoping to have the opportunity to encounter Mama.
“Noodles in a miso ginger and chicken soup topped with barbecued pork, a tea stained egg, pea shoots and wakame. Served with a Korean barbecue sauce and garnished with menma and spring onions.”
As pictured, my meal came with almost none of these things, save perhaps the pea shoots and the noodles, which were only half a point better than instant noodle quality. Miso ginger and chicken soup tasted suspiciously similar to warm, bland monosodium glutamate water.
Admittedly, I’m no soup guru, but I did spend an impressive amount of time – every afternoon from the 8th to 10th grade to be exact – devouring a package of instant noodles which I think qualifies me for something (besides obesity).
Scant meagre pieces of dry pork were scattered throughout the bowl while the tea stained egg turned out to be simply half an egg devoid of any flavour.
To Wagamama’s credit, my sister’s yaki udon arrived piping hot with a nice blend of colours. Accustomed to the subtly sweet and tangy flair that normally accompanies yaki udons and sobas, this dish had none of that. Rather, it was more a noodle, meat, and veg dish tossed in a blend of soy sauce and not much else.
At approximately ten pounds a dish and lacking flavour, depth, and creativity, would I return?
No, no thank you. After hastily slurping up my disappointing meal within ten minutes, it’s safe to say this gal left Wagamama one Sadmama.