Monday, April 25, 2005

Wagamama and the cookbook

Wagamama in Amsterdam
max euweplein 10
1017 mb amsterdam
Tel: (31) 20 528 7778

I’ve dined at Wagamama when I lived in Amsterdam and I’m rather relieved that that fast food fad of sorts has not made it to Singapore. The food isn’t bad; it is just that I thought it was ridiculous to be paying 10-12 euros for what I was eating. I already think our noodle bars here which charge about S$10-S$12 is bordering on terrible, and since my last visit to one about 3 years ago, I have avoided it.

When I had dinner at Wagamama in Amsterdam, somehow there was something comforting about it, something a tad close to home, but not quite, it was just a halfway point and when the bill came, it seemed completely off the point.

Anyhow, I must be a little twisted since I recently acquired the Wagamama cookbook. Despite the fact I haven’t highly of the restaurant and my brother has concurred with me about it when he dined at the Wagamama in London. Ok. I admit, I must seem like a real hypocrite since I have made faces at the restaurant, but I can justify it on a few levels, firstly, I got it at a bargain, I bought it at secondhand, I’m a food book junkie, I wanted to read about their food philosophy and why it was a success and it brings back some memories about Amsterdam. However, if and when I do buy a Wagamama tee-shirt online, I will then concede, that I am either very crazy or twisted and a victim of fads.

This is my first recipe from the book:

Ginger Chili Mushrooms with soba noodles, spring onions and coriander

Serves 2

250g soba noodles (but I think 200 is enough)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 red chili, trimmed, deseeded and finely sliced
2 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger root
4 oyster mushrooms, put into 1cm slices
3 shiitake mushrooms, cut into 1cm slices
clump of enoki mushrooms, about the size of your fist, broken up
handful of roughly chopped choi sum
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
generous handful of beansprouts
1 pint miso soup
4 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
2 springs of coriander


Cook the noodles in a large pan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until just tender. Drain refresh under cold running water and divide between 2 bowls. Heat a wok over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until completely hot and almost smoking and add the vegetable oil. Add the sliced red chili and grated granger and stiry fry for 15-20 seconds, then add the mushrooms and the choi sum. Season with salt and sugar, and stiry fry for 2-3 minutes.

Put the beansprouts on the top of the noodles, spoon over the mushrooms, then ladle over the hot miso soup. Scatter with spring onion slices and coriander.

* I left out the bean sprouts simply because I really can’t eat it raw, it tastes like grass to me.

Ok. I admit, it wasn’t bad, it was actually pretty good, although I don’t really understand why they use so little broth, if I made this again I would serve it with double the amount of broth. This is thus my new stand about Wagamama. Wagamama the food cookbook is alright, Wagamama the restaurant is not.


Anonymous Oeno said...

Must say I tried Wagamama in Sydney and it was not offering much value.

11:41 PM  

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