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

Directions:

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.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Oeno said...

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

11:41 PM  

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