Did I hear you say SEITAN VEGAN KATSU CURRY? Yes please!
Last week, I was lucky enough to get to experience Wagamama’s new summer menu at the Exeter branch in PrincessHay and it most definitely lived up to its expectations. Myself and three other Exeter based bloggers got to taste a wide variety of dishes and above all, to chat away about food and have a wonderful Evening. I was joined by DiningDevon, SheWhoLives, and Diamondsandpearls.
I’ve always heard such good things about Wagamama’s katsu curry sauce, so when I found out that they didn’t only have one, but TWO vegan katsu options- I was over the moon! I’ve always been a massive foodie, but recently I’ve realised that over the past 3 and a half years of being vegan – I’ve come to appreciate flavours and textures in food so much more! The manager at Exeter’s branch was so lovely and accommodating, making it one of the nicest eating experiences I’ve had!
Juuuust a little background info about Wagamama’s philosophy-> It’s underpinned by the desire to be better each day, which is captured through the Japanese word: Kaizen. I always like to do my research, before going to a restaurant or contributing to a business, as believe it’s important to always try to contribute towards business’ whose ethos you agree with. I was so pleased to find out that Wagamama have recently come out with a vegan menu to complement their summer launch, and even more so- that they have a sustainability agenda as part of their business plan! According to their website, they’re part of Sustainable Restaurant Association– meaning that day by day, they really ARE trying to better themselves, their foods, and most importantly- their contribution towards sustainable and eco-friendly living.
As important and impressive as Wagamama’s ethos and ideology is, I reckon some of you are probably JUST here for the FOOD. So, without further ado… let the foodporn commence…
We started off the evening with a few sides that were brought to the table to share. I particularly liked how the staff knew that I was vegan and made sure to bring separate dishes out for me… and to point out which plates I couldn’t have from the table!
Starting off, I had the: Yasai Gyozas, mixed mushrooms & panko aubergine hirata steamed buns, and the edamame with salt.
I’ve has the Yasai Gyozas before, but they were just as tasty and delicious this time round! The perfectly crunchy consistency of them is mindblowing considering that they’re steamed and not fried! I also really appreciate how the pastry the gyozas are wrapped in is thin enough to not dominate the dish, but also thick enough to be satisfying! If you see closely in the picture below, you can see the feelings peeping out of one of the gyozas- YUM!
The mixed mushrooms & panko aubergine hirata steamed buns is probably what I was waiting for the most (from the sides- because nothing can beat a katsu dish). I’ve only ever had them once before and I’ve been waiting to come across a vegan versionin so long! I’m pretty sure the vegetarian version includes mayo, so make sure you order the Vegan Buns when visiting. They’re genuinely so perfectly fluffy and filled with my favourite vegetable ever (mushrooms)- making it a perfect combo! Uploading the picture of them onto this blog post has got me drooling all over again!
The edamame is pretty self-explanatory- steamed edamame with a sprinkle of salt chunks ontop. Sometimes, all you really need is something simple and to the point… and let’s not forget about their protein contents: 11g of protein per 100g of edamame!
Next, they brought out the new glass noodle salads- the vegan salad came with Tofu chunks and a spicy vinegar dressing. I know it says ‘spicy’ on the menu, but all the fresh vegetables herbs must have countered the spiciness.Coming from someone who doesn’t have a very high tolerance to spicy food- the salad was definitely tangy enough to still be delicious and enjoyable- perfect for summer. I remember the manager telling us that the salad was only about 500 calories, which isn’t really a concern for me as I’m more about counting nutrients, than counting calories. But, it’s nice to see that Wagamama have introduced lighter dishes for those hot summer days, where a hot ramen wouldn’t be ideal!
Throughout the evening, we were kept hydrated with several drinks, including the new Nix and Kix sparking soft drinks. They pride themselves in being vegan and refined sugar free. Both the cucumber and mango drinks include a touch of cayenne pepper which gives them a nice finish! We also tried their new‘natsu’ passionfruit craft beer, which came in the loveliest packaging! I’m not necessarily a fan of beer- as I do prefer cider instead, but I did appreciate the hints of passion fruit in the Natsu. I also enjoyed one of their freshly made juices: positive juice. Loved how bright and green the juice was and loved how it has pineapple in it!
As if all that wasn’t enough to send me home with a happy foodbaby, we were able to choose any main course to finish off an evening filled with flavour and laughter! As much as I love noodles, and as yummy as the yaki soba and pad thai dishes looked on the menu- I just had to order the Vegatsu. I’ve never tried seitan that was as dense and perfectly flavoured/ seasoned as this one was! The seitan was coated in breadcrumbs and loaded with sticky white rice and Wagamama’s infamous delicious katsu curry sauce. I genuinely can’t describe how delicious the vegatsu was, so I’m going to attempt to visually depict what it was like by inserting a few pictures below! It’s safe to say that I’ve found my favourite dish at Wagamama- So excited that they’ve added this to their menu!
If you try any of these dishes out, let me know what you think or tag me in your posts via instagram! I always love seeing what everyone else is eating/ ordering at restaurants! My insta is @nutritionalnatasa