Wagamama, Weekday Work Lunch Style – by Lauren Heath


Many of you know that I am lucky enough to work in the city centre; surrounded by all these food options is both a blessing and a curse, as it can be hard to choose where to go for a catch up with a friend or have a business meeting over lunch.

The former is always time sensitive so choosing the right venue is important. I was delighted to be invited by Princesshay, as part of their #EatsForTreats campaign, to try Wagamama’s during my work lunch hour – I hadn’t thought of this for a speedy lunch destination, and yet it seems so obvious as everything is cooked to order and yet doesn’t take too long – fresh and fast!

I have been to Wagamamas quite a few times over the years, and it is one of my favourite chains; you know what you’re getting, it tastes great and with good portion sizes – their squid starter is one of the best, most consistent servings of squid I have ever had and consistency is something we want when spending our hard earned cash.

I took Miss #DevonFoodHour with me as my lunch date; we had much to talk about and she hadn’t been to Wagamamas for quite a while so was also intrigued about fitting this fast, fresh offering into her busy day.

We opted for some interesting juices to start, as it was hot outside; I chose the peach iced tea and my foody buddy opted for the positive fresh juice. Both were flavoursome, large and refreshing – perfect!

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Now for food – there were so many interesting dishes to choose from, and some old favourites I was honing in on but I wanted to try something new. Thankfully Miss DFH and I will eat most things so we agreed to share whatever we chose.

For starters we ordered the pork belly and panko apple hirata steamed buns and the lollipop prawn kushyaki. Cloud like buns filled with crunchy and slightly sweet rosti style fillings and the juiciest prawns on a stick you could ask for – look at the caramalised lime to sexy it up even further; both starters were really yummy and flavoursome.

Now to the mains; grilled duck donburi (tender shredded duck leg in a spicy teriyaki sauce – served with carrots, mangetout, sweet potato and red onion on a bed of sticky white rice, finished with a crispy fried egg, shredded cucumber and spring onions with a side of kimchee) and one of their new dishes, seared nuoc cham tuna (tuna steak on a bed of quinoa with stir-fried kale, sweet potato, edamame beans, red onion and peppers, garnished with coriander). Now – the descriptions are a mouthful in themselves, and thankfully so were the portions.

Both of these meals were so delicious and textural – crunchy, soft, savoury, sweet, spice, bang, pow – just so vibrant. The duck was soft and tender yet crispy in places and the tuna was cooked to perfection, ever so slightly under so it was moist, juicy and fell apart.

We actually left a little bit as we were full and, apart from enjoying a great double espresso each to finish, managed to say no to pudding…were were tempted but we were very content (and I didn’t want to go back to my desk and fall asleep!)

A really satisfying and swift meal, in an airy open plan restaurant – there are also benches to sit outside if you wish and of course you can sit for longer if you prefer.

With an open plan kitchen, not a microwave in sight, and fresh tasty asian style dishes in the middle of Princesshay’s shopping centre – I’d highly recommend them for any type of lunch or dinner outing but it certainly suits me for my weekday work lunch window.

Thanks to Princesshay, we also have a competition running to win a wagamama cookbook – check it out here!

And, if you eat out at any of the Princesshay restaurants from now until 26th August, check out the #eatsfortreats campaign competition on their website here where you can win a cruise just by tweeting and hashtagging as per their T&C’s!

Visit Wagamama in Princesshay, 16 Bedford Street, Exeter EX1 1LL – Exeter’s Website has the latest menu and offers!

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Author: laurenheathpa

PA & Office Manager, Exeter PA Network member. Co-Editor & Food Writer for Eating Exeter, occasional Restaurant Reviewer for Crumbs Magazine Devon, major all round foodie. All my photography using the latest Samsung smartphone. Hospitality background, wife to The Lost Chef and mum to 1.

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