Monday, April 7, 2008

Wagamama, Faneuil Hall, Boston

One of my favorite girls from my time abroad came into town this weekend to go to a trade show to promote her business- so I got to show her the sites of Boston. Now obviously, I have a slight obsession with food, and luckily for me, K does as well. So I got to show her Boston through our food.

Friday evening we went to a newcomer to the Boston scene, but a transplant from our days studying in London. Wagamama is a London based, Asian inspired noodle bar that we found on a whim early in our stay across the pond, but that became a staple in our dining experience there. When the first US location opened in Boston last summer, I threw a little party. The dishes that they serve there are clean and presented well, combining great flavors and interesting ingredients. They do all this, and manage to maintain affordability.

My old standby, that I ordered again on Friday, is a dish called Yaki Soba. This includes teppan-fried soba noodles that are mixed with egg, chicken, shrimp, green peppers, red peppers, white onion, spring onion, mixed sesame seeds, fried shallots and pickled ginger. Teppan in Japanese means iron plate, so the loose translation for this dish would be noodles fried on an iron plate. The result is noodles that are over all soft as you would anticipate, but with a slightly crisp exterior. They are flavorful and delicious. The added ingredients add contrast of texture and a variety of flavors. The onions are offset very well by the pickled ginger, and the fried shallots create a perfect crunch to the rest of the meal. The chicken, egg and shrimp were all perfect cooked, although I would have appreciated a bit more scramble to the egg. Towards the end I started mistaking big pieces of egg for chicken, which is a surprising taste difference.

The waitstaff was friendly and helpful, explaining the menu well and providing suggestions, as well as interesting cold remedies. Apparently if you boil Coca Cola with ginger and a little bit of lemon, it will get rid of colds. It seemed like an interesting concept- and I am aware of gingers healing abilities...I may have to try this out at some point. We did sit a bit long for our check, but as we were one of the last people to be seated, we felt that this was more because it was the end of the night, than any real reflection on their servers.

Wagamama, much to my pleasure, has opened to locations in Massachusetts, one in Faneuil Hall Marketplace, and one in the Harvard Square area in Cambridge. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

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