The long tables, big bowls of slurpy noodles, upbeat East Asian tempo and cool branding have been a prominent part of High Street eating in Britain for nearly 20 years. It had almost become an indictment that a city of Edinburgh's dining status was without its Wagamama fix, a gap now filled in a convenient former bank on Lothian Road. The chain's many followers dig the slick efficiency of operation, the positive attitude to kids, vegetarians, lone diners and hungry appetites. With huge servings of curries with rice, soupy noodles or griddle-flashed teppan, and no shortage of fresh, lively ingredients, there's little denying its zestful appeal. Just a pity that flavours can be absent in key areas making some dishes rather one-dimensional.
With fast, friendly and efficient service this pan-Asian eatery continues to be an Edinburgh favourite. The western-friendly menu is a perfect starting point for those stepping out of their flavour comfort zone. The authentic food doesn’t push boundaries, with the exception of a few Korean-inspired dishes like an eye-watering chilli chicken dish called the firecracker. This is a safe menu, with a variety of gyozas, salads and yakitori to start before heading to the robust main courses where bowls of slurpable ramen await. If soup noodles do not take your fancy the menu offers fried noodle tepannyaki dishes or rice-based curries and stir fries. All are prepared to order and will arrive when they’re ready at the long communal tables, so don’t stand on ceremony. There is a healthy streak running through the menu with a seasonal option of stir-fried greens, big salads and a variety of fresh juices on offer. But you can indulge in a handful of standard desserts. No booking is required, but a weekend lunch time may find you queuing.
- High point: Precise cooking and service
- Low point: In some cases the flavours are too reserved for Asian cuisine
- Notable dish: Ramen
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
- Capacity: 130
- Largest group: 40
- Open since: 2011
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 10
- House wine: £14.95 per bottle