Wagamama is a British-owned restaurant chain founded in 1992 with multiple locations in NYC. Wagamama roughly translates to “self-indulgent”, or “naughty child.” The menu can be described as fusion or Asian foods based on Japanese cuisine.
Unique vs Chain
Some people dismiss chain restaurants as pejorative intrusions into neighborhood character and charm. And after all, most of us appreciate it when someone creates their unique dream venue that helps define and anchor a neighborhood. It’s always a delight to roam New York’s West Village and stroll by book shops, record stores, restaurants, cafes, and clubs that exist nowhere else.
Wagamama is not the shop that appears on every corner and their menu is special.
Zen Inspired Decor
I’ve indulged in Wagamama several times and always enjoyed its fresh, delicious fare. The menu is delightfully diverse and different than what you might expect from one’s typical long-day takeout options. Its culinary offerings are unique, fresh, and beautifully prepared with authentic ingredients. Seating is comfortable and the Zen-inspired décor helps sets the mood for a pleasant dining experience.
There are many drink choices and I opted for the remarkable flowering lily and jasmine green tea. Each bulb blossoms on infusion. It’s nothing like the tea in a little paper bag.
To start off we ordered a shareable of two fluffy bao buns with Korean barbecue beef and red onion, served with Japanese mayonnaise and cilantro. The first time I tried a bao bun I realized I’d been missing something. Now I’m hooked and enjoy them whenever they appear on a menu. They’ve certainly caught on!
The main we ordered was the delicious and tantalizing tantanmen beef brisket consisting of Korean beef brisket, half tea-stained egg, menma, kimchi, scallions, cilantro, bok choy, and chicken broth.
In Manhattan, there is an almost infinite number of dining options presenting authentic cuisine from around the world. I recommend adding Wagamama to your repertoire of dining choices.
Wagamama, Murray Hill, Manhattan
605 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10158
Opens 11 AM
Readers may also enjoy our reviews of Yama Japanese Restaurant, Hutong New York, Saltbae Burger, and La Grande Boucherie.