As a self-confessed ‘foodie’, one of the things I have missed most over the last year of lockdown has been visiting my favourite restaurants and cafes to enjoy a coffee and cake, or some new food that I wouldn’t cook myself for dinner. We’ve had a few takeaways, but it isn’t quite the same as that sitting-in restaurant experience, both in terms of the atmosphere and the quality of the food. However, my family and I decided to try some of the new dishes from Wagamama that they’ve introduced especially for Veganuary, and although we were still sitting at our kitchen table, the food itself was as good as what you would have been served in their restaurants.
With Veganuary taking the world by storm in recent years, many high-street restaurants and cafes are hopping on the bandwagon and introducing creative new vegan specials. Although I am vegetarian and not vegan, I think that it’s really important to support the demand for this. Not only has veganism proven to benefit the environment and our physical health, but the vast majority of plant-based food is genuinely delicious and with increasing demand comes increasing production.
From Wagamama, we ordered the new Tofu Raisukaree curry, the Vegatsu curry (made from Seitan), and on the side, we had some Vegetable Gyozas and Bang Bang Cauliflower. Both of the curries were full of flavour and had a substantial portion of protein, as well as rice. The Bang Bang Cauliflower was possibly my favourite part of the meal as it was perfectly cooked and although it had a kick to it, it wasn’t so strong that it destroyed your tastebuds for the rest of the meal! The Gyozas (little steamed dumplings) were a little underwhelming, but that was partly because the rest of the food was so good. All of the food felt really fresh. Completely different from having a greasy takeaway that leaves you covered in oil – and it was refreshing to have vegetables as part of the meal, both in the tofu curry and on the side.
Coming in at just under £40 for two mains and two sides, plus £3 delivery, it wasn’t the cheapest takeaway I’ve ever had. But it certainly felt a bit more luxurious and ‘treat yourself’ than a kebab or cheesy chips which you can get anywhere, anytime. However, the portion sizes were generous, pretty much matched what you’d get in the restaurant, and left us feeling very satisfied. There were also many other things on the menu that I’d like to have tried, with multiple vegetarian and vegan options as well as meat and fish, so I’ll be ordering again in the future for sure.
One final reason for supporting Wagamama is the work they have done to try and promote mental health and wellbeing throughout the pandemic. They have partnered with Young Minds and throughout the last year have shared mental health-related content regularly on their social media. With Covid and lockdowns affecting not just the physical health of the nation, but increasingly our mental health too, honest, and normalised discussions have never been more needed. A company with such a large platform being so committed to this cause can only be a positive thing.