Those of you who read my blogs will know I don’t write about chains.. but when somewhere as special and exciting as Wagamama opens in Cheltenham it’s worth bending the rules for. We’ve been waiting for this for a long time!
D and I were lucky to be invited to the press launch, where the Executive Head Chef of Wagamama – Steve Mangleshot was there to talk us through the menu items, and offer general banter.
The first thing to note about the place is it is BEAUTIFUL. Totally transformed from its former use of a charity furniture shop, it is unrecognisable. The open plan kitchen is exciting to see, and I’d love to decorate my house in a similar fashion to the interior of the restaurant!!
Something that I absolutely loved is the face that (I’m embarrassed to say) I can’t use chopsticks. So out they came with some child friendly ones, just what I needed! Plus the crockery is beaut. We were sat at the chefs table, which is long and sociable for big and small groups alike. The place is buzzing, I’ve tried to revisit since the press launch and haven’t been able to get in (but thanks to a very kind manager, I’ve got a table booked tonight!). This place is quickly becoming one of Cheltenham’s hottest places to be seen.
Utterly perfect. 👌🏼 I cannot speak more highly of the staff in this restaurant, I’m generally a fan of the Wagamama chain, they’ve just got something, a finesse, that other chain restaurants don’t have. But in Wagamama Cheltenham they are a cut above the rest. Friendly, talkative, knowledgeable and most importantly, clearly happy to be there. It doesn’t surprise me though, when you meet the general manager – Sam – you can’t help but feel like you’re going to have a lot of fun, he’s certainly someone I would be eager to work for and his fantastic work ethic flows through to every team member there.
People who know me will be aware of my “food phobia”. As recently as 3 years ago, you would never have imagined catching me in Wagamama, it’s the last cuisine type I would have picked. But thanks to a lot of education from my Deliveroo colleagues, and D encouraging me to try new things, I’m proud to say I’m a fan.
We were fortunate enough to be invited to the press launch, which meant lots of different dishes to try, and it was fantastic. I LOVED the beef carpaccio, pork belly and (shockingly) the prawns – this was the first time I’ve been brave enough to try them.The menu is diverse, plenty of options for everyone, and I cannot wait to get back in there and try something new.
The dishes in Wagamama are not only full of flavour, but in addition they are full of colour – beautiful to photograph! There are some lovely new summer dishes you should try, some fresh salads and awesome fruit juices.
We finished the meal with the oddest combination of food – coconut ice cream with katsu sauce. Now this isn’t something you would actually get on the menu, but if you ever have a chance – try it. It’s a taste sensation!
Price and Rating
If you’ve never been to Wagamama before you must have been hiding under a rock, they’re in all the best cities (and towns) and offer a great alternative to the standard Italian restaurant on every corner.
In terms of price, it depends what you want but it’s pretty much what you’d expect, around £10-£15 for a main course. They don’t really do offers, because they can afford not to!
Our night at Wagamama was by far THE best opening we’ve ever been invited to, the attention to detail was unreal, we even got a goodie bag to take home.
I cannot take a single mark away from them, and for that reason they’ve earnt top marks from me. Keep up the good work guys 👏🏼