wagamama : epitome of overratedness

17Mar09

my family came to copenhagen this weekend, and in typical chu family craving fashion, we wanted to eat asian food in a non-asian environment.  so we went to wagamama, the newest restaurant addition on the Tivoli grounds. [started in london, this chain has made its way around europe and into harvard square as well]

wagamama11

what impressed me:

  • very cute minimalist branding [black + white + darling red star amidst a sea of hip lowercase sans serif letters]
  • equally delightful interior design [sleek wooden tables, canteen-style seating, open kitchen plan, fun white webby balls surrounding the light fixtures]
  • the small, useful glossary of japanese culinary terms on the side of the menu.  and the attractive graphics of the placemat settings.

what made me roll my eyes:

  • how wagamama tries to brand itself with a number of ‘features’ that are really not special at all.  the waitresses say, ‘welcome to wagamama, have you been here before? oh, no?  well then!  at wagamama, we want to ensure the freshness of your food, so it is served once it is cooked — meaning some dishes may arrive before others! enjoy the wagamama experience!’  how does that constitute an experience?!  i feel like this happens all the time…
  • on their menu: ‘side dishes – these are not starters but the perfect complement to your meal’ — why cant you order side dishes for the sake of ordering side dishes?  if wagamama is truly based on the noodle bars that have been popular in asia for centuries, you should be able to eat just edamame as a roadside snack!
  • the diction that the menu uses to describe the dishes is so painstaking and annoyingly detailed —  it seems like they are adding such exotic, diverse ingredients [i.e.  topped with seasonal greens, sliced marinated pods of asian mushroom, embellishly garnished with a garden-fresh springlike spriggy sprig of slightly fucking yellow-green tinted onion, etc.] ….where in actuality all of these things are already expected to be in the most basic of ramens.
  • food quality = ordinary.

wagamama probably has the worst, most asymmetrical restaurant environment : satisfaction ratio i have ever experienced.



7 Responses to “wagamama : epitome of overratedness”

  1. 1 Joanne

    totally agree with the overratedness… i’ve been to the wagamama in harvard sq twice and both times have come out disappointed (overpriced? not yummy?). the ramen is blah.😦

  2. 2 inmexico

    haha, i will take your advice and avoid unless completely necessary. unfortunately, it’s one of the asian restaurants that have become favored by mit students…sort of like island hopper which is also extraordinarily overrated. but it doesn’t try nearly as hard on the design level as wagamama.

    on a slightly separate note, have you met any chinese 1st generations at copenhagen? it always throws me off when i see chinese people speaking a non-english and non-chinese language fluently.

  3. =( You’re in Europe for goodness sakes – why are you eating at a chain???

  4. 4 kevinintheairforce

    haha oh tiff…you sound so…bitter.

  5. 5 inmexico

    i want to start something. what is that something?

  6. 6 chris

    hah, i love that your family came to copenhagen and that you eat at wagamama! I’ve never actually been to the harvard sq one, but don’t feel all that motivated to now.

  7. 7 Christine

    i concur! my family was craving asian food so badly when we were in the uk last summer (hah!), so we went to wagamama not once, but twice. t’was incredibly sad waste of time and money.


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