Friday, January 25, 2008

Review: Wagamama

57 JFK St, Cambridge, MA 02138/617.499.0930

I figure I'll state it up front: I am not a fan of Wagamama.

I ordered the ginger chicken udon ($10.50) both visits. Actually, the udon was fairly flavorful - the ginger was strong. However, despite accepting the fact that udon does and always will have a pasty texture when stir-fried, but if anything, it meant that something - some sort of additional ingredient - had to supplement it. That didn't happen: the chicken was really bite-sized. My taste buds could not overcome the "overstick" of the udon noodles, conglomerated together in one mass.

The funny thing is, my dining companions and I agreed that my dish was probably the best tasting of what we had ordered - the yaki udon ($10.75), the chicken chili men (noodles in a spicy sauce, $11.75) and the aka-taka chicken salad ($9.95). To Wagamama's credit, the yaki udon was not a clone of the ginger chicken udon; the chicken in the salad was tasty, but the sparse quantity of it seemed out of place on the plain "mixed" lettuce leaves.

Wagamama takes your orders using an electronic reader, which means the food came fast. Unfortunately, we were ordered to leave fast (as in, less than 30 minutes). At one point, our server came by and pointed out: "Maybe I'm crazy, but didn't I give you the bill five minutes ago?"

And the opportunity cost of this: a (better) meal at any other Harvard Square establishment. So I offer alternatives to Wagamama within two blocks:

- Uno's, individual Farmer's Market vegetarian pizza: $8.79
- Penang, family-style: $10-12
- Felipe's, nachos: $5.35

And if you're willing to trek a little more,
- Bartley's, the Mitt Romney burger (including onion rings!): $9.15

In short, overhyped and overpriced.

1 comment:

Hank R. said...

Oh man, I got the Mitt Romney when we went to Bartley's. I completely give my endorsement to it.

Also, the server basically telling you cats to "get the hell out" is pretty hilarious.

I do hope you didn't tip.