Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Wagamama's, Nationwide

After a fairly mixed gluten free dining experience at Jamie's Italian, the following day we were having a much better time at Wagamama's at Heathrow Terminal 5. Obviously buoyed by the excitement of going to Thailand that day (more on that to come!), I tried to remain level-headed enough to write an impartial review.

I've eaten at Wagamama's quite a few times since being gluten free, but lately I think they've made some big improvements, so I thought it was time to put pen to paper. Until recently options were fairly limited, although always tasty. My 'usual' was Chicken Itame, a warming and spicy coconut broth, packed with Asian vegetables, chicken and rice noodles. It's one of the few dishes that was naturally gluten free. In recent times though, the gluten free options seem to have expanded and they seem better equipped to modify dishes.
Lollipop Prawns
The setting at T5 is pretty impressive with huge floor to ceiling glass overlooking the aircraft. We were given a comprehensive allergen menu to look through and the website also has similar dietary filters. We were told that because we had specific dietary requirements the manager would take our order. I guess this is a fairly simple way to ensure consistency in the level of service for those dining with allergens. I did initially go for the chilli salt squid for my starter but was told that that despite the dish not having any gluten containing ingredients it was fried in the same oil as other products rendering it unsuitable for coeliacs. I was impressed with their knowledge and he quickly pointed out some alternatives. Instead I had lollipop prawns which were awesome. Grilled beautifully leaving them sweet and succulent and bathed in flavours of lemongrass, lime and chilli and whetting my appetite for what was to come in Thailand. For my main course they've recently added a new curry. Surendra's chicken curry come's in a rich, thick and spicy green curry sauce with crispy sweet potato straws and perfectly cooked rice. It's a delicious dish and gluten free too.
Surendra's Chicken Curry
I've not had too many dishes adapted but I know they can substitute rice noodles in dishes such as the chilli chicken men. I think if they committed to using gluten free soy sauce throughout the restaurant (it is available for gluten free diners) and had separate fryers for certain dishes they would exponentially increase the number of gluten free dishes. Until then, we'll just have to make do with the delicious ones they have on offer at the moment.

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