Monday, August 08, 2011

Wagamama, Canberra

Because The Boy has been annoying me lately I decided to take him to Canberra for his birthday as a punishment. Just kidding – we both love Canberra, and will often go for a weekend trip just to get out of Sydney. The Boy is a bit of a history buff and quite enjoys visiting the War Memorial all the various museums that Canberra has to offer. I also think there are quite a number of really nice places to eat down there – so it's a win-win for both of us. I'm a bit fond of their spiffy shopping centre too if I'm honest.

This particular weekend The Boy was keen to visit the Not Just Ned exhibition at the National Museum of Australia about the Irish in Australia. The highlight of the exhibition was being able to see all four suits of armour worn by the members of the Kelly gang. I have to say it was a pretty spectacular sight that gave us both chills.

A photograph of a postcard - how creative is that?

Before our visit to the exhibition we needed to see to the business of lunch. I had my heart set on noodles and Wagamama was just the place to satisfy my craving.

I first went to Wagamama when I was visiting my foster sister in London in 1998 – she was obsessed with the place, and I mean that literally she would go there EVERY chance she had. I fell in love with their Yaki Udon Noodles on one of our many visits and have been back quite a few times myself to get my noodle hit.

We start our lunch with an order of steamed gyoza ($9.90 for a serve of five). The first time I ever had gyoza was at Wagamama’s and I have loved them ever since. The steamed dumplings are filled with chicken, cabbage, Chinese leaf, Chinese chives as well is water chestnuts. The dumplings are served with a chilli, garlic, sesame and soy sauce for dipping. There are five dumplings in our served, but as it is The Boy's birthday I give him the extra dumpling.

For my main meal I just cannot go past my beloved Yaki Udon Noodles ($19.90). This dish is a tumble of fried udon noodles sprinkled with curry oil and topped with shiitake mushrooms, egg, leaks, prawns, chicken, grilled chikuwa (a kind of fish ball type thing with a hole in the middle), beansprout and capsicum. The noodles are then garnished with fried Shallots, vibrant tasting pickled ginger, mixed sesame seeds and a spicy ground fish powder. This dish makes me as happy as it did the first time I tried it in 1998 – sometimes it's great that things never change.

The Boy is craving a Laksa, and is swayed by Wagamama’s Chicken Kare Lomen ($19.90) - a coconut milk-based soup that actually has more of a zesty flavour than your typical Laksa. Never-the-less, The Boy is happy. The soup is a punchy mix of lemongrass, coconut milk, shrimp paste, chillis, ginger and galangal which is served with Ramen Noodles and with grilled Chicken breast. The soup is garnished with beansprout, cucumber, lime & fresh coriander.

As it is his birthday The Boy gets to order dessert without me nagging him about his health and healthy eating habits (like I’m one to speak, right)? He chooses the Banana Katsu from the winter special menu and it’s lovely. Deep fried banana fritters served with a lush tasting honey and coconut ice-cream! Even though it was his birthday The Boy shared this with me – OMG, so good!

Wagamama is at The Canberra Centre (North Quarter), 125 Bunda Street, Canberra. There are also a few outlets in Sydney where you can get your own Yaki Udon Fix.

Wagamama on Urbanspoon


  1. Very noice, and a great piece on my stomping ground! I must try the Wagamama laksa next week! Love their Teriyaki Salmon.

  2. Wow, it does look just like Laksa, LOL as long as boy is happy ;) hehehe.. I want the banana fritters... yum!

  3. To me Canberra = punishment, Wagamama or not :)

  4. I love gyoza's! Will be heading here just for those by maybe not all the way to Canberra

  5. Nothing wrong with Mr. Nikon this time.

    Remember. Don't trust "Auto White Balance" in dark places. Manually set it yourself.

  6. Oh. My. God! Banana Katsu???? Its like everything I love combined!!!

  7. Im so jelly! I miss the taste of bananas T_T

  8. The only times I've been in Canberra were during the excursions we had in primary school and high school- I've never eaten out properly in Canberra :( haha....The Banana Katsu looks SO GOOD!!! I want some!

  9. Just as well you liked the food. I would get killed proposing this to Mysaucepan. Canberra + Wagamama = double punishment!

  10. Wagamama is the worst..stay away. it is NOT Japanese food..very disappointing and a misrepresentation of true Ramen..


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