Food

Ramen for the soul

“So, ladies! What will you have today? Can I tempt you with some crisp gyoza?” chirped the cheerful waiter at Wagamama, the hip Japanese-Asian eatery in London. Situated just off Oxford Street, its bright interiors beckoned me as I looked for a place to satiate my hunger pangs after a morning of sightseeing. Breakfast had been a Pret A Manger egg sandwich on the go. After having spent all morning on top of a hop-on-hop-off bus as the chilly winds turned icy cold, another sandwich would just not cut it for lunch.

As my friend and I settle in on a comfortable wooden table and bench in the restaurant that is quite like a hip college cafeteria, I’m desperate for some food that will warm me up. Tempted by the waiter’s offer of a plate of steaming gyoza, we opt for a duck one to get us started, till we pick our main course. Sipping on cups of hot jasmine tea, we browse through the menu that lists everything from omakase and ramen to donburi.

As I nibble on a crisp duck gyoza that I’ve dunked into the accompanying sweet and tangy sauce, I decide to go with the chilli chicken ramen. One look at the gigantic bowl of piping-hot soupy noodles and I can’t wait to dig in. The hearty bowl of hot broth that is generously filled with ramen noodles and toppings like chicken, fresh red chillies, a lemon wedge, crisp onions and bean sprouts is perfect for a cold London afternoon. Every bite has a new flavour that surprises my palate and every sip is like a warm hug. Perfect.

While the chicken katsu curry is rather celebrated, I didn’t like it as much. Instead, I happily dug into the firecracker chicken that my friend had ordered. With robust chillies and soy sauce, the dish had diced chicken with peppers and rice. Perhaps it was the strong flavours that appealed to my Indian palate.

Full to the gills with some delicious food, I’m all set to spend the rest of the afternoon shopping. And, my list was certainly long. Besides, there were also all those little patisseries along the way to make a pit stop at for some dessert. It was a good day indeed.


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Printable version | Oct 14, 2021 4:00:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Food/Ramen-for-the-soul/article16644643.ece

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