Aug 17, 2018

Wagamama – Al Qurum

When Wagamama (24561010) opened in Oman, it opened with a bang.  All kinds of social media coverage, adverts and talks went on to highlight the opening of Wagamama by Bin Mirza International.  Wagamama is a Japanese/Asian fusion chain restaurant located opposite Second Cup and is part of Al Qurum Complex in Al Qurm.  It was newly opened when I went and has enjoyed a packed restaurant as observed most nights due to the buzz surrounding it.

When we first arrived to the restaurant on a Thursday night, the acoustics of the place reflected the sheer amount of people in the room as it was very loud.  There were no tables available so we needed to wait a few minutes for one to be free.  As we had a baby with us, we stepped out of the small waiting area which was already filled with awaiting diners.  I thought it was odd that they didn’t take our names or our numbers to let us know when a table would be ready as there were many different parties waiting.  We went back inside after 10 minutes and were informed that our table was ready.  A hostess escorted us to our table through a maze of tables to our table.

Wagamama’s interior was well lit, minimalistic and classy.  Its tables were all wooden and unlike many other Wagamama’s that I’ve seen around the world, rather than primarily long communal wooden tables, it had traditional smaller tables for each group most likely to cater for the Omani customer.  It had a long workstation at the back of the restaurant where you could see the chefs and cooks in the kitchen preparing all your dishes.  I think the interior is definitely one of the most pleasant interiors for a restaurant like Wagamama.

The menu was extensive and they had many mouth-watering choices to choose from.  We chose their Chicken Dimsum (3.000 OMR), Chicken Katsu Curry (5.900 OMR) and Miso Salmon with Quinoa (No details for price but around 6-7 OMR).  For drinks, we ordered a Mint Lemonade (2.500 OMR).

The drink came out first and this was my favourite item that Wagamama served (It may be bad that my favourite item was not the food!).  It was very refreshing and tasty.  I would order it again in a heartbeat.

The first food dish to come out was the Chicken Dim Sums.  They were good but ordinary.  The sauce was flavourful.  The problem was that I have had better dim sums in Oman.

The next to come out was the Chicken Katsu Curry.  I’ve had this at other Wagamama restaurants around the world, so I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t exactly the same.  I couldn’t pinpoint what exactly was different but it was different to what I remembered.  Don’t get me wrong, this was still a good dish but it could have been better!

Next came the Miso Salmon with Quinoa.  I thought the salmon was cooked very nicely.  It was seared so it had a nice flavour but I really didn’t get the miso flavour too much.  It also wasn’t very filling for that portion size for my partner.  I wouldn’t order this again as I feel that they would most likely have better things on their menu.

The service at Wagamama was impeccable.  There was a real attention to detail and a genuine friendliness about them that I liked.

The total bill of our dishes came out to 19.215 which is on the higher side of the range of what we usually pay for a restaurant similar to this.

Although I didn’t love the dishes, I loved the general atmosphere of Wagamama and would come back to try some more of their dishes.

Note:  We have since returned to Wagamama and ordered two different dishes; Firecracker Shrimp and Steak Bulgogi.  We didn’t like either dish.  They have also since removed Miso Salmon with Quinoa from their menu.