• Wagamamma: A Virgin Vegan Experience

    Veganuary is the month of January inspiring people to try vegan food.

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    Vegan

    What is Vegan?

    Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

    Vegan Society
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    I thought I would start with that before I ventured further into my post because it’s really important to understand what veganism is all about. Because being honest. I didn’t have a clue before I attended this event. All I knew was that 2019 was going to see me try new experiences.

    Wagamamma Vegan Menu

    The restaurant offers it’s very own menu for both vegan and vegetarian. It’s the first place I’ve ever seen a whole menu dedicated to it before. We were greeted upstairs in IntuMetrocentre store and the event was a lovely intimate setting! It was great to catch up with fellow NE bloggers.

    Throughout the night we were showcased different items from the menu and introduced to the new foods some of us had never tried before!

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    We sampled the cucumber and mint and mango and ginger soft drinks which packed a punch! Perfect for everyone really and probably going to be a fave in the summer! For starters, we tried the Edamame and the Wok Fried Greens. Both were so moreish! I could eat these all day and had no idea how yummy they could be with the correct flavours added!

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    We also tried the Yasai Gyoza. Basically, this is Vegetable dumplings, which I’m not a fan of the texture. Mixed Mushroom + Panko Aubergine Hirata Steamed buns were lovely and I really enjoyed the aubergine. I didn’t feel I was eating vegetables in a bun it was really tasty. I would really eat all of the starters if I wasn’t looking for a full meal.

    Exploring the mains

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    I have to say I’m really torn between the star of the show the Vegatsu and then the Yasai Samla curry! The Samla curry was a new one and I loved the little kick it had. I don’t like spicy food but this was packed full of flavours and spices. This was the first time I tried tofu, which is hard to describe but it has a marshmallow/cheese texture. You overlook that when it is covered in delicious sauce and vegetables. And then there was the katsu which I’ve tried before but not with Seitan.

    Seitan is a chewy protein-rich food made from wheat gluten, used in cooking as a meat substitute. I really enjoyed the texture of this with the panko crumbs!

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    Let’s not forget the noodle dishes. We tried the Yasai Yaki Soba with Rice Noodles. All the noodle dishes are replaced with vegan-friendly noodles but still packed with all flavours and vegetables and I really could not tell the difference.

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    The staff at Wagamama are constantly asking their audience what they want and need and are always trying the meals and ingredients. The menu can change every 6 months so keep an eye out for things in the future!

    Did you know????

    Wagamama means Japanese for “naughty child”

    The Kitchen: How to cook Vegan

    We were introduced to the kitchen area and explained a bit more about how they operate behind the scenes. The different colour hats in the background tell you what type of chef they are and they also have a dedicated area to cook their Vegan food.

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    They use very little oil in all of their cooking and serve as soon as cooked. They will not wait till it is all cooked and let it get cold. If you really don’t like something new that you are trying they are happy to make something else you may like instead.

    The Chefs arrive at 7am every morning and carefully weigh out and bunch all the ingredients for all the meals and they are cooked fresh on a daily basis.

    Charity

    Wagamama has been open for 25 years now and has worked with charity MIND for a long time raised over 25,000 for them so far! The company belive in support mental health and have colouring for adults on the table. they belive this is a great way to switch off.

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    They also offer every single staff member a free app worth roughly £4 called Buddify which offers mindfulness tips and activities to promote a healthy mind and care for their staff’s wellbeing. I’ve never known a company to care so much!

    We sampled the fresh juices. I would never have normally have ordered these but having tried one I would deffo do it now. I tried the Super Green and it was lovely and fresh! it didn’t taste at all like I thought, which was like vegetables! it was sweet and refreshing. For every Juice purchased, Wagamama give 25p to MIND too!

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    Conclusion

    Before I went into my event, I thought I would leave hungry! I had no idea the extent of different food options. When I left the event I mega full but in a really light way. I wasn’t leaving read to go to sleep on a full bed but very satisfied. I’m really excited to go back again and sample some more and see the team again! The event as I mentioned was lovely and really informative, I can see why people would love to work there!

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