Last weekend, we headed to the East Midlands Designer Outlet, to do a spot of shopping and have some lunch together. We love visiting an outlet as a family. We’ve had plenty of practice when we visit Orlando, which seems to have lots of them. Outlets are a great place to visit if you love a bargain, like quality and higher end clothing and shoes especially. We did in fact find some amazing items, and both A and Nia treated themselves.
Once we had shopped till we dropped, we went for lunch at Wagamama, which is a new restaurant to East Midlands Outlet Designer Outlet. If you’ve been to these outlets before, you may already know that there is a food court, but this is separate to that, next to The Body Shop. It’s a large restaurant, with an open concept kitchen that you can see the chefs cooking the food. We are Wagamama fans, and have eaten in them around the UK, and even whilst we were on holiday in Cyprus. It’s got a lovely casual feel, and its one that works well for families, couples or large and small groups.
Lunch at Wagamama always means a bit of a brush up on our chopstick skills. Don’t worry though if you aren’t good with them as cutlery is on the table too.
We ordered our drinks, the girls opting for tropical juices which are a blend of mango, apple and orange. Tall Dad went for an Asahi lager, and I had a Pinot Grigio. They do have lots of choice when it comes to drinks, and if you fancy something a little different, I would definitely recommend the Sake too.
I love this photo of Nia and I…lovely buns ha!
The concept of Wagamama is good fresh asian style food cooked to order, and arrives at you table as each dish is ready. So that means that it’s not really a case of starters being cleared and then mains. You tend to order side dishes which come out before or during main dishes coming to the table. I love this kind of casual dining. It’s a lovely communal feel, and makes eating a meal, fun as you all tend to share the sides. There are often communal tables at the Wagamama too, and again for this kind of restaurant it really does work.
We went for three different side dishes. Bang bang cauliflower, which is crispy, wok-fried cauliflower coated in firecracker sauce. mixed with red and spring onions and garnished with fresh ginger and coriander. It definitely packs a punch, and is really flavourful. We also ordered the steamed gyoza, the yasai version which is five tasty dumplings, filled with vegetables.
It wouldn’t be Wagamama if we didn’t go for the steamed edamame with chilli garlic salt too. So fresh, we would definitely recommend them.
I couldn’t resist katsu curry, and this is the vegetarian version which is sweet potato, aubergine and butternut squash coated in panko breadcrumbs, sticky rice, curry sauce and an amazingly tasty salad. Confession, it’s the one I always go for, and its so good, I couldn’t resist having it again, it feels like such a treat.
Another dish the Wagamama is famous for is ramen, and they have a great variety on offer. The one above is the Shirodashi ramen slow-cooked, seasoned pork belly on top of noodles in a rich chicken broth with dashi and miso. topped with pea shoots, menma, spring onions, wakame and half a tea-stained egg.
Nia went from a ramen from the new menu. Tantamen korean barbecue beef brisket, served on a bed of noodles in an extra rich chicken broth. Topped with half a tea-stained egg, menma, kimchee and spring onions and finished with coriander and chilli oil. Both ramen dishes are perfect for this chilly weather as the are hearty and flavourful.
Miss A, at 9 still enjoys the children’s menu, and its the perfect size for her. She, just like me, went for the Katsu curry, and didn’t leave a morsel, she loved it!
I like that it also includes salad items so it really freshens the palate, and part of their 5 a day too.
We honestly were too full to have a dessert, but order a couple of ice creams to share. We really enjoyed the vanilla ice cream served with caramelised sesame seeds and a chilli toffee + ginger sauce. Nia and I also enjoyed dome of the free green tea that they serve which is a lovely palate cleanser, and a good way to warm up before we left as it had turned bitterly cold and was sleeting outside.
Overall this is a great casual dining place, that doesn’t scrimp of great service from the staff and provides dishes that are always freshly prepared. It’s also great value for money, with our meal for four people 3 adults and a child being around £80 in total including drinks.
East Midlands Designer Outlet
Disclaimer : We were given a gift voucher to review this meal. However all of my thought and words are 100% accurate.