Wagamama Vegan Menu Review – Printworks, Manchester

Let me start this post by saying that I am not a vegan. I was a vegetarian for a long time, so my meat intake is fairly low and like many people these days, I’m considering my personal impact/footprint on the world, so trying to live a more balanced and thoughtful life. I’m a foodie and love this wave of vegan interest, as it means brands and restaurants are seriously upping their game and coming out with flavourful alternatives. A far cry from 15 years ago, when I was a veggie and at best I’d get offered a tomato pasta bake and generally lived off of Lynda Mcartney sausages during my teenage years. So when The Printworks Manchester invited me and a few of the WeBlogNorth gals to try out the new Wagamama Vegan Menu, as part of #Veganuary, I jumped at the chance because a) I love Wagamama and frequent there often and b) I always glance at the vegan menu but am worried I’ll be left disappointed…

{Press review: my meal was gifted, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions and taste-buds are my own!}.

Wagamama Vegan Menu Review

Firstly, I feel I should list the special Wagamama Vegan menu that they have available at the moment (they have some vegan options on their regular menu already, but this is even more extensive!) along with my personal thoughts on each. Luckily, between the 4 of us bloggers, we got to sample everything on this menu! (Don’t worry, we shared…mostly!).

wagamama vegan menu review printworks manchester hollygoeslightly

Wagamama Vegan Sides:

wagamama vegan menu review printworks manchester vegan sides

mixed mushroom & panko aubergine hirata steamed bun with vegan sriracha mayo – anyone who knows me, knows I love a bao/steamed bun. I often order them at Wagamama, so nabbed a portion of these bad-boys to myself (and swiftly ordered another to follow-up with!). The aubergine is perfectly crispy and juicy on the inside, the mushrooms give plenty of “meaty” texture and depth of flavour and you wouldn’t know the mayo was vegan! Perfection, in two perfectly sized buns!

wagamama vegan menu review printworks manchester hirata steamed bun wagamama vegan menu review printworks manchester eating

vegetable tempura: crispy tenderstem broccoli, red pepper, sweet potato & asparagus, wakame, sweet & sour dipping sauce – now I think tempura is difficult to get right! But Simon (the GM at Wagamama Printworks, Manchester), explained that the secret to theirs was cooking using the batter straight from the fridge. That coldness makes it light and crispy, which is absolitely was! Nice chunks of vegetable (broccoli and asparagus were my faves) and the dipping sauce was so delicious, I held it back to use with everything else. It was almost smokey BBQ in flavour. A total triumph (they need to bottle that!).

bang bang cauliflower: crispy cauliflower, firecracker saue – this dish wasn’t what I expected. I think I thought they’d be more like “cauliflower wings”, so more like a battered piece of cauliflower with dipping sauce. Instead, it was more saucy, served as one in a bowl. I liked it, but it wasn’t my favourite and had a real kick to it. Everyone else on the table loved this though, so think it’s just personal preference (I’m never one for picking the spicier options on the menu).

wagamama vegan menu review printworks manchester bang bang cauliflower

yasai gyoza: steamed vegetable dumplings, served grilled with a dipping sauce – from day dot, I’ve ordered the yasai gyoza from Wagamama, they are an absolute must-have! Delicious as ever and a perfect side to any dish, vegan or not.

wagamama vegan menu review printworks manchester sides

Wagamama Vegan Mains:

avant gard’n (gaz oakley collaboration): barbecue-glazed seitan, coconut & sriracha vegan ‘egg’, grilled shitake mushrooms, asparagus, brown rice, edamamae beans, carrots, spring onion, sweet amai sauce, sesame seeds, fresh lime – I mean, what’s not to like about this dish?! Everything on that list sounds delightful and intriguing… ‘vegan egg’? Visually, this was my favourite dish on the wagamama vegan menu, as it’s so full of colour and you can see each ingredient. Super fresh and balanced too. The flavours did not disappoint and I can only describe it as a very “Wagamama” dish – it gives you everything you’d want and expect from a dish at Wags. Being a Wagamama OG, my favourtie dish was always the ‘Amai Udon’, which they stopped serving about 3 years ago (whhhhhyyy?!?!), so having the addition of the amai sauxe brought back fond memories for me. The ‘egg’ is a total suprise, that I don’t want to ruin for you. Just order it and try it!

wagamama vegan menu review printworks manchester avant gardnwagamama vegan menu review printworks manchester vegan mainswagamama vegan menu review printworks manchester sophie

kare burosu: shichimi-coated silken tofu, grilled mixed mushrooms, pea shoots, carrot, chilli, coriander, udon noodles, curried vegetable broth – I feel this dish has something for everyone. It’s ramen in style (except with the thicker udons), ie. big bowl of noodles with a broth. The curried broth packs a real punch (the spiciest of the mains), the tofu adds a nice texture and the mushrooms real depth and “meatiness”. In fact, I think the mushrooms were my favourtie part of the whole Wagamama vegan menu – they were utter perfection in every dish. If you’re looking for a winter warmer – this dish is for you!

wagamama vegan menu review printworks manchester kare bosu

yasai nikko curry: fragrant & citrusy coconut, lemograss & tumeric soup with tofu & cauliflower, side of white rice with sesame seeds – this dish is on the regular Wagamama menu and for me, has hints toward a thai green curry. That sort of fresh, citrusy but spicy flavour with a creamy depth from the coconut. Utterly delish!

wagamama vegan menu review printworks manchester yasai niko curry 2 wagamama vegan menu review printworks manchester yasai niko curry

vegan suika tuna (exclusively for Veganuary): dehydrated warermelon steak, dresssed & seared in the wok, served with miso sesame wok-fried kale, tenderstem broccoli, avocado, edamame & tofu guacamole & pickled radish on sticky white rice, topped with crispy fried shallots, sesame seeds, fresh chilli & lime – arguably the most intriguing part of this whole Wagamama vegan menu review…having seen it photographed on billboards all month, I was despereate to try this dish. I just couldn’t imagine what dehydrated watermelon would taste like and have never heard of anything like it! There’s a lot going on this dish and hello? avocado? in Wags? But you know what, it kinda works. I liked the almost poké-bowl style of this dish and you know what, the ‘vegan tuna’ was pretty darn tastey. It tasted nothing like tuna, I hasten to add, but that’s not the point is it? It’s about experimenting with texture and flavour to come up with some vegan alternatives and I think Wagamama have done just this! It’s a bit of a ‘marmite thing’, ie. you either love it or hate it. I can’t see it becoming a permanent fixture on the menu, let’s put it that way… but you might think otherwise!

wagamama vegan menu review printworks manchester vegan tunawagamama vegan menu review printworks manchester sophies scran

Wagamama Vegan Desserts:

mango & matcha layer cake: layers of matcha cream, vanilla sponge & yuzu cream with a mango & passion fruit purée, served with a raspberry compôte – I have to admit, i’ve never really got the whole ‘matcha thing’. It’s definitely not my cuppa tea. BUT, I can see its place in this dessert. It adds a sort of chalky bitterness to the sweet and vanilla of the dessert. Sounds werid I know, but it works!

wagamama vegan menu review printworks manchester matcha sponge

chocolate & orange blossom ice cream: served with a passionfrit coulis & fresh mint – Yup, you heard me. Vegan ice cream! And it didn’t disappoint! Perfectly creamy in texture and flavour, with a slight bitterness from the chocolate and a lovely zingy orange finish. I loved this dish!

wagamama vegan menu review printworks manchester vegan desserts

strawberry & yuzu ice cream: served with a raspberry compôte & fresh mint – This was everyone’s favourite across the board. We all thought we’d prefer the chocolate but this ice-cream has the perfect balance of flavours. I love yuzu for it’s vanilla-y-ness and the strawberry added a real lightness. These bowls were licked clean, I can assure you!

Wagamama Vegan Menu – The verdict

wagamama vegan menu review printworks manchester hollygoeslightly

So does anyone else always order the same dish when they go to Wagamama? Usually one of two for me (Yaki Udon or Yasai Katsu if you’re interested). So having the excuse to branch out and try other items on the menu, was well received by us all. Especially from the vegan menu, which might otherwise get overlooked. There is certainly no compromise in flavour across this menu and it’s everything you’ve come to love and know from Wagamama – fusion flavours, good portions and balanced plates. I was certainlny impressed and it’s opened my eyes to a whole new side of their menu. I can’t wait to go back – the steamed buns, avant gard’n and strawverry & yuzu ice cream will be my order of the day!

So there you have it, my Wagamama Vegan Menu Review – what do you think?

Thank you again to The Printworks, Manchester, for inviting us down to try these dishes. A special thanks to Simon and his team at Wagamama for being so knowledge-full about this new menu. Honestly, if you have any questions, just ask the team, as they know their stuff and are happy to help and explain the menu with regards to special dietary requirements.

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