[First filed: November 20, 2008 @ 16:09]
Wagamama on Bunda St in Civic is a strange beast.
High price global restaurant chains rarely appear in Canberra. Having been there for lunch yesterday I can see why.
This is not to say it’s bad. It was perfectly agreeable in every way.
Amongst it’s admirable qualities is a bar at the front of house where you can wait for your party to arrive before taking a seat.
They serve Japanese working man’s food in a Japanese working man’s setting, that is bench tables with different groups sharing a table.
There’s nothing wrong with that either.
Where it falls down is the price. The “Wagamama Ramen” pictured was a bit bland (late in the meal I was offered an excellent chili oil which could have made all the difference) and mostly featured re-heated bits in an innocuous noodle soup.
Reasonable value at $12.50 in a lot of places around town. But for $18.50 it just seemed a bit steep.
Two mains, two sides (un-remarkable gyoza dumplings), a sprite, two beers and we had a bill for $80. And it just wasn’t that special for that kind of money.
If it was a cheap eat their philosophy of “we serve it in the order we make it” might make sense, but for this money I’d like them to sort the kitchen out too.
The problem for them is that here in Canberra we’re spoilt for choice by excellent asian eateries.
I realise they’re different things, but there’s any number of restaurants doing a pho in this town that walk all over it. The noodle house at the Dickson Tradies is probably superior in some ways at least, and at nearly half the price.
Location might make it a good choice for a Civic business lunch (although depending on what you’re discussing the bench tables might be a problem), but for mine they just don’t do enough for the money.