Newton >Food & Dining > Wagamama Faneuil Hall
250 Quincy Market Bldg, Boston, MA | Directions 0210942.334638 -71.172784
Museum cafe without a museum – I've never had a Wagamama experience that didn't feel cheery and fun. The space is minimalistic and very well-lit (the stuff of facebook profile picture magic, I'm not even joking) and my servers have always been upbeat and buzz-y, willing to volunteer menu suggestions while writing numbers on your spiffy paper place mat.
I'll be honest, the dishes can be on the anglicized side, but if (tender) breaded chicken and (delicious) brown curry doesn't make you flinch, you'll be fine--and even if it does, you can probably pick around for something more traditional. The duck gyoza are worth a try, and I don't like most asparagus, but I like Wagamama asparagus.
The cafeteria-style dining might not be everyone's style, but it's a great late lunch during a marathon shopping session.
Very poor ramen – The chicken ramen that I ordered to go was PURE CHICKEN FAT instead of chicken stock floating on top of my noodles. Definitely did not taste like any other ramen I've had before. Instead, it was a hot, thick, slippery layer of fat on top of overcooked noodles. Inedible. Also pretty poor service, did not even get a spoon for my takeout even though I specifically asked for it. I would not go there again, hugely disappointing.
bland food and spotty service – We love Asian food, so we wanted to give this place a try. People have mentioned the decor - a great touch was a shelf under the table where you can put your bags or purses and have them safe as well as out of the way. There's an open kitchen along one wall, and each station has a big monitor where they receive the orders from the wireless handhelds used by the wait staff. As we were seated, we were warned that all of the food was made fresh to order, so things would not all arrive at the same time or in a specific order. It was pretty clear that what this meant was each station was working independently, so if you ordered something everyone else wanted too, you were going to wait longer than you would if "your" cook wasn't busy. The menu clearly labels all of the ingredients, including shrimp paste, which is useful for people with allergies or kosher issues.
In looking at the menu before choosing the place, we thought "plain chicken and noodles or rice, apple juice - that will be an easy sell to the kids". It wasn't quite: the mini chicken katsu (grilled chicken with a sauce on the side) was dry without the sauce, the corn on the side was unexpectly chilled, and the noodles were gummy. The kids hated the apple juice, which seemed to be foamed from some sort of base.
Gyoza - the veggie ones were bland, and the chicken ones tasteless. Even the dipping sauce didn't help.
I started with the ginger chicken udon - fine, not fabulous. I was already nearly half done by the time my husband's chicken chili men arrived, so we swapped and he started on the udon. He found a flavor in it that he really didn't like, so we swapped back. The chicken chili men came across as spicy chicken cacciatore.
Dinner took over an hour, mostly due to time spent waiting for the check and then waiting for someone to take payment. The food is not worth returning for, and the service was erratic - bad when you're there with three kids 6 and under. Look elsewhere for umami.
I heart Wagamama! – I first got hooked on this place in London. This fun and upbeat restaurant uses handheld devices to shoot your orders directly to the kitchen as soon as you make them and ensures the freshest of food. The Japanese style noodles are delicious and guilt-free as all food is non-gmo. The group-dining is great. Two thumbs for Wagamama!
NEVER WILL GO AGAIN – Well-it's definitely a "no thrills" experience.Yes I suppose it's different than other places in the respect that your food comes out hot as soon as it's ready.I however don't look at that as a plus.Other restaurants still manage to get your food out to you hot and all at the same time so that you can enjoy dinner with your guests which is usually whats intended when you go out to dinner with friends right?Anyways on some other notes:
a.The servers are running around all over the place and don't "care" for you like other servers at other restaurants do.You just feel like another number(I would compare the customer service to that of Burger King)
b.They restrict you to alter ANY dishes(oh wait - unless you want to remove items from a specific dish, yeah the server told me they have time to do that but no time to add anything - well jeeze I didn't realize I was wasting your time)the food that you pay money for can only be altered in ways that are convenient and cost effective for them
c.They claim to be a healthy place to eat with no msg however after informing my server that I have an allergy to msg they found it a little difficult to give me what I wanted and had a list of few specific dishes to choose from?
d. Food is not authentic - funny enough they rave about how affordable they are but really....have they ever been to an authentic japenese noodle house?The food is tasty, they don't lie to you about their ingredients (what you see is what you get) and dishes are 1/2 the price of Wagamama.
e.They do not take reservations and although I didn't have to wait long in line, when we were seated we were seated at a big cafeteria table with hard wooden seats that are extremely uncomfortable with no backs and we sat with about 15 other strangers
f.No music, no tv's - just the sound of a room full of people in an empty cafeteria-like atmosphere. reminded me of high school which for most is not something we care to re-live
Long story short: NEVER would go again!
Good addition to faneuil hall – Wagamama has to be one of my favorite destinations close to my job. If your in a hurry or not its a good option. When I have gone on a lunch break I can be in and out in less than 30 minutes, without rushing through my meal. The staff is very unique and attentive. The menu has many great choices, healthy and the not so healthy but tastes soooo good. My favorite dish would have to be the chichen katsu curry! If you go this dish must be had!
not a japanese style – even the japanese people does not likes this place, i have lots of japanese frens, and they went their last night, like I was very eager to try their food before, they felt the same. they told me the food tasts horrible, Some of the dishers are cheaper comparing to other restaurants ,but really not worth it. Its like wasting money. thier place is really uncomfortable, and they try to rush you all the time. you do not get what you paid.
and thier deser is mos high priced and wacky. So all you peeps, think twice before you visit this place.
peace out !
surprisingly excellent customer service – My sister came up to visit and is temporarily extremely limited to many foods for health reasons such as soy, wheat, zucchini and is allergic to raw foods, nuts, fruits, can't have dairy...etc. She chose this place after reading about it online and while we were looking over our menu, our server decided to get addition help because there didn't seem to be anything on the menu she could eat. An extremely knowledgeable and professional looking gentleman came over to help. He informed us that everything cooked on the menu is cooked with soy oil so that cuts out nearly everything! However, after spending a good 15 minutes with us and my plate had already arrived, J was kind enough to send down a plate catering to my sister's needs. I've worked in restaurants and have never seen exceptional service as the one I witnessed that day. (I personally would find my sis to be a pain in the butt!) but aside from the quick and friendly staff, my dish was delicious, I would take my friends here. Thanks J for your time and assistance, my sister and I seriously felt that you totally listened and gave her a mean that met her unique needs. Hopefully, when she's all better, she can have a decent meal again, and the first one in Boston will be at Wagamama!
makes me yearn more for japan – yeah, $10 (more + than -) a bowl of ramen at cafeteria style dining hall (long configuration of tables and benches), though somewhat japanese (fact that you're rubbing elbows with strangers in public place), is not having a lot value for money. the place started off as gimmicky (my personal opinion), i was tempted to try hoping to prove myself wrong. i mean americans may appreciate the modern look and adapted menu, but as an asian and a fan of authentic japanese food, i didn't feel particularly thrilled about this place in terms of food, decor, price, etc.
food was ok but not spectacular. most disappointed at the ramen soup base. wth, it's like water! are they really calling themselves a ramen place without knowing that the soup base is the soul of it all?
waiter service was unexpectedly great: attentive, friendly, humorous, and honest. we flagged down another person in the passing for utensils and was served regardless. bus service was a little... hmmm. numbers were written down on each of our place mat, yet, stuff came and they had to ask who's having what. so the point of writing it down was....?
just being picky here, the free green tea thing... while well appreciated, i have a slight problem with them "refilling" by bringing a fresh cup in addition to the old. while it may create a potential congestion on the surface area, it also doesn't sound very "environmental" to me, seeing them specifically making a point of how they use chopsticks that's made out of real bamboo, which is an easily recyclable material. i wonder how much more energy (water, soap, electricity) is required to clean these extra cups, which could have been saved if they would have someone carry a jug to refill instead?
despite the seemingly "negative" review, i am not vehemently loathing this place (like i do others!). if chance happens, i would certainly return.
Disappointing but don't let it stop you from visiting the UK branches – The noodles were gummy and made the dish mediocre. The vegetables, fortunately, were fresh. The dessert was stale. I would have definitely returned if the restaurant was like the UK ones, but it wasn't. The service was friendly enough and decor was ok.
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