Founder of Your Write, freelance writer, editor, corporate communicator and TV Producer in my spare time, around being a busy mum to 3 little ones and managing our team at Your Write.
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Published November 7th 2012
Update February 27th 2016
Please note this venue is no longer trading and is permanently closed
Children eat for free
I had an unexpectedly good find the other day. I was looking for a family-friendly restaurant for lunch with my family and stumbled across Wagamama within Carindale's Westfield. Situated on the edge of the Glasshouse precinct, which is the new foodcourt at Westfield, Wagamama is not usually the first restaurant that jumps to mind when thinking of meals that babies, toddlers and adults will all enjoy. But from now on, for our family, it certainly will be.
With stores in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth, Wagamama's new Carindale store is the 4th store to open in Brisbane. The noodle chain's newest store has the same friendly service, good value for money and use of fresh ingredients. It is this consistency that has always kept me coming back to Wagmama, across many years and many different countries.
The food is modelled on the open-style Japanese ramen bars and is cooked with a great flourish and a sizzle as soon as you order. My staple favourite has always been the Chilli Beef Ramen ($19.90) which is ramen noodles in a soup and served with tender roast beef, onions, beansprouts, lime and coriander. And of course, chilli. Lots and lots of chilli, which I discovered due to my chilli abstinence of late, had gained dramatically in bite. The curries have also been a regular favourite, particularly the chicken katsu ($17.90). Most main dishes on the menu are under $20, so with all of those beautiful fresh ingredients cooked right in front of you in the open kitchen, you can't really go wrong with any choice on the menu. Handily, the Carindale store also has an online take out function, where you can order online, run into the store, pickup your order and run.
It is even better value for money, when you take into account that children eat for free. With the order of any adult's main meal, you receive a free children's meal, including a small freshly squeezed apple or orange juice. You can choose from fish or chicken skewers on noodles (mini yakitori noodles) or a noodle soup with chicken or tofu (mini ramen), amongst many others, sure to tempt even the fussiest eater. Chidren are also well taken care of with the array of coloured crayons, pictures and puzzles produced immediately on the table to distract them from the short wait for for their food.
The thing about kids or babies eating noodles is that it is quite a messy business. Soy sauce, pieces of meat and many, many noodles tend to get flung about and dropped. The really great thing about the whole experience at Wagamama is that you can walk away and leave one of the helpful and obliging staff to the mess.
yes i think Wagamama started in the UK in the 90's - or at least that is where i first came upon them. I agree about the seating, but in the Carindale store (and I can't speak for others in particularly) the seating is at least a little more separate bench-style seating. My memory of some of the UK places (London and Glasgow) were just rows and rows of benches, which is not the case in the newer stores here.
Hopefully the children eat free deals will take off here and Wagamama will get the idea to spread it to their other stores! Why not ask?
Wagamama is in the UK as well. I've been there a couple of times, but I don't like the seating arrangement. First I don't like the fact that half the time you won't get a table to yourself, but will be sitting next to strangers, and I also don't like that you have backless benches, so you can lean back and relax.
There aren't any 'children eat free' deals here either. The food is good though, but I think the menu is a bit samey.