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Wagamama – Back Bay – Boston, MA

October 19th, 2009 · No Comments

Wagamama - Prudential Centre - Boston, MA Wagamama - Prudential Centre - Boston, MA Wagamama - Prudential Centre - Boston, MA
Do you ever get cravings for Asian food? Especially after eating too much western food?

It was about 2:09pm in Boston, when after a weekend of western food, I just had to have some asian food. Being on Boylston street at the time, my options were fairly limited (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve been to Boston – Boylston is the kind of street/neighborhood that has a lot of restaurants called “All-American Eateries”, which is usually a synonym for “Bad food served here”).

But – I saw an Asian family going into Wagamama, and knowing that where there are restaurants that have a lot of Asian people in them, there will likely be good food, in I went. Wagamama is a pan-asian noodle restaurant – the options are mostly Japanese noodles, but there are other choices as well, andb ased on the noodles I had, they seem to blur the lines between cultures with their style of cooking. And indeed, inside were many Asian families eating noodles – a sign that always precedes tasty food.

I was seated immediately, and given a menu almost immediately. I gave two choices to the server – the yaki udon or the miso beef ramen. She recommended the latter, and about a minute later I had a glass of water and 10 minutes later I had my noodles.

I didn’t have high expectations for these noodles – after having the heavenly ramen at Kintaro, I didn’t expect that a chain restaurant would be anywhere as good – but I was at least pleasantly surprised.

The theme that kept going through my head as I enjoyed my noodles was “These are good – but they’re not ramen”. And while the noodles themselves might indeed be ramen noodles, this miso ramen was not ramen as I’ve had it before. The broth was tasty, but wasn’t anything like the miso broth I had at Menya or Kintaro. While there was a combination of pleasant heat and char flavour to the broth, it was a pretty broad mix of flavours – cilantro, bamboo shoots, blackened sesame seeds and green onions – nothing like the delicate and subtle flavours that characterize good ramen. This dish more reminded me of when you go to a restaurant like Jack Astor’s and order some kind of “Asian Noodle Bowl” – it will likely be tasty, and yes, it too might have sesame seeds in it, but no, it’s not something that you would actually find in any restaurant in any Asian country.

The meal came to $15 including tax and tip; the restaurant was very clean, service was pleasant and efficient, and the place was and trendily appointed. I’d really have liked to try some of their other dishes – I’m sure they would be good, if not wholly authentic. But all things considered -for the Back Bay neighborhood, without actually going to Chinatown, this was just what I needed.

Wagamama at the Prudential Centre
Ste 117 – 800 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199-8145
Tel: (617) 778-2344

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Wagamama on Urbanspoon

Tags: Asian · Boston · Fast Food · Japanese · Kid-friendly

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