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Yaki so-bad: why Wagamama is overrated

My personal hatred for Wagamama is almost indescribable. It’s quite impossible to articulate the many reasons I have for despising this meagre high street chain in so many as 700 words. But I will try my hardest. Despite being one of the only takeaways that delivers to campus, Wagas only further darkens the grey wash of the Warwick grounds. 

First, we will begin where all good arguments start: by bringing up the past. Literally and figuratively, as I regurgitated the Wagamama dish from the depths of my body many moons ago. My chilli beef, so to speak, with Wagamama began on a fateful Friday evening in late 2018, after a night at T-bar. The heady mixture of vodka, fluorescent green fish bowl and yaki soba turned out to be a dangerous one: the green, noodle-y concoction was splattered across the steps outside Neon, the Uber, and very unfortunately, my friend’s trainers. Although I hope to paint a vivid picture, I cannot truly communicate the abject horror felt that night by all involved, including our Uber driver. It’s safe to say that my five star passenger rating suffered a similar fate to myself – ending the night absolutely battered. 

Wagamama is hyped up to the point of disbelief by fools who are happy to accept their watery curry and pay you handsomely for the opportunity

After this decisive evening, the next morning I lay in my sad, single bed in Sherbourne, as the rain sprayed my window in a not dissimilar fashion to the way I had decorated the pavement of Leamington. But in amongst the trauma, I had unwittingly discovered the truth – that Wagamama is objectively terrible.

This was a hard thing to come to terms with as a university student with a maintenance loan begging to be spent on takeaway. Ordering Wagamama had become pervasive and entrenched in my circle of friends, and I had to accept a portion of blame for that, alongside my order of chilli squid. But it was I alone that had discovered the truth, and I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders as any prophet does, to tell the world. My argument then remains the same as it is today – that Wagamama is overpriced and under-seasoned, hyped up to the point of disbelief by fools who are happy to accept their watery curry and pay you handsomely for the opportunity. It’s a scam! 

If I am Sisyphus, then the sight of Wagamama on every high street is my rock

Every intelligent consumer is aware that there are only 3 good things on the menu: the chilli squid, the yaki soba and the katsu curry. These 3 dishes each represent a touchstone of Wagamama woe. The yaki soba, as previously discussed, is seasoned simply with bad memories and little else, as the noodles have an apparent aversion to soya sauce or any real flavour. The katsu curry is frankly overhyped for what it is: a couple of sad chicken nuggets swimming around in a vat of curry sauce – a meal that would be much cheaper and tastier to recreate at the local chippy. As for the chilli squid, it is with great regret that I bid adieu to this marvellous creation, but there is a hardened, world-weary voice inside all of us, intoning that £7 is far too much to pay for a couple of fried seafood sticks. 

It is not a joy for me to inform the world of this, but it is a burden I must carry. If I am Sisyphus, then the sight of Wagamama on every high street is my rock. Next time you choose to do your bit in stimulating the Covid-ravaged economy with your student finance, I beg you to reconsider and build a better Britain, where we are free of this extortionate pseudo-Japanese chain for good.

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