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Warm Up with wagamama this Winter

Warming up with a hot bowl of ramen will get anyone through the cold season. wagamama, a Japanese-inspired fast casual restaurant by way of the United Kingdom, is a go-to spot for great ramen in Flatiron.

Executive Chef Steven Mangleshot shares what makes the restaurant unique, the inspiration behind the newly launched chili shrimp, beef, and duck leg ramen dishes, and the process behind creating new menu items. 

What differentiates wagamama from other restaurants?

The first would be that our menu offers a modern twist on traditional recipes, since each dish represents a blending of Asian-fusion flavors. For example, each of our ramens offer a lighter broth than the traditional pork stock. We do this because we want our guests to feel nourished but also leave with that good kind of full. The space of the restaurant is also unique because we believe in eating informally on long, communal benches. We enjoy having a variety of guests and feel everyone should be able to dress in what makes them comfortable and represents their personality.


What was the inspiration behind the winter menu?

As the temperature drops, we wanted to bring new dishes to our guests that would be the perfect combination of comfort and nourishment. Afterall, what goes better with cool weather than a steaming bowl of ramen? The ramens we’ve introduced are our beef brisket tantanmen, chili shrimp + kimchi, and grilled duck. We were extremely excited to announce a kimchi ramen since kimchi is such a fundamental ingredient in Korean dishes and we wanted find a new dish to showcase that flavor. 


Describe the process of creating new dishes from brainstorming to execution.

The beginning of each new menu creation starts with our guests. What dishes currently on the menu are their favorites and how can we continue to surprise them with new ingredients and flavors? I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel and continue discovering new inspirations that can be brought back to wagamama. There’s also a very skilled team of chefs within our restaurants that I work with to test each dish and provide feedback based on what they see happening each day at wagamama.

 



wagamama
, 210 Fifth Avenue, at 26th Street, (212) 920-6233, @wagamama_usa

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