Food and the city..the hags are here to eat and then tell you about it!

Monday, April 11, 2005


50-54 High street. Putney, London. SW15 1SQ
Telephone: 0208 785 3636
Website: Wagamama

Just came back from the lovely Brugge in Belgium this afternoon. After non-stop gorging out on frites, mussels, fish and Belgian beer we were gagging for noodles – like all Chinese do. We had just gotten off Eurostar at Waterloo and were marvelling at the sunny London weather. No time to waste. We quickly headed back home, changed into our summer gear and headed straight for Wagamama’s - with the plan to scoff down some chilli beef ramen noodles, grab the Sunday Times, then head to the beer garden for some chillout time in the sun. We got to the restaurant about 3:30pm. Not surprisingly the place wasn’t busy, about 10 customers in. We plonked ourselves down and with a cursory glance at the menu were ready to order. A waitress with a nice smile came and took our order of one coke, one raw juice and two beef chilli ramens. With a flourish of her pen, she made illegible scribbles on our menus and floated off. Fine.


We began scouring the Sunday paper, discussing the ins and outs of Charles and Carmilla’s marriage – as you do. By 4pm when we hadn’t received our drinks, I first had the inkling that things had gone awry. We managed to flag down another waitress to highlight this important problem. She whipped out her stylus and made a few perfunctory stabs at her palm – there was no record of our order. She apologised and said she would talk to the waitress who had initially taken our order. By this time, we had both realised with sinking hearts, if there were no record of our drink order, there certainly wouldn’t be a record of our food order either.

By 4:20pm, the waitress came with some bowls of food. Great. They’re giving us free food to make up for their blundering f**k up. No no no no. The food was actually for their own staff. That really took the cake. Inside I was burning up. I had finished my drink and was trying to the give the waitress who f**ked up death-glares with my Bluetooth eyes.

By 4:30pm, the staff had actually FINISHED their meal and ours still had not come. The waitress came and apologised.

4:45pm – the bowls of soup (losing precious steam and heat by the nanosecond) are waiting on the counter waiting to the delivered to our table. I was tempted to stomp up there myself and make a huge fuss, but thankfully the waitress noticed after a few minutes and plonks them on our table apologising.


I was going to take a photo of the bowl of ramen before eating, but you have to understand, by this stage I was beyond caring and was muttering to my partner what I was going to say about the restaurant on this website. He was just eating.

Wagamama - chilli beef ramen

It was a pretty good bowl of noodles. Or maybe it was just because I was starving and mad simultaneously. The madness perhaps stimulating my appetite. Who knows. It is one of the things I always go for in Wagamama’s. Today the beef was a little tough and overdone. Soup and noodles were OK. It doesn’t matter because it all came so freaking late. By the time we had finished it was 5pm, the sun and vanished and it actually looked like it might rain. Wonderful. No beer garden to look forward to.

For a restaurant that prides itself on serving fresh food in an efficient matter – for THIS kind of thing to happen at 4 in the afternoon when there’s hardly any customers there anyway – well there’s no excuse really. The fancy stuff of beaming orders to the kitchen via a palm is great stuff. But there’s only one catch. The waitress actually has to TAP THE ORDER IN. Maybe they should just go back to the ol’ trustworthy pen and pad. What’s wrong with that. Less room for errors for nincompoops.

Now that I have gotten this out of my system, I will now calm down and say the following. It’s still a good place to eat. I have been to other chains and have had no such problems. It’s not their fault that one thick-skulled ninny slipped through the restaurant’s recruitment cracks. I just wanted you all to know about it.


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