One of my duties as being the Face of Friars Walk, is not only to do fashion shoots with popular High Street and independent retailers, but also to do reviews of its facilities too. So, when I was invited sample the new vegan menu at Wagamamas, I was well-excited, as it’s already one of my favourite venues to dine at with family and friends.

Being a Coeliac, I know too well the difficulty and lengthy process of finding a restaurant that tends to different needs and allergies of offering gluten-free dishes. However, after giving the vegan menu a go at Wagamama, I may have found my new go-to-place for a tasty meal that not only is worth every penny, but also tastes amazing too.

Voice Photographer Mike and I arrived around 4pm on a wet January afternoon, but the weather hadn’t dampened the mood of the friendly staff member Kirsten who greeted us with a welcoming smile and hello, whilst leading us to our table.

Looking around, I was happy to see customers dotted all around the room, all clearly enjoying their meals.

Once we were seated by our waitress, Kirsten was very informative of the new vegan menu - she had me excited me to try their new dishes, after explaining how much she loves them being a vegan herself.

Something I’ve always loved about Wagamamas, is that all the food is freshly prepared in front of you – watching the chefs create delicious meals fresh to order has inspired me to get creative and try new things in the kitchen for myself. Not only that, I personally find that you can usually tell if the food is fresh or not by being able to smell it before its served in front of you.

Opening up the vegan menu my eyes were instantly drawn to my usual, the Chicken Pad Tai salad, which is a must to try! However, on this occasion, I opted for the Yasi Itame which was rice noodles in a spicy green coconut and lemongrass soup. Topped with tofu, as a vegan replacement for chicken, I surprisingly couldn’t get enough.

To drink, I’ve have always been a fan of the Wagamamas juices, however, I had not yet tried the positive options and needed to get my hands on this limited-edition juice.

I was pleased to learn that Wagamama’s has joined forces with mindfulness expert Michael Townsend Williams. The result is a mood-boosting juice designed to help us Brits beat the winter blues.

The ‘Positive Juice' contains lots of mood-enhancing properties, and the option I chose offered a blend of pineapple, apple, lime, spinach and cucumber – fruit and vegetables that contain natural feel-good properties as well as vitamins and antioxidants to help boost energy levels. Made using 100% raw ingredients and made fresh to order. Not to forget it tastes amazing!

As each dish is cooked fresh, you may get your side dish before your main or vice versa – depending on which cooks the fastest – that’s just the way it is at Wagamama.

My immediate reaction when my main dish was served in front of me was WOW, it couldn’t have been more beautifully presented and unlike many restaurants, my meal looked exactly how it was presented on the menu.

I could smell everything from subtle garlic to sharp lemon.

As for the taste it was exactly how described, all of the flavours were beautiful, and everything melded together really well. The spicy curry base really complimented the vegetables as well as the intensity of the lemon balancing out the coconut. For anyone who isn’t the biggest fan of spice, don’t afraid to try this, the chilli isn’t over powering, but just creeps in enough to taste it.

What I liked most about the dish was the rice noodles, they made the meal lighter still extremely satisfying.

To be honest I would go back to wagamas just for the tofu it was that good!

To compliment the Yasi Itame I was recommended the Edamame, steamed edamame beans served with garlic, salt and chillie. A little messy to eat, but worth it, as they are refreshing and add that extra bit of additional kick.

Over all I would summarise the Wagamamas new vegan menu as delicious, packed with flavour and filling. It’s the ideal spot to go with friends, family and for anyone who is looking for a healthier meal option. I would suggest even if you’re not vegan to give this menu a try and you will not be disappointed.

I will be back to Wagamamas very soon!

P.S. Don’t worry if you’ve never used chopsticks before, they supply traditional cutlery on the tables for those who haven’t learned the skill yet – but it’s fun to have a go!