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Apr 23, 2007 11:32 AM

Wagamama open today?

Just saw this on my Outlook calendar. Duh!

Anybody go for lunch?

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    1. I walked by it, looked like a lot of people were there...

      1. just had lunch there. bottom line: decent minimalist decor, but didn't get to see downstairs; very shaky service (at a table of four, dishes arrived in two pairs, separated by an unexplained twenty minutes); food just north of bland.

        it's edible, and i'd probably go there again. but it's just more of the same for the existing repertoire of serviceable faneuil hall counter food; nothing paradigm-shifting here.

        i'd still prefer the chicken teriyaki with noodles just inside the colonnade at megumi.

        10 Replies
        1. re: coookie

          that's disappointing. There was a very brief mention of the chain in this month's bon appetit, and it got me excited that we were their first US venture.

          Does anyone know where they're going into Harvard Sq? Is it where the old structure/limited space (underneath the empty HMV) is being renovated?

          1. re: bostonman

            they are going into the galleria on JFK street

            1. re: maxevan

              That strikes me as a slightly weird location. The Galleria's such a blah little bit of out of date development. Any idea which space they're going into?

              1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                I read that they are going in the space that is downstairs from Bombay Club by Winthrop St.

                1. re: michela

                  Funny. I read they were going in the Church St. space that housed Rock Bottom and Brew Moon... Just looked at their web site and it says 57 JFK St. I believe that is the Bombay Club building.

                  1. re: kittychow

                    There's a large space on the lower/basement level that used to have a restaurant in it a while back. That may be the spot.

                2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                  It looks nice, actually, similar to OM. I'll probably be checking it out today, see if it can hold up to Porter's places, which I doubt but am optimistic as it's more convenient.

                  1. re: sailormouth

                    It was all right, Porter is better by far. Service was great: quick, efficient, friendly. Seemed like kitchen may have been a tad on the slow side. Veggies in the spicy chicken ramen I got were good, chicken tasted like something out of a Tyson bag.

                    I don't know how cold it gets in London, but they're going to have major issues when winter comes, as there seems to be no accommodation whatsoever for coats etc. . .

            2. re: coookie

              we went by there tonight, but there was a line..we waited for abt 10 minutes but it didn't seem to be moving all that quickly so we went inside to the food court instead. it looked to me like things were humming but wait staff was definitely busy. i'd cut 'em a little slack since it was their first day open and they were obviously jamming.

              1. re: coookie

                I can't explain away the 20 minute delay (other than just shaking out the kinks) but at the Wagamamas in the UK that I ate at, bringing each dish out as soon as it's ready instead of waiting for all of the table's dishes to cook was the standard operating procedure.

              2. Dippy Sheryl Julian, the Globe's favorite waste of newsprint, devoted two full pages of breathless gushing to Wagamama today. The amusing part is that even in this brainless puff piece, there were complaints about the quality of the food. Even the recipe added on admits that in a dish called "soba," they use ramen noodles, not soba noodles.

                I suspect that Wagamama (I refuse to spell it lower case, which is apparently what you're supposed to do) will end up being about as successful in Boston as Krispy Kreme was. And we saw how well THAT worked out. In the meantime, see you at Ken's Ramen.

                8 Replies
                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                  Hmmm I dunno. I bet they end up being pretty successful. There are LOTS of middle-america tourists visiting Faneuil Hall who might be inspired to try some "ethnic" food. And fairly middle-of-the-road, safe, bland Asian will probably fit the bill perfectly.

                  1. re: twentyoystahs

                    Yeah, witness the support, even on this board, for a place like Betty's Wok and Noodle, which serves the same demographic i the Huntington Theatre and Symphony Hall area.

                    1. re: galleygirl

                      We filled out a seruvey and got a free entree, appetizer nad 2 drinks each before they opened (did this Friday night). It was OK. It would be an acceptable food choice to go w/ all of Fanueil Hall's other choices... I got the veggie yaki soba and the raman noodles did put me off a bit. IT's not that it wasn't good but I have had better yaki soba. Their fresh juice was good though. The staff was really nice. TO me it was jsut another type of "fast food" for the area.

                    2. re: twentyoystahs

                      which is why they pick locations like faneuil hall and harvard square. another need-not-try, imho.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        We went b/c it was free.. other wise I don't think we would have...

                    3. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                      I think they will be successful. They certainly have good marketing buzz right now.

                      However anyone who raves this place is caught up in the concept and has never had good pho. I went one on the UK, it was fine, but nothing special.

                        1. re: onefoodguy

                          The Super 88 food court in Packard's Corner, Allston. It's not in the food court proper, but in a separate room between the food court and the supermarket. When you go, try to sit at the bar: it's a treat to watch the surgical precision these guys have when preparing a bowl of noodles.

                      1. Obviously this is not "authentic" Asian food or fine dining. But as a *fast food chain* concept, I was always delighted by Wagamama for a quick lunch when visiting London on business. Super fast sit down service and the nature of the food was light years better than what you would expect here at an Au Bon Pain, Sebastian's, McD's, or whatever. I also always thought Pret a Manger could do well here.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: samovar32

                          I went tonight and enjoyed my meal. We didn't wait long. The service was OK...a bit slow. Was it the most authentic, spiciest, incredible meal I've ever had? No, but it was a good honest meal on a chilly rainy night.

                          Pret a Manger would be mangled here in the states.

                          1. re: tallullah

                            Hasn't Pret a Manger been in NYC for at least two years?

                            1. re: a l i c e

                              It's been here longer than that; I remember eating at one in NYC in July 2001, and the official website says it opened in NYC in mid-2000:

                              1. re: ursamajor

                                But there's only 1 or 2, I believe...not like in London. Pret is the only fast-food chain I've ever gotten excited about seeing on every corner...

                                1. re: tatamagouche

                                  No, there's more like 20 locations in NYC.