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Wagamama equivalent in NYC?

theashworld Dec 15, 2007 08:38 PM

In short:

warm noodles (not cold)
healthy food
reliable and quick
pleasant atmosphere

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  1. jakew8 RE: theashworld Dec 15, 2007 09:04 PM

    Isn't Republic on Union Square a knock-off of Wagamama?

    1 Reply
    1. re: jakew8
      mrnyc RE: jakew8 Dec 15, 2007 10:07 PM

      it could be, WAGA opened in 1992 and REPUB in 1995. so if pressed i'd say yes.

      its definately spunoff from the INDOCHINE crew:


      i like how folks in some reviews call these joints poor man's asian fusion.

    2. p
      progressivenewamerican RE: theashworld Dec 15, 2007 09:07 PM

      I agree. I lived in London for a few months and am a native new yorker. Try Republic for well priced communal tables of basic pan-asian. it's actually really good a d a great space for what you pay.

      1 Reply
      1. re: progressivenewamerican
        mjps2 RE: progressivenewamerican Dec 16, 2007 07:01 AM

        I like Republic , and I agree too it's probably the closest you'll get. Communal tables, decent food, yes. Still, not quite as fun of an experience as Wagamama.

      2. p
        PhishFoodie RE: theashworld Dec 16, 2007 04:30 PM

        i'd also say republic is the closest i can think of, but i heard wagamama is coming to NY soon too...

        1. j
          JFores RE: theashworld Dec 16, 2007 05:12 PM

          Rai Rai Ken.... AND A HELLUVA LOT BETTER TOO! And way cheaper.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JFores
            elecsheep9 RE: JFores Dec 17, 2007 03:50 AM

            I too think Republic is the closest thing we've got going to Wagammama, but it isn't anywhere as good, IMO. I do know that a few years back a Wagamamma was coming to Boston -- I think the prudential center -- so that could bode well for a NY spot soon as well.

            EDIT: Just went on wagamamma.com and confirmed that there are two locations in Boston (neither at the prudential center, my bad), but thus far that's it for America. Lets get petitioning to the wagamammas for an NYC location. Boston before us? What the...?

            1. re: elecsheep9
              PhishFoodie RE: elecsheep9 Dec 17, 2007 09:35 AM

              yeah, i was going to mention they opened there. that's how i know they plan to or at least want to open here. someone i know worked on the boston stores.

          2. b
            bladerobbins RE: theashworld Dec 17, 2007 10:46 AM

            republic is nowhere near as good as wagamama.

            try ramen setagaya. fantastic ramen, and once you get a seat, it's very speedy.

            5 Replies
            1. re: bladerobbins
              jvish RE: bladerobbins Dec 17, 2007 10:51 AM

              I have not been to Wagamamas in London but there are 2 in Boston and the food is terrible. Its no better than what you could stir fry at home. over priced and really flavorless....one of the more disappointing food experiences I have had in a while.

              I dont know the name off the top of my head but there is a great noodle place in KoreaTown that is similar to Waga and Republic and has even better noodles and dumplings..but the same sort of price point and atmosphere.

              1. re: jvish
                jeanki RE: jvish Dec 17, 2007 11:37 AM

                That's disappointing that the Boston wagamamas arent good because I LOVE the UK ones. They're very fresh and flavorful and fun, and I agree, much better than Republic as well (which tastes too instant to me). I went to one in Amsterdam too which wasnt as good, but the Dublin one was great.

                I do hope anyway that Wagamama comes to NYC soon.

                1. re: jeanki
                  jvish RE: jeanki Dec 17, 2007 12:13 PM

                  We were in Boston and were really looking forward to trying it...my wife had had it in London and was excited to have it again for the 1st time in a while.

                  and you know..clueless servers, and confused cooks..and really just bad food
                  and I am not one to really slam a place unless its really bad, but there was nothing I could reccommend...

                  maybe we just hit it on a bad day........?

              2. re: bladerobbins
                small h RE: bladerobbins Dec 17, 2007 10:52 AM

                I think Republic is kind of eh, but it has many options for the non-pork-eater (as does Wagamama, I just checked the website). Ramen Setagaya and Rai Rai Ken definitely do not.

                1. re: small h
                  bladerobbins RE: small h Dec 17, 2007 11:00 AM

                  that's true. ramen setagaya is not great for noodles if you don't eat pork. but if you eat other meats, they have that amazing rice dish with larb-style chicken and an egg. honestly, i may like it even better than their noodles...

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