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London: Wagamama or Abeno Too?

Hi,
Will be in London for a long weekend and have a 'slot' open for fastfood Japanese.
Which should I go for ?

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  1. Haven't been to Wagamama, but I do like Abeno Too. Old thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/555382

    1. I love Wagamama although it does have its detractors. What it does it does pretty well - quick noodles (dont expect sushi etc) for a good price.
      If you want more of a bento box option or sushi as well as noodles, I would recommend Satsuma on Wardour St in Soho

      1. Waga's chicken chili ramen is my guilty pleasure.

        1 Reply
        1. re: copyrighter

          Having lived in Japan, I can tell you Wagamama is not Japanese per se. It's kind of an Asian fusionish place. That said, they do a chicken katsu curry that is as close to authentic as you can find (except in a Japanese restaurant.) Ask them to put the curry on the side. I also am a fan of the potstickers.

          You could try one of the Yo, Sushi! places if you would like to see kaiten sushi in action.

        2. wagamama is terrible unless, perhaps, you've never been to a decent noodle place.

          5 Replies
          1. re: abby d

            That's too harsh. As an American, I was interested in their menu and in the point of sale capability of their servers. That hasn't quite gotten to where I live yet. I also enjoyed the atmosphere. Sure, it isn't 100% authentic, but sometimes visitors are willing to settle for slightly less authenticity for an interesting experience.

            1. re: brendastarlet

              I agree - that is too harsh. As I said in my post further up the board, it does what it does well. I don't think they, or anyone that dines there is under any ilusion it's 'authentic'. Its a fast food noodle place - I've been to plenty of noodle places and each has it's own merits. For ease, convenience, value and a good plate of yaki udon, give it a go.

              1. re: pj26

                My husband lived in Japan for a long time. He says some of the dishes served at Wagamama are also eaten in Japan. I think that makes it quasi-authentic if not more. And how many of those saying it's NOT authentic have actually eaten in Japan, the country?

                1. re: zuriga1

                  I was born in Japan, lived there for 12 years and have been back every year since... I have never had chicken karaage containing oregano like they have in Wagamamas.. The ramen is often way too soft and the soup just wishy washy.. I guess I have been spoilt with the ramen in Japan.. Im crying out for a decent noodle place here in London. As far as i;m aware, one does not yet exist.

              2. re: brendastarlet

                McDonald's has good POS capabilities, their menu has some great American classics on it and OK it isn't 100% authentic.......but it does what it does well.

                IMO it is always a relative assessment, Wagamama is OK if you are not aware of the better places out there. Thanks to hounds like Limster, Ibrahim, Foreignmuck there are some good alternatives. Compared to these is Wagamama good or terrible? I know whose advice I would follow.

            2. Go to Tsuru on Bankside. Great Katsu curry and bento boxes. Fantastic sushi, too, but the cooked food is what I always get.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Ibrahim.Salha

                Make that another vote for Tsuru, I really dig the pork katsu curry. However, that's only for lunch - they have a slightly different menu for dinner. I would also double check that they're open on weekends.

                1. re: limster

                  Oh yes, I didn't read the opening post properly. Sorry OP, limster is right, it's not open on weekends.