We were invited along to Wagamama at the White Rose Shopping Centre, Leeds, to taste some of their new menu and write about my experience in eating there with a 4 year old!!
Firstly, the restaurant is pretty much open plan and so there are lots of things for the little ones to watch before the food arrives. This, coupled with the free (and fast) Wi-fi throughout the White Rose Centre and the children’s placemat and crayons mean that it shouldn’t be difficult to keep the children entertained before or after eating, which is always a problem!!
In terms of the children’s menu, there are no starters on the menu, but from the adult menu, the pork ribs went down quite well, as they are tangy rather than spicy.
We also went for the wok friend greens starter and these were very juicy and refreshing, but there are a couple of parts which have a soy sauce taste and so you might need to be careful.
However, the children don’t really need a starter as their main course is HUGE!!! We shared a chicken noodles meal and a cod balls meal between us and we struggled to finish them!
There were no overpowering flavours, which is ideal for a young palette, but, the fish cod meal came with a side of curry sauce, which meant that you could spice it up if you wanted and you could experiment, which is the perfect thing about going to somewhere a bit more adventurous for the little ones.
Both meals came with large portions of vegetables and they were fresh, crisp and juicy. However, sweetcorn is very difficult to eat with chopsticks!! The rice was surprisingly a bit easier to eat.
However, the little ones have an advantage as Wagamama’s provide child-friendly chopsticks which can be customised into characters – additional points if you find a more creative name than my lame attempts of “Snappy” and “Choppy”!! There is traditional cutlery available as well, both for adults and children!
Somehow we found room for dessert, and I couldn’t get near the children’s ice cream, so it must have been very good! The chocolate layer cake was wonderful – I just wish I had a little bit more room for it!
In terms of other facilities, there are high chairs available and the toilets are individual cubicles and are decently sized so parent and child can go in together comfortably (major plus for single parents!). We went at 5pm on a Friday and about half of the groups had a child aged under 8 and so it is somewhere where you can happily take your child and they will have a freshly cooked, healthy meal.
I have to admit that my eyes were opened at how a restaurant famed for its spices could adapt for the younger taste buds and Wagamama’s did it very well and I’m sure that we would visit again, in no small part, because of the excellent way the staff treat the little ones.
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