Vegan Hot Yasai Katsu Curry

Last week I asked on my Instagram account where I should be going for late lunch. I was seeking somewhere new and not too far away from the house. There were a few places I actually had on my mind myself, however I simply couldn’t decide. The only restaurant that was suggested to me more than once was Wagamama and that’s where we ended up.

Wagamama is a british chain restaurant serving asian (mostly japanese) food all over the world. Last year Wagamama finally launched the highly anticipated vegan menu in the UAE as well and whilst I had been to their branch at the Dubai Mall shortly after the launch, I didn’t take any pictures and hence didn’t add a review.

Fresh Juices at Wagamama
Fresh Juices at Wagamama

This time we went to their location on the Palm as it is still fairly pleasurable to sit outside during the day and this is one of the locations where they actually have outdoor seating as well. We ordered a fresh juice each – one Blueberry Spice and one Positive. It did take a little bit until they arrived at our table, but they were both fresh & delicious. Personally, I did like the Positive one better. It was made out of pineapple, lime, spinach, cucumber and apple and was just a little bit more refreshing than the other one.

In terms of food we ordered the Yasai Gyoza (steamed vegetable dumplings) as a starter, however lateron omitted the starter as the wrong dish was brought to our table. As mains we decided for the Hot Yasai Kastu Curry and the new Glass Noodle Salad with Tofu. The Katsu Curry consists of sweet potato, aubergine and butternut squash coated with crispy breadcrumbs and served with sticky rice and a small salad. We are big fans of Katsu Curries in general but this one is one of the bests. The portion is so huge and the breaded vegetables are very crispy. Since I haven’t tried all of the other vegan dishes I can’t really judge if this one is the best one but I honestly believe so. If you haven’t been to Wagamama yet, I’d probably recommend you to go there only for this Vegan Katsu Curry.

Harusame Salad
Harusame Salad

So, to be honest, we were tempted to have two Katsu Curries (as we knew how delicious it is from our first visit) but I then decided to option for the new Harusame Salad instead as I wanted to be able to review more than one dish. The salad is a mix of glass noodles, kale, edamame, mangetout, carrots and crispy tofu. It is tossed in a light but flavorful limish-dressing. The crispy tofu was kind of hiding underneath all the greens when it was served so I wasn’t that pleased by the look of it, but I was totally convinced of it after the first bite. The flavors worked very well together, the salad was fresh and the tofu was crispy. The Harusame Salad definitely makes a great, lighter alternative to the Katsu Curry.

We were already very happy with the main dishes, but once we had tried the vegan dessert options we were blown away. So we ordered the Pink Guava and Passion Fruit Sorbet and the Vegan Mango Passion Cheesecake (also new on the menu!). The sorbet was good – refreshing and interesting as it wasn’t any of the regular sorbet flavors.

Vegan Mango Passion Cheesecake
Vegan Mango Passion Cheesecake

The Vegan Mango Passion Cheesecake was the absolute highlight though. The cheesecake bit is made out of coconut and cashew and glazed with passion fruit. It is served with the same sorbet as we tried before and mango compote and garnished with coconut flakes. So, first of all, if it wouldn’t have explicitly said that the cheesecake is vegan on the menu I wouldn’t have believed it. We actually went online to double check that this is truly vegan because the cheesecake was so creamy and true in cheesecake taste. The passion fruit layer on top and the mango compote on the side made the dish absolutely perfect.

Pink Guava and Passion Fruit Sorbet
Pink Guava and Passion Fruit Sorbet

Overall I can only say that all the vegan dishes we tried were delicious and that Wagamama makes a great place to hang out with your omni-friends / family or secretly have them try any of the vegan dishes to promote veganism. Additionally to the dishes we tried there are at least four more vegan main options and another five / six starters / side dishes available as well. However, living in Dubai means that we are spoiled with our expectations in regards to service in a restaurant and these were not met during our visit at the Palm branch. Additionally to not really being paid attention to, the food & drinks took relatively long until they were served and a wrong dish was served to us as well. However, on the positive side, the prices are average for Dubai and you can use the Entertainer as well!

The Palm – Golden Mile Galleria

Opening hours: 11AM – 12 midnight every day

+971 45510192

JBR – The Walk

Opening hours: 12PM – 12 midnight every day

+971 43995900

Dubai Mall – Lower Ground Floor

Opening hours: Sun – Wed 10AM – 12 midnight & Thu – Sat 10AM – 1AM

+971 43203237

Marina Mall – Promenade Level

Opening hours: 8AM – 11PM every day

+971 043940440

The Greens – Near Choithrams

Opening hours: 12PM – 12 midnight every day

+971 43615757

Trade Centre Area – Crowne Plaza

Opening hours: 12PM – 12 midnight every day


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