Edinburgh’s New Town is still lacking in terms of its offering of a vegan strong menu. Most of the city’s big vegan food providers are based a lengthy walk away from the main shopping streets, a hassle for those laden with bags and tired of pounding the pavement. But there’s news; Wagamama has gone vegan (and just in the nick of time). By the end of 2016, UK plant-based food sales were up 1,500 percent on the previous year. Google trends showed a 90% increase in ‘vegan’ searches. An obvious trend was appearing.
Taking a slice of the vegan market pie seemed like a no-brainer for the big high street food chains. Many chose to dip their toes into the pool at the start of the year, coinciding with the ever growing Veganuary. However, despite vegan options popping up all over the place, most large chains have remained cautious; adding a couple of options to their menus was proving more popular than providing a completely separate menu.
The U.K. Founded, Asian influenced restaurant chain was already accommodating vegans a lot better than most by the start of this year. A good number of the dishes could be modified by simply asking for no meat or egg, and staff were always willing to alter your order on a last-minute request. The Japanese inspired chain has now gone where most brands are still nervous about going, boasting a hefty new menu full of veggie themed delights.
I was invited along to the St Andrew’s Square, Edinburgh branch in October, to get a (generously sized) tasting of their new vegan menu. The staff couldn’t have done enough to make us feel at home (huge thanks to the girl who let me Boomerang her with my cocktail at least 5 times!). Their enthusiasm and energy to promote their new vegan menu was contagious and (most of all) refreshing.
Here’s a look at what you can expect from their new offering …
The Edinburgh Wagamama team kicked us off with their new Jinzu Fever Gin and Tonics, infused with cherry blossom! This was followed by a full portion of every starter from their vegan menu: Edamame (surely an all-time vegan favourite?), Wok-fried greens, Vegetable gyozas and the raw salad. My usual ‘go to’ would have been the gyoza, but PLEASE try the greens! They were to die for and come in a wonderfully flavoursome sauce.
The new vegan menu sports six main dishes; Curries and noodles in all kinds of forms and flavours. I opted for the new Kare Burosu Ramen. Arrive hungry, the portions are plentiful.
Being a blogger has its perks. As well as getting to try all of the starters, we were treated to both the Lemongrass & Lime sorbet, and the Pink Guava & Passion Fruit flavour. It’s great that the chain has thrown two flavours into the mix, though I was slightly swayed by the Passion Fruit option.
Overall, I’m delighted with the huge variety Wagamama has developed for vegans. It’s wonderful knowing that larger chains are starting to see the importance of catering to vegan dietary requirements. I thoroughly recommend a visit to your local restaurant to try it all for yourself. A huge thanks to fellow blogger Frankly Ms Shankly for sending her gyoza snaps my way when my laptop crashed!
Still hungry for vegan restaurant recommendations in Edinburgh? Check out some of my other posts;
Travel writer, marketing adviser and blogger based in Edinburgh, with a focus on budget and vegan travel. 39 countries to date, with extensive knowledge of travel within Asia, particularly within Thailand.