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Wagamama, Another Japanese Chain With An Obsessive Following, Opens In NYC

The UK chain that's been around for nearly 25 years makes a Manhattan debut

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New York’s influx of wildly popular Japanese food chains continues as UK-based Wagamama opens its first New York City location on Wednesday. The restaurant first opened in 1992 with an open kitchen, communal tables, and an expansive menu of different kinds of Japanese food — back when communal dining was less rampant. Despite rapid expansion across the pond (and several attempts at opening in the U.S.), its only locations in the U.S. have been in the Boston area.

The chain’s best known as a ramen shop, but it also dedicates considerable portions of the menu to other subsections of Asian cuisine, like curries, teppanyaki, and donburi rice bowls. Wagamama now has more than 150 locations, and the Wednesday opening at 210 Fifth Ave., at 26th Street, marks just the beginning of its NYC footprint. It’s already planning another outpost in the East Village.

As with other hit Japanese food chains that have recently opened in NYC, fans formed a line outside the restaurant before it opened at 11 a.m. this morning. The following may not be quite as rabid as places like Ichiran, though. By 1:30 p.m., Wagamama’s new NYC location did not have a wait for a table — though staff at the restaurant said they expect lines to form again before dinner service. It’s also a huge space. The bi-level restaurant seats more than 200 people.

Besides being the first location in NYC, the newest Wagamama is also the first to serve cocktails and weekend brunch. Offered from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, the brunch menu has dishes like okonomiyaki, eggs Florentine with a steamed bao bun, roti breakfast wraps, and apple and goji berry pancakes. The drink menu similarly has an Asian bent. It has a list of Japanese beers and cocktails like a yuzu mojito. Check out the menus and photos of the space below.

Wagamama Photo by Bess Adler

Wagamama NYC menu by Eater NY on Scribd

Wagamama Brunch by Eater NY on Scribd

Wagamama Drinks by Eater NY on Scribd

Wagamama [NY]

210 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010 Visit Website
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