I quite like Wagamamma – the food is quite tasty, there is generally a buzz about the place, you can generally get a seat reasonably quickly and it is family friendly. It's quite expensive for what it is, but the kids love it. But why oh why do they:-
1. Feel the need to scribble your order on your place mat when they have already tapped it into the little Nintendo DS that they carry in a leather holster around their waist? It is done in such a way as to be indecipherable in any event. When your food has been safely delivered (eventually – see below) they come along and make another indecipherable scribble. If you want to cause chaos take a pen with you next time you go to Wagammama and scribble lots of hieroglyphics on your place mat. "Does not compute, does not compute..."
2. Always tell you that as your food is freshly cooked the dishes will arrive as they become ready rather than all together. Everyone nods, but no one asks why. Why, when most other restaurants that cook fresh food seem to be able to deliver everyone's food at the same time, can't they? It is not complicated food and it is not even fresh – it's stir fried noodles and pre-prepared breaded chicken in pre-prepared curry sauce on pre-prepared rice for heaven's sake. Even I could deliver three lots of that at the same time. And do so most nights. Without having to write on the table cloth.
3. Insist on calling you "you guys" (a massive pet hate of mine and another potential rant all on its own). It is not an American diner. In fact what exactly is Wagammama? Is it Japanese? They describe themselves as being Pan-Asian – what the hell is that supposed to mean? Do they have no idea how big Asia is? What is "positive eating"? And "positive living"? It's interesting that they don't publish any nutritional information on their website (I just checked) which probably means that it is not as "positive" as they like to make people think. Couldn't they just drop all that pretentious bollocks and channel more effort into serving you all your food at the same time?
4. Not offer you complimentary green tea any more? I used to think that was a nice touch.
If you want food that is better, tastier, cheaper and less pretentious than Wagammama, go to Kitsu in Tunbridge Wells. And you can take your own booze. And they don't scribble on your place mat either. Which is nice.