Wagamama has been beloved by the international ramen obsessed food community since it opened in London in 1992 and finally New Yorkers are able to get in on the slurping action. The new NoMad location opened just a few months ago across from Madison Square Park and quickly garnered buzz around town. While most guests head to this noodle-chain for their Ramen dishes, we went to check out their drinks and beverage program.
The New York outpost of Wagamama is the first in their chain to have a cocktail program, so this certainly got us very intrigued. We arrived around 5PM and were seated at the bar with the very lovely bartender, Liza Cervantes, who was just as excited about the cocktails as we were. Liza helped step us through the cocktail menu, which consists of eight classic cocktails with a little Wagamama twist. We started with the Whiskey Sawa and their most popular cocktail, the Yuzu Mojito.
As we enjoyed our cocktails, we chatted with Will Garcia, their Beverage Director, who told us how methodical and extremely thoughtful these specific cocktails were planned out.
“During our training program we talked through the different dish and cocktail combinations, and each cocktail we made had to be paired up with at least 3 main dishes on the menu,” explained Garcia.
“One of my favorites is the Yuzu Mojito, which pairs nicely with the Chicken Katsu Curry, Teriyaki Sirloin Steak Soba and Firecracker Curry,” he continued. “These three dishes are fairly spicy, so the the Yuzu Mojito makes for a nice refreshing pairing. Our goal is to ensure customers have the best possible combination of flavors, so once our servers take the main dish order they know exactly what side dish and drink to suggest.”
Their beer menu is largely made up of all Asian beers with the exception of Sixpoint; the addition of this local Brooklyn beer was to send a message to New Yorkers that Wagamama wants to become part of the community. Along with the beer, wine, spirits and suprisingly limited sake list, one thing that is not to be missed is their fresh juices. These truly raw juices are freshly pressed to order and are so popular that Wagamama employs a prep team that runs 24/7 to keep up with the demand. Expert thirsty tip, you can add a little kick to any of their juices by adding a shot of your choice. We think that sounds like the perfect brunch move.
Expert thirsty tip: you can add a little kick to any of their juices by adding a shot of your choice. We think that sounds like the perfect brunch move.
We also hear that a second NYC location is being planned in the East Village, so we look forward to more slurping and sipping.
wagamama NYC details
210 Fifth Ave., 212-920-6233, wagamama.us
Connect socially: @wagamama_usa