20 June 2013

Wagamama: Updated

Updated 20 Jun 2013: Traveling on yet another early morning flight through Heathrow Terminal 5, I bee-lined over to Wagamama. I contemplated trying somewhere new but the booths are comfortable, the servers are friendly and don't hurry you out if you take your time reading and drinking coffee, plus I was in the mood for something more than just eggs and toast.

While the menu does offer more traditional fare, I spiced up my order this time around with a vegetarian Japanese pancake. The wasabi mayonnaise was sublime. I am definitely importing some of that back to Nairobi! After sleeping through two in-flight meals, I wasn't sure if just a pancake would be enough to quench the hunger, but it was plate-size and quite filling.

There's something for everyone here, from the traditional English breakfast to Japanese delights; as long as you can get over the culture shock of paying about 9 quid for a pancake and two cups of coffee then make this a must-eat your next time through Heathrow. 

21 Nov 2012 initial visit: I am currently on a little break from the African diet since I traveled home to the States earlier this week to celebrate Thanksgiving and stuff myself with all the delicious foods that are not readily available in Kenya. On Monday I flew through London's Heathrow airport where I had a layover from about 5am UK time onward. Great. After a 10 hour flight everyone wants to sit in an airport for five hours early in the morning.

Once through security, a surprisingly simple feat (clearly the Olympics taught the Brits how to move people through quickly), I made my way through Terminal 5 and began eyeballing some coffee shops to camp out. I contemplated hitting up a holiday latte from Starbucks but after seeing the line I decided a cafe sounded more my speed. I wandered back upstairs and saw a Wagamama overlooking the tarmac where I grabbed a booth and settled in with my Kindle. 

As it was still insanely early they were only serving breakfast items; I don't know if this is specific to their airport menu or if they serve breakfast at all their locations. While I would normally love to be adventurous and order some Japanese-style pancakes I decided to be kind to my still fragile stomach and have a traditional egg and toast breakfast. Furthermore, I became irrationally excited when asked what type of water I wanted: still, sparkling, or tap. The thought of safely drinking tap water hadn't crossed my mind in months. It's the little things....

An hour or two later, filled with a latte, cappuccino, two fried eggs over easy, and several pieces of multi-grain toast I headed to my gate (via all the wonderful duty free shops, of course). All in all, the food, while simple, was tasty and the service was excellent, no one tried to push me out while I read and sipped my coffee. While I ended up spending about 10£ for this simple meal, having a place to kick back and relax before boarding another 9 hour flight made it totally worth it. It was a pleasant experience in what can be a hectic, stressful environment. 

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