I went for a lunch time meal with mates the other day.
We tried the new Wagamama’s that had opened in town a month or two ago.
My experience of noodles up to this point had been constrained to the dry stuff that you buy in supermarkets and boil for about 10 minutes or the occasional visit to a Thai restaurant. I figured Wagamama’s fell somewhere between the two with its noodles being cooked by professional chefs but cooked in a kitchen belonging to a restaurant chain as opposed to a little Thai family who emigrated here in the 80’s and opened up a family run restaurant in a shoebox.
I was quite impressed by the Wagamama experience. There was an energy about the place that you don’t normally find in restaurants. The waiters and waitresses were visibly busy. As opposed to being invisibly busy where you cannot see them but charitably suppose them to be about the business of another diner.
The food was good but as this is not a sponsored post I am not going to wax lyrical about their fresh spring onions or the tenderness of their chicken breasts. Instead I am going to focus on the tables.
Wagamama’s in Leamington has long trestle tables that span the entire width of the eating environment. Down the centre of this table glides a metal dividing pole with a small strip light installed into the top of it so that one side of the trestle table is divided from the other by close quarter lighting from above.
Maybe to those of you who “do lunch” regularly this is old hat. Those of you who are more cosmopolitan possibly eat from loveseats suspended 8ft above lotus flower strewn water and consider the novelty of long benches and tables to me as being rather twee. To me, however, it was new. And unfortunately my diseased mind could only conjure up one reference point with which to normalize the experience.
The bit where Billy Hayes has been locked up but gets a last visit from his girlfriend and attempts to connect his slobbering, sobbing lips with her pert breasts through about two inches of bullet proof, knife proof, definitely penis proof glass.
Mentioning this out loud probably explains why the conversation between me and my two female colleagues stalled momentarily.
This aside I was impressed by the amount of young kids that were about the place merrily tucking into steaming bowls of eastern-esque cuisine.
Haven’t us proles come a long way since I was a kid?
Back when I were a lad (by ‘eck) it were a big thing to eat out at a Berni Inn let alone somewhere that sold sushi and noodles and expected you to mop the lot up with a pair of chopsticks.
Such marlarky was for rich toffs – those who holidayed in places other than Weston-super-Mare and Scunthorpe and instead pushed the envelope out to the continent and ate at an El Berni Posada in Spain.
The world has very quickly got a lot smaller.
Though, of course, this could entirely be down to an optical illusion caused by the size of the tables...