survey result

Summary

£47
   ££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Reliable, fun and fast, with a nice range of healthy food” – this Japanese-inspired chain celebrates its 30th anniversary this year from a position of strength, with 42 branches across the capital and another 100 or so scattered across Britain and 21 other countries. Founded by Alan Yau, the restaurant guru who also launched Hakkasan, the chain cost The Restaurant Group more than half a billion pounds when it last changed hands in 2018. “You can’t go wrong here”, fans say – “the Wagas have always seemed to get the fast-food experience about right, so they’re absolutely reliable”“every meal tastes the same, a bit like McDonalds”“and if you’re not happy they’ll correct promptly and without a drama”. They cater for a wide range of occasions: from “a quick slurp of noodles over business”; via “a great (and efficient) place for families”; to branches close to theatres such as the South Bank arts centre (“perfect when you’re in a hurry before a concert”). There are muted complaints: branches can be “charmless” and “soft drink/small bottle prices are a rip off” – but a legion of regulars are happy that “you get what you pay for”.

Summary

£43
    £
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Our cheap, go-to choice when out and about” – this famous noodle chain’s ratings picked up after its October 2018 acquisition by The Restaurant Group, who seem to be re-establishing its core virtues as “an OK place to eat in a hurry”, with a “solid and reliable bowl of ramen” that “fills a hole”, in a “collective” and “busy” canteen setting, all at a “reasonable price”. Even despite TRG’s Company Voluntary Agreement in 2020, the chain emerged relatively unscathed losing just two London branches (Mansion House and the ‘noodle lab’ test kitchen on Dean Street). They’re particularly “a firm family-favourite”“kids love the experience, the service is quick, and it’s nice for them to have something that’s more exciting than a pizza/pasta/burger”. The branch by the Royal Festival Hall is notably handy – “a great option on the South Bank”.

Summary

£43
    £
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Our cheap, go-to choice when out and about” – this famous noodle chain’s ratings picked up this year after its October 2018 acquisition by The Restaurant Group, who seem to be re-establishing its core virtues as “an OK place to eat in a hurry”, with a “solid and reliable bowl of ramen” that “fills a hole”, in a “collective” and “busy” canteen setting, all at a “reasonable price”. They’re particularly “a firm family-favourite”“kids love the experience, the service is quick, and it’s nice for them to have something that’s more exciting than a pizza/pasta/burger”. The branch by the Royal Festival Hall is notably handy – “a great option on the South Bank”.

Summary

£42
    £
1
Poor
1
Poor
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Fans still say “you can’t go wrong for a quick noodle fix”, but overall ratings are starting to crater at these ubiquitous, communal pan-Asian canteens, where “the food has gone downhill”, “the quality of ingredients seems to be dropping” and service can now be very “disjointed”. On the plus side “they love kids, and kids love it”.

For 31 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

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Restaurant details

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