Wagamama today welcomes its new little sister to the family - Mamago, a grab-and-go food concept Fenchurch Street in the heart of London, inspired by travels across Japan.
The team behind the popular pan Asian restaurant chain has spent the last year developing and designing the new brand and proudly unveils the very first outlet today.
This first experimental Mamago, which is open from 7am to 6pm, has built technology into the heart of the restaurant by including innovative kiosk ordering to help streamline the grab-and-go experience.
The team produced the menu for the sister brand with fresh food at the heart of their creativity and importantly with lots of customer feedback which they plan to keep using to test and constantly improve!
Wagamama believes in the philosophy of kaizen (Japanese for good change) and Mamago was built in the spirit of such innovation. Great care was also spent in the evolution of Mamago making sure shop finishes were recycled or up-cycled and all packaging is compostable.
Mamago has a philosophy of treading lightly on the earth and they have eliminated traditional plastic packaging by using card and corn starch (PLA) materials to pack the food and juices. (PLA is a recyclable and compostable polymer derived from renewable sources).
For the carefully chosen menu, Wagamama Executive chef Steve Mangleshot and his team travelled across Asia choosing a combination of classic, vegan dishes all designed to be eaten on the go.
The breakfast, lunch and all day menu features Chicken Katsu rice bowls, breakfast wraps, delicious vegan porridges, vegan dishes, salads, noodles, Asian inspired fruit pots, omelettes, fresh juices and smoothies, snacks and much more (see full menu at end of release).
Wagamama business development director, Andre Johnstone said, “At Wagamama we have a deep-rooted belief in kaizen and continuous innovation, so when we developed food that suited a grab and go environment more than our core restaurants we had to create mamago as the home for those dishes.
“We were inspired by our Soho test restaurant Noodle Lab to innovate, test, get feedback and constantly improve. We realise that we can’t get everything right on day one and our philosophy at mamago is to test everything and get as much feedback as possible. We know new product development is messy, so we will listen carefully and keep innovating and improving to stay relevant.”
Just like Wagamama, every dish is cooked fresh to order, as the Pan-Asian restaurant fundamentally believes that fresh tastes better.
Johnstone added, “This means that customers have to wait a minute or two for their food, but we believe the wait is worth it. The dishes include a large range of vegan dishes including vegan porridges at breakfast and the tofu golden laksa with charcoal noodles at lunch.
“You will also see a big focus on freshly made juices and smoothies – we know there is so much goodness in the raw fruit and veg that we use in our juices.”
Mangleshot said, “We’ve borrowed a few things from Wagamama including the phenomenon that is katsu curry – so you’ll see some katsu dishes done in a mamago way including a katsu chicken wrap, a vegan cauliflower katsu rice bowl, chicken katsu rice bowl and naked chicken katsu salad.
'All the dishes have been developed with health in mind which means they there is no guilt to eat at mamago everyday for breakfast and lunch.
“I have taken inspiration from my travels to Japan when developing these dishes. In Japan so much of the food is designed to be eaten on the go and we have always wanted to bring some of those ideas back here.”
Wagamama Design Director, Mark Standing said, “Great care was taken in the evolution of the mamago design and environment. It was important to make it clear to our guests that it was from the Wagamama family with all the quality assurance that goes along with that, but that it had a separate, vibrant and unique personality of its own.
“We worked hard to make sure we used as many recycled, sustainable or up-cycled materials as possible, in line with our environmental beliefs. The tables for instance were ‘up-cycled’ from one of our core Wagamama restaurants following a recent refurbishment.
'We’re thrilled with the result and can’t wait to see what our guests think of the entire proposition.”