Average Socialite had the pleasure of trying wagamama’s nama spicy tuna bowl! |  Photo: Lucas Hoeffel for Average Socialite

Average Socialite had the pleasure of trying wagamama’s nama spicy tuna bowl! | Photo: Lucas Hoeffel for Average Socialite

Summer will soon be upon us and wagamama has been busy creating bold new dishes to ramp up their menu – using thirst-quenching ingredients to deliver a lighter fare while also serving spicy foods to cool you down during the warmer months.

wagamama, with a cult-like following and a menu that has pioneered some pretty big trends, will launch several new dishes beginning May 20 exclusively at all five U.S. wagamama locations in New York and Boston. Best known for their ramen, the restaurant is introducing two summer bowls inspired by the poke trend and a ryokucha (green tea) noodle teppanyaki, perfect summer offerings for dining in or grabbing to go.

And, due to its popularity when it was introduced in January, Avant Gard’n—a vegan barbequed seitan dish created in collaboration with chef Gaz Oakley —will return to the menu. The U.S. wagamamas are also revamping their desserts to introduce more Asian-inspired flavors and launching a refreshing matcha juice.

With close to 200 locations worldwide, wagamama is known for its innovative approach to serving wholesome, fresh food in a lively atmosphere to nourish the body and soul. The summer bowls follow that food philosophy, conceived in keeping with the concept of “kokoro,” which means spirit, heart and mind.

The nama spicy tuna and shichimi tofu bowls are great healthy, light options. They make a wonderful pairing with wagamama’s imaginative range of cocktails, especially enjoyable at the locations with an outdoor patio.

Nama spicy tuna features sliced, marinated and lightly seared tuna, served on a bed of brown rice with tomatoes, cucumber, edamame and radish with goma (sesame seed) seaweed, pickles and a spicy mayo and miso dressing. The tofu bowl has shichimi spice-coated tofu atop brown rice with tomatoes, cucumber, edamame and radish, accompanied by goma seaweed, pickles and a ponzu and miso dressing.

The new teppanyaki has ryokucha soba noodles in a dashi and soy-based tsuyu sauce with two fillets of miso-glazed cod, stir-fired bok choy, snowpeas, red peppers and scallions. It’s drizzled with a sweet miso dressing and garnished with fresh ginger, chili and cilantro.

Introduced as part of its month-long “veganuary” celebration of vegan fare, the Avant Gard’n is barbecue glazed seitan, grilled asparagus and shiitake mushrooms served on a bed of brown rice, topped with fresh edamame, carrot and scallions and finished with sweet amai sauce, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and half a fresh lime.

Trailblazing UK vegan chef Oakley will also be back in the US to promote the new menu. His “back by popular demand” tour beginning June 17 will include four events, two in New York and two in Boston. Oakley will meet and greet fans, and at some locales, conduct a live cooking demonstration showing how he makes his ingenious vegan egg from coconut and sriracha.

On the sweeter side of the menu, diners will find matcha cheesecake served with a scoop of ginger ice cream, a lemon tart with a berry compote and topped with a sprig of mint, ginger ice cream with caramel sauce, and dairy and vegan versions of coconut ice cream, both served with passion fruit puree and tempura tenkasu. The new juice contains a healthful mix of matcha, apple, pineapple and mint.

The menu updates reflect the restaurant group’s commitment to the theory of kaizen or good change. Constantly refining its recipes, wagamama strives to get better every day.

Visit the wagamama Nomad or wagamama Murray Hill restaurant today!

wagamama juice with biodegradable paper straws |  Photo: Average Socialite

wagamama juice with biodegradable paper straws | Photo: Average Socialite

Since Earth Day on April 22 the final straw, or at least the final plastic straw at wagamama restaurants in the US. Following action the UK-based restaurant has already taken in Britain and locations around the world, the wagamamas in New York and Boston is now offering only biodegradable paper straws for its fresh juices and no longer use them at all for its other drinks. As an additional sustainability measure, the eatery is doing away with the cardboard sleeve, aka the belly band, on its recyclable takeaway packaging at its 135 UK and U.S. locations.