Eating Out Review: Wagamama

Since E was very young we’ve never shied away from taking her to restaurants – both her dad and I are real food lovers, and we’re hoping it will rub off.  We want her to get used to trying new tastes and to feel comfortable in restaurants – meaning that we can enjoy the experience all together as a family.

The first time we took E out for a meal, she was only around 6 week old and she just happily snoozed away in her car seat under the table!  Now she’s older and eating real food, I really enjoy being able to pop her in her high chair and let her experience the same things that we do.

Now we’re not a huge fan of chain restaurants and generally prefer to eat at more local, independent places, however for the purposes of this blog, the larger restaurant chains are going to be more well known to the majority of people, as opposed to the little cafe round the corner from our house so we will be trying a few more out – and as I’ve found many of them are very well equipped for families so are ideal for introducing baby to eating out, without too much stress!

Wagamama is actually one chain that I’ve never had an issue with.  We have an abundance of chinese restaurants and a handful of decent thai places but that’s really as far as oriental cuisine goes round here – so having a wagamama on our doorstep is actually very welcome.

We decided to head here with a couple of friends (also with baby in tow) on a Sunday lunchtime – due to the location we knew it would be busy so called to book, forgetting their policy of no bookings for tables under 8 people.  However, when we told them we had two young babies with us, they waived their usual rules and were happy to book us in.  So far so good!

On arrival, we were shown to a table at the back of the restaurant – I had completely forgotten about the layout of the tables (long benches) in Wagamamas and had a mild panic about where they were going to fit us in with two highchairs!  No need to worry, they give you ones that clip to the table!

Phil and Ted

Have you ever used a Phil and Ted highchair?  They’re pretty cool!

When we’ve taken E to restaurants previously, we’ve always either taken our own food – particularly when we were just beginning weaning, or she’s eaten off our plates, but we decided to try something off the kids menu this time.

The staff in the restaurant were brilliant and really friendly with the babies – we’re familiar with the adult menu but they were happy to go through the children’s dishes with us explaining what each one consisted of, so we could make an easy decision.

My all time favourite dish at Wagamamas is the classic Katsu Curry and I was so excited to see that they did  a mini version of it too – including a vegetarian option of Yasai (Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato).  I ordered the latter for E – she’s not a massive fan of chicken (or any meat for that matter) so we thought this would go down well.  The dish arrived very well presented – with a small portion of sticky white rice, a decent size portion of the Yasai, plus a salad of grated carrot, cucumber and sweetcorn.  The curry itself came in a separate dish which meant E wouldn’t have to eat it if she didn’t like it.

For around £4, it was pretty good value for money, and it seemed like a pretty healthy option. The portion size was probably more suited to a slightly older child but it wasn’t overwhelming for a baby or toddler, particularly if you are used to baby-led weaning.  And of course any left over, was obviously going to be polished off by me or her dad anyway!

All round I’d highly recommend it – it’s nice to see a kids menu that’s not all burgers and fish fingers – and as E seemed to love it we’ll  definitely go back.

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Results:

Food: 5/5 tasty and fresh, miniature portions of the adult menu
Service: 4/5 – friendly, smily staff – happy to explain the menu
Baby-friendly: 4/5 great menu, cool highchairs – not much space for large prams – we put our umbrella fold under the table, but if we’d had the larger buggy we’d be a bit stuck.  Take your sling!
Toilets/baby-change: 4/5 spotlessly clean – I didn’t use the babychange here but my friend said it was fine!

Total: 17/20

It’s been a while!

Here I am back again – it’s been a while since I last posted. There’s obviously a lot with E to catch up on but this is a post just about me!

Under the Weather

The main reason for my absence is that for the past few months I feel like I’ve been fighting off illness after illness. It’s not been a brilliant time to be honest.
I got a cold around mid-October and since then it’s just been one thing after another. It took me about 6 weeks to shake off the cold and then just after Christmas I ended up with a stint in hospital. The doctors thought I had a blood clot and I had to go through a whole rigmarole of tests to discover it was actually gastro related but it was a scary time. I was given medication for that which seemed to help but just a few days later I got tonsillitis.

I haven’t had tonsillitis for 18 years, so it was a bit of a shock to the system. Back then I was told off for kissing too many boys! I promise I haven’t been doing any of that this time around!

The tonsillitis seemed to clear up pretty quickly but then turned into a nasty ear infection. It was so painful and I couldn’t hear properly for about 2 weeks (which came in handy in a few situations!) I was overjoyed when my hearing finally came back though. Once the infection had cleared up I thought I was over the worst of it, only to be hit by another cold followed by an even worse bout of tonsillitis. I’ve really not been having much luck.

Keep taking the pills

I can’t tell you how many antibiotics I’ve been on since the New Year – I really don’t like taking medication if I can help it and I’m all about the prevention rather than the cure but unfortunately everything I had was too nasty just to leave so antibiotics it had to be.

E has been pretty lucky and managed to avoid most of my illnesses – we’ve had a few days when she’s not been too well but she’s a little fighter and she generally makes a full recovery after 24 hours, while I’m still lagging behind with my rubbish immune system. E has started nursery now so she’s bound to pick up a few bugs here and there – I’ve never been too bothered about her getting ill, as long as it’s nothing serious. I’m of the thinking that the more things she gets at a young age, the more her immunity will build up so she’s super healthy when she’s older!

She did manage to pick up conjunctivitis last week – one of the most contagious things ever. After fighting to put drops in her eye (have you ever tried to administer eye drops to a strong, wriggly, screaming baby? I have no useful advice apart from to go back to the doctor and get cream, i’m sure it’d be so much easier) it cleared up within a few days but lo and behold who was the next person to get it? Yes me, her already poorly mummmy!

So here I am writing this blog with a lovely red, crusty eye – having the same issues of trying to get the eye drops into my own eye. Seriously who invented these things?

Building up Immunity

I don’t know if my low immune system has anything to do with having a baby. Throughout my pregnancy I wasn’t ill once (not counting morning sickness), I didn’t even have the slightest of snuffles. In fact I’ve never felt more healthy than in those 9 months – the ‘blooming’ phase was just so true for me. When E was tiny, I remained pretty healthy but then it’s like after a few months someone switched off my immune system and I’m under attack.

Most of my friends who are new mothers have experienced a similar thing, although none seem to have had it quite as bad as me. We assume that when the baby is born we pass on most of our immunity to them and then we need to build it back up again, it’s obviously just that some take a bit longer than others!

I have started taking vitamins now – I really wish I’d started earlier. If you’re reading this and you’ve just given birth, then start taking your vitamins now and hopefully you’ll avoid the immunity slump further down the line.

I’m hoping that there’s no other illnesses waiting around the corner to ambush me – I would just like normal service to resume as soon as possible!

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