Casual dining chain, Wagamama has expanded its vegan menu after introducing a vegan full English breakfast at Heathrow and Gatwick airport, which will be expanded to other stores if demand is shown.
The breakfast is part of a series of exciting new dishes, appealing to an ever growing vegan market. Currently the UK has over half a million vegans 542,000, up 150,000 since 2006 who have opted for a healthier lifestyle which accounts for more than one per cent of the population.
The new menu was created by Wagamama Executive Chef, Steve Mangleshot, and features nourishing dishes, each inspired by different flavours from Asia that truly reflect the soul of Wagamama’s very popular food.
The full breakfast range includes: The full vegan (two rashers of maple seitan ‘bacon’, beetroot and seitan sausages, scrambled turmeric tofu, grilled tomato, wilted spinach, sautéed sweet potato and shiitake mushrooms), the vegan roti wrap (a thai flatbread served rolled up with spinach, mixed mushroom, shichimi tofu and sriracha mayonnaise).
These are joining three other vegan dishes that launched recently including: Avocado toast with scrambled turmeric tofu (with a lightly dressed mix of avocado and chopped tomato served on a slice of toasted multigrain bread); Coconut porridge (creamy porridge made with coconut milk and served with a raspberry compote and crunchy granola bowl with creamy coconut yoghurt and raspberry compote topped with toasted pomegranate, cranberry and raisin granola).
Mangleshot said, “When we create vegan dishes we primarily want them to taste amazing so anyone can enjoy them, not just vegans. I’m particularly proud of the full vegan as everyone loves the variety of a cooked breakfast and the range of flavours we have compiled in this dish makes sure that this is guaranteed to excite everyone’s taste buds.”
Wagamama Marketing Director, Andre Johnsone said, “We spend a lot of time talking to our vegan diners and team members to understand what gets them excited. This has meant that in the last few years we have been at the forefront of bringing vegan dishes to the market and we have also collaborated with a number of vegan chefs.
'These influences have helped us make sure that we think about dishes that suit a range of needs whenever we make new food. The new vegan breakfast is another example of this innovation. We love that our airport guests can now enjoy a full vegan before they fly from Gatwick or Heathrow.”
Last year, Wagamama launched the highly successful vegan dish – the vegatsu which allowed vegans across the nation to at long last be able to taste the restaurant’s famous dish: the iconic katsu curry.
It was the biggest menu shift in the brand’s 25-year history and the vegatsu, dubbed the impossible curry, available across its 130 UK restaurants was a huge success. The addition was designed to appeal to both dedicated vegans and a growing ‘v-curious’ population.
The original katsu curry – introduced by wagamama in 1992 - is one of the UK’s most popular dishes selling over 3.5million dishes a year (10,000 daily).
The launch of the vegatsu followed a hugely successful three-month trial at the brand’s test and innovation kitchen, noodle lab in the heart of Soho. The dish proved to be the most popular item on the noodle lab menu since it was introduced by Steve Mangleshot who swapped chicken for the vegan substitute, seitan.
Wagamama has led the charge in a cultural food shift on the high street by using the wheat-based substitute seitan to make its mark on the veganosphere. The meat-free dish is perfect for vegans and flexitarians craving Wagamama’s signature dish and iconic flavour, but also a great introduction for the 16millions v-curious Brits.
The perceived health benefits of a vegan diet are thought to be driving the pioneering food trend. Advocates of plant-based eating say vegans typically have lower levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, a lower body mass index, and reduced risk of fatal heart disease.
In October 2017, Wagamama launched its vegan and vegetarian menu across the UK, which comprised of 28 dishes. This was followed by the addition of even more plant-based dishes to the new menu for summer including three new dishes Harusame glass noodle salad (tofu), Mushroom and panko aubergine steamed hirata buns and Yasai katsu curry.
The vegan menu also featured a wide range of craft beers, spirits, wines as well as the delicious range of vitamin-packed juices; all perfect for those enjoying a vegan lifestyle.
What is Seitan? Although made from wheat, seitan has little in common with flour or bread. Also called “wheat meat”, 'wheat protein', “wheat gluten” or simply “gluten”, seitan becomes surprisingly similar to the look and texture of meat when cooked, making it a popular meat substitute