The opening reflects the enthusiasm of local residents for the worldwide chain to set up in the capital. In 2007, a campaign group was launched on Facebook calling for a wagamama restaurant in the city. Since then, seven similar groups have been created, each of them accruing several hundred members.
Since the first wagamama restaurant opened in London’s Bloomsbury in 1992, the company has developed a reputation for its fresh food and great service. wagamama is now an award-winning global brand, with accolades including: ‘London’s most popular restaurant’ (2006-2010) and ‘official coolbrand’ (2003-2011).
The Edinburgh restaurant is wagamama’s fourth site in Scotland.
Ingrid Williamson, wagamama Director of Marketing, said: “After much anticipation wagamama is finally opening in the Scottish capital, and we could not be happier. We have wanted to open in Edinburgh for a long time, so are thrilled we can finally share wagamama with everyone and look forward to new and existing wagamama fans tucking into some of their favourites.”
Located in the former Bank of Scotland on Castle Terrace and Lothian Road, the 130-seat restaurant comprises two floors and around 10,000 sq ft of space. New double glazed units have been installed in the original facade in order to create an attractive entrance, whilst there is a wheelchair lift to the side and accessible bathrooms on the main floor.
Malcolm Miller, Project Managager at wagamama, said: “The project did face some difficulties. For instance, a road closure was required in order to provide an increase in water supply pressure. In addition, the building was previously a bank; this created difficulties with the strip out and structural changes due to reinforced floors and walls. Despite this, the renovation works ran smoothly.”
Since the new wagamama restaurant opened, it has received glowing reviews.
An Edinburgh Spotlight review said: “All of the dishes served to us were delicious and our neighbours at the table commented on how pleased they were with their curry choices.
“There are explanations on the menu about all the dishes and types of noodles, so those new to this type of cuisine can easily understand what they’re choosing.
“Time allowed for us to have coffee and tea after our meal and we both concluded that we couldn’t fault the quality of the food or the experience of dining in Edinburgh’s newest restaurant.
The new wagamama is open Monday – Saturday (11am to 11pm) and Sunday (12.30pm to 10pm) and also offers a take-out menu and children’s menu.
Main contractors for the project were Thompsons Contracts.
Last year, Thompsons Contracts completed a 10-week project for wagamama, which involved the fit out of a vacant unit within the Union Square shopping centre in Aberdeen. The empty 240m² unit has now been transformed, with works including: a screeded floor; partition walls; sprinkler system; electrical, plumbing and mechanical installations and all floor, wall, ceiling and feature finishes.
A testimonial for Thompsons Contracts reads: “wagamama have employed Thompsons on a number of both new build and refurbishment projects and have always found that they achieve a very high standard of finish whilst implementing our design briefs in a professional and cost effective manner. Given the quality of the all-round service that they provide, I would have no hesitation in recommending their company to anyone who has a requirement for construction, shopfitting or reactive maintenance service.”