Before I get into the subject of today’s post, let me first make an apology to Husband for frustrating the b’jeebus out of him with a protracted discussion about the word “wanky”. I’m sorry. And I’ll try very hard to a) explain myself better and b) not use the word wanky again. This post is not going to be wanky. Promise.
So, today I was taken out for lunch with a friend and we picked Wagamama, the well-known Japanese chain serving noodles, rice, katsu curry and other such delights. Delights that until now I’ve not experienced. It’s not for lack of access given that there are 2 outlets in Leeds alone and both are easily accessible. It’s just not happened. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect and given that until about 4 years ago when I met Husband I had a woefully small range of tastes on account of a “strange food = vomit ” phobia/theory that I’ve carried around since I was a child.
Seems weird seeing it written down, but from being a small child, I was stubbornly refusing new food and stuck to the tried and trusted variations of well-known meals. Bolognese is always safe, ditto pasta, steak, risotto etc; new foods especially ones that sound a bit suspect were not to be trusted lest I end up not liking them and vomiting. There is no correlation between not liking something and vomiting (that I can remember) so where this association sprung from is anyone’s guess. Mum, Dad – feel free to chip in here with repressed childhood memories.
I wasn’t sure what to expect and probably because of the that, I was pleasantly surprised. Vaguely communal, bench style seating felt much less formal than most restaurants with tables of 2 and 3 seats. Persuaded to try edamame beans with chilli garlic salt was testament to the change that I will mostly try new things without thinking I’ll automatically hate them and throw up. Safe to say, I ate most of the portion and proceeded to scoop the salt flakes from the bowl…with my fingers. They also come in a plain salt version, for those who are less fond of chilli and/or garlic. In a similar vein, gyoza (fried dumplings of shredded duck) and onigiri with mushrooms were also new. My “try new food” regime is going well and my Wagamama cherry was popped.
One massive bowl of chicken ramen later, in which when a good slosh of soy sauce and chilli oil (yet another new thing, the oil not the soy) and I was hooked. I said I wanted to eat my way through the menu, save for the prawns and squid, and I’m guessing it wouldn’t be hard to go once a week and eat something different each time. Most dishes are customisable so you can swap white for brown rice, udon for rice noodles and change the broth strength to suit the mood and the taste. My bank manager might not be so enthusiastic however – definitely one for special occasions and the occasional lunch with friends.
I think what I’m trying to say is, expect the unexpected. Try new things even if it scares you. Taste new food – unless you are allergic to eat, it’s unlikely the kill you or make you sick. Talk to new people and experience new environments. As much as I love Bolognese, it can be a bit boring if it’s all that I’ll ever eat.