Wagamama (81 Dean St, Soho)

 
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Gayest Wagamama of them all
Of the dozen London Wagamamas, this is the newest, opened January 2017, 25 years after Alan Yau first introduced his idea of tasty and inexpensive Japanese soups and dishes in a designer-canteen setting to London. Yau bowed out in 1998, but the company has since expanded in multiple directions, its integrity relatively intact, shunning corporate gloss for the most part. In 2015, following the closure of one of the company's senior outlets, in Soho's Lexington St, Wagamama (which translates as 'selfishness') opened a new flagship branch in nearby Great Marlborough St. But this two-floor, über-sleek outlet rather usurps (urslurps?) it — copper, concrete, chrome, wood and 'warm', neo-antiquey lighting — and is located just two minutes north of Old Compton St, opposite Soho Theatre. Of the two Soho Wagamama options, this goes straight in at number one on the gay chart.

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