Asian restaurant, Wagamama, becomes first restaurant in the UK to launch a menu that will be 50{85424e366b324f7465dc80d56c21055464082cc00b76c51558805a981c8fcd63} vegan in the spirit of combating climate change.

Wagamama has become the first high street chain in the UK to make at least half of its menu vegan.
The pan-Asian restaurant announced a new plant-based menu today with outlets across the UK now serving Spicy Teriyaki Vegan ‘Chicken’ Steamed Buns, Spicy Vegan ‘Short Rib’ Ramen, Teriyaki Vegan ‘Chicken’ Ramen, and Shu’s ‘Shiok’ Jackfruit.

Ahead of the UN’s COP26 climate conference on 1st November, wagamama is urging and incentivising guests to pledge a ‘small choice for big change’ as part of their ‘Plant-Pledge’ campaign which encourages people to eat less meat and dairy. Wagamama is also offering free vegan sides until November – to get guests started on their plant-based journey. Almost 8000 guests have made their pledge, and they are hoping to see an increase when the new menu launches.

Global Executive Chef Steve Mangleshot and his team have heroed a new vegan ‘chicken’ alternative which mirrors the taste and texture of pulled chicken in Wagamama’s new Spicy Teriyaki Vegan ‘Chicken’ Buns and Teriyaki Vegan ‘Chicken’ Ramen. Other dishes include mushroom and soya ‘short ribs’, while turmeric + ginger roasted jackfruit substitutes chicken in ‘Shu’s Shiok’ – the dish Mangleshot created in collaboration with chef Shu Han Lee.

Supporting their 50 per cent plant-based menu, Wagamama will be releasing a TV advert to boost their purpose-led message, linking plant-based eating with helping the planet. Speaking about their new menu, CEO Thomas Heier told FEMAIL:”This menu launch marks an important moment for us as a business, as we officially make our menu 50 per cent plant-based. We’ve been making choices, both big and small, to tread more lightly on our earth.”

What is Wagamama’s plant pledge?

As part of their ‘2021 Positive Action Plan’, Wagamama pledged to make half their menu plant-based by the end of the year. A commitment they will meet three months early as they launch their new autumn menu on 6 October.

Research has revealed that eating a plant-based diet could reduce the amount of land used for agriculture by 76{85424e366b324f7465dc80d56c21055464082cc00b76c51558805a981c8fcd63} and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from food by up to 49{85424e366b324f7465dc80d56c21055464082cc00b76c51558805a981c8fcd63} (Schiermeier, eat less meat, 2019 + IPCC, Special Report on Climate Change + Land, 2019)

“We’re privileged to have restaurants in most major UK cities, therefore feel a real responsibility and exciting opportunity to make plant-based food as accessible as possible to all guests no matter their dietary preferences. We feel passionately that plant-based food can be just as nourishing and delicious. We hope our new menu will influence a positive spike in plant-based menu participation from our guests.”

Friends of the Earth have also supported Wagamama’s efforts. Clare Oxborrow, Senior Sustainability Analyst at Friends of the Earth, told FEMAIL, “Broadening menus so that plant-based food is the first option, or a desirable one, is a great thing to do. The more people that realise that it isn’t a compromise, and that these dishes are tasty and flavour-packed, the more appetite there will be to widen menus even further. Eating less and better dairy and meat is really important as we confront the climate and nature crises. The Plant Pledge campaign is well placed to dispel the notion that food that’s kind to the planet isn’t appealing, so it’s a welcome one. More establishments will see that this initiative from Wagamama is successful, and we encourage them to follow suit in making plant-based options both accessible and crucially, delicious.”

Original source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk