THERE’S something about oriental food when it’s done right that just tastes so fresh and good for you.

And you can’t get fresher than the dishes cooked up at Wagamama.

The Japanese noodle bar is one of the new wave of additions to Dorset’s dining scene at Brewery Square in Dorchester.

I have long been a fan of the chain’s cuisine but it is something I have had to admire from afar with my trips to restaurants in Exeter and London too few and far between.

The beauty of the new town centre development is that it is now bringing some of these big-name eateries that many towns and cities have enjoyed, and possibly taken for granted, for several years right to our doorstep.

The setting of the Dorchester Wagamama is something quite special.

Timber beams and a light, uncluttered interior make for comfortable surroundings that are easy on the eye and the view over the square and fountains is breathtaking.

While I have had previous experience of Wagamama, my dining companion was a novice and did not know what to expect.

She was taken aback by the amount of choice on the menu with a variety of smaller dishes, rice dishes and – of course – oodles of noodles.

After much deliberation my partner went for the Wagamama ramen, a big bowl of brothy soups packed full of noodles and all sorts of delights such as grilled chicken, barbecued pork, prawns and mussels. I went for the Wagamama pad-thai with chicken and prawns and was pleased to be presented with a beautiful noodle dish packed full of flavours including peanuts, mint and lime.

Both dishes were substantial and we were glad that, after toying with the idea, we had not opted to go for some of the tempting side dishes also on offer such as beef lettuce wraps and chilli squid.

We did decide to go for a dessert to share and were again spoilt for choice.

I could have opted for any one of the desserts on the menu but my fiancée prompted us in the direction of the coconut reika, three scoops of coconut ice cream topped with a passion fruit coulis and coconut flakes.

The ice cream was deliciously soft and creamy and a delicious end to the meal.

When we arrived at the restaurant it was still early evening and the place was a bit on the empty side but by the time we finished the meal it was bustling and there was a pleasant atmosphere.

The staff were polite and explained to us that, as everything was cooked fresh, our dishes may arrive at a different time but in fact there was barely a few seconds between them.

Overall it was a delightful dining experience that I’m pleased I no longer have to travel for.

  • Wagamama, Brewery Square, Dorchester, DT1 1HX. Tel: 01305 260219.