Monday, January 28, 2013

Wagamama Ealing along with # 44 Language and Meaning

A typical Wagamama layout
Yesterday we had our first long delayed visit to the relatively new (to Ealing) Wagamama. As we chose Sunday lunch I guess it was no too much of a surprise to find it populated by many young families with buggies and the tables supplemented by high chair additions. Wagamama is unusual in its almost canteen style of long tables which are mean that you're eating area is shared by people who are not in your 'party'. This although not what many would necessarily choose is probably not a bad thing encouraging us to move outside our regular comfort zone.
Wagamama is up against fairly tough competition in Ealing as it is an area super served for eateries (I would put Tuk Cho,  the enlarged Ealing branch of Hare and Tortoise and Coco Noodle Bar in the same niche).
So what marks Wagamama out from the others (apart from on the day of our visiting a non-functioning male toilet)? Well it's food is at roughly the same price point and the menu perhaps shorter than the others, the food we had came pretty quickly but they do make clear that it comes when it comes and they're not starters but 'side dishes' so things like our (delicious) spare ribs arrived after the delivery of the mains. Service was efficient and they do always make the point of asking if all is okay during the meal.
So would I go again - answer is yes but not with amazing enthusiasm, it's a consistent brand but is does not vary the fare or offer  good or bad surprises ideal for a quick noodle fix.
(by the way I didn't realise previously that Wagamama means in Japanese  'naughty child' certainly one there when we visited.)

Language and Meaning takes the position as No 44

Say what you mean and mean what you say would sound like good advice to many solid citizens and this might be an area where you immediately jump to the conclusion that mere common sense is enough.
A young Elton?
In fact as with so many of Crofton's Big Ideas this is more complex than it first seems - as he points out that although Reginald Dwight and Elton John might describe the same character they offer a different perspective, if  I ask from a church pulpit  'if everyone is having a good time?' the meaning and perceived 'everyone' is different from the meaning that is taken when a rock star asks the O2 audience the same question (the everyone being taken to mean the O2 audience in this instance).
As Wittgenstein pondered (him again - will look at him more soon)  language games can be all about context.
Philosophy Bites podcast here on the subject is worth a listen.
Something to consider as we stumble around what we say and what we mean.