As many of you know, I’m quite the foodie and regularly enjoy a good meal out. You will also know that I don’t usually blog about specific restaurants, but last night’s dining experience was so exceptional, a Tweeted photo simply wasn’t going to cut it!
Situated on Kingsway, just off High Holborn, Wabi is, in my humble opinion, one of the best retaurants London has to offer. It’s Japanese as you’ve never tasted it before and as someone who favours Japanese cuisine in general, it was essentially my idea of food heaven.
In the capable hands of former Nobu head chef, Scott Hallsworth, along with fellow ex-Nobu chef Taiji Maruyama, I already had a sneaking suspicion Wabi was going to be pretty amazing – and an initial peruse of the online menu sent my expectations skyrocketing.
Coming from a launch party, we were over half an hour early for our booking, so settled in the cosy bar lounge, myself with a health-conscious water and my father – the ultimate of dining companions – with a non-alcoholic ‘Firebug’ cocktail. After 15 minutes or so of alternately scrutinising and salivating over the menu, we were led into the sleek interior of the main restaurant. And so it began.
Every detail was carefully honed to perfection, from the enamelled ‘wave’ and foam that accompanied the melt-in-your-mouth yellow tail sashimi, to the modern take on traditional Japanese dress worn by the friendly and attentive waiting staff.
Dad and I spent much of the 12 course meal staring wordlessly at each other, our taste-buds in too great a flux to speak, managing only the occasional ‘Bloody hell‘ when a new dish inexplicably managed to better the previous one.
I apologise for the quality of the photos – they unfortunately don’t do the food justice, as the lighting was dim and I felt using flash would be somewhat intrusive, but hopefully the descriptions (pulled directly from Wabi’s menu) compensate for that which can’t be made out in the pictures!
Yellow Tail Sashimi with Smokey Nasu & Yazu Bubbles
An auspicious start, this is definitely a dish I’ll be ordering on all subsequent visits – absolutely melt in the mouth.
Miso Soup with Nameko Mushroom and Potato Dumpling
There’s miso soup and **MISO SOUP!!!!!!**. This was the latter.
Roasted Scallop with Foie Gras Miso Zuke and Green Chili Sauce
We thought this was going to be the highlight of the meal but although it was fantastically delicious, it was one of the least memorable dishes. That’s how high the standard was.
Beef Fillet Tataki with Onion Ponzu & Garlic Crisps
Now this is how I like my steak and chips. The softest, most succulent fillet with perfect, flavoursome crisps.
Tuna Tataki with Tomato Sheet
At the time, I described the tomato sheet as ‘cool’ and I still can’t think of a more apt word. It looked like latex and tasted like the freshest of fresh tomatoes. Cool.
Toro with Green Chill Miso and Truffle
You really have to taste this to believe it. Toro is the fattier, marbled tuna, rendering it softer and tastier than your usual tuna sashimi. This was SO amazing that we ordered another plate of it before dessert.
‘Lobster and Chips’: Kombu Butter-poached Lobster, Uni, Vegetable Chips & Yuzu-Truffle-Egg Dip
You can’t often go wrong with lobster and this was lobster Wabi-style. No further explanation necessary.
Warm Duck Confit Roll with Cashew-Dare Sauce and Cucumber Pickle
Soft, rich duck; sweet, creamy cashew; refreshing, crunchy cucumber: a match made in Heaven! We came so close to ordering this twice.
BBQ Pork Belly Buns with Spicy Peanut Soy & Cucumber Pickle
It was difficult to find the words for this, so – as had been much the case for the rest of the meal – we just made googly eyes at one another. I think I managed to utter “Best. Burger. Ever” and left it at that.
Chocol-8 – Eight Textures of Chocolate
An ingenious concoction! Concealed within the crisp chocolate sphere was a chocolate feast: ice cream, mouse, cake, different densities of sauce… I counted all eight textures (we had to get one dessert each, lest we miss out on a texture). I’m a self-confessed chocoholic and can safely say this is the stuff dreams are made of.
Petit Fours – Dark Truffle, Green Tea Fondant, White Chocolate & Goji Berry Macaroon, Raspberry Truffle, Seasame Cookie
At this point, maybe we should have stopped, but I REALLY wanted to know what the petit fours tasted like and Dad didn’t exactly try to stop me. I can safely say, it wasn’t an indulgence that I regretted.
And we capped it off with a refreshing Fresh Mint Tea
There are a million and one other delights on the menu I’m keen to sample (not to mention the fact I want to eat all these again), so doubtless I’ll be heading back soon for another evening of excess!