On Tuesday I was lucky enough to attend a preview of the much anticipated restaurant, Wabi, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed, in fact I would go as far as saying it is one of the best new Japanese restaurants London has to offer.
I know a few of you will roll your eyes and say “come on, it can’t be that good” but you really have to trust me on this one, it is that good, and when the doors open to the public on 14th February I urge you all to visit.
To give you some background, the 120 seater Wabi restaurant is the love child of Andre Cachia (one of the UK’s most exciting entrepreneurs) and Scott Hallworth (the chap behind the launch if Nobu Melbourne having previously been head chef of Nobu London for six years) and also employs staff from many of London’s most established eateries, so it’s safe to say, this place has some seriously good breeding.
Myself and other lucky bloggers were treated to the delicious eight course tasting menu which was packed with variety and originality. We enjoyed elegant dishes which had been cooked (or in the Sushis case prepared) to perfection and each course was bursting with flavour.
For me, the stand out dish was the BBQ Pork Belly Buns with Spicy Peanut Soy. Seriously meaty, chewy, flaky, juicy, sticky, sweet and spicy – quite frankly they were unbelievable. I also had the pleasure of watching the chefs use their blow torches to achieve the wonderful golden brown glaze of the buns and the precision they took with each was mesmerizing.
For seafood lovers I would highly recommend the huge Langoustine Tempura with Spicy Shiso Ponzu. The classic tempura dish was elegantly simple yet had been remixed to include exotic flavours which were highly effective – another mouthwatering dish which must be tried to be believed.
We were also treated to the much famed Fois Gras ‘Martini’ with Umushu Jelly and Nashi puffed rice which has established itself as a firm favourite on Wabi’s sister restaurant in Horsham. This was a course I really, really wanted to like… but unfortunately didn’t. I’m fine with the idea of foie gras but I’m not a big fan of the texture of jelly or the taste of martini. Nevertheless, it was beautifully presented and seemed to be a hit with my contemporaries.
I believe Wabi flattens Dinings (once hailed as London’s finest sushi counter, but now just full of fat Russian businessmen and bored staff). It is more refined and delicate than YoSushi (which I view as the McDonald’s of sushi lovers i.e. you always know what you’re going to get and sometimes, that type of comfort is invaluable) and light-years ahead of Sushi of Shuori (who’s cult-like foodie following is beyond me unless one enjoys an incredibly expensive and atmosphere free dining experience).
With dinner averaging around £35 per person I whole heartedly recommend giving Wabi a whirl for a treat night, as for food, atmosphere, variety and informed staff, Wabi comes top of the pile!