As Daisy Moo, ChocolateQueen and I walked into Wagaya, we were grateful we’d made a booking. Despite the early dinner (by our standards), the foyer was absolutely packed with people waiting for a seat, and as we approached the counter, a frustrated looking couple brushed past us, muttering about how they would never get fed… So, the place is in demand.
The restaurant has an attractive layout, with modern, sleek individual booths and high tech touch screens. The booths are a functional and fun idea, allowing some much appreciated privacy but I did notice that noise levels were still relatively high in the restaurant.
The ordering system consists of simply a touch screen menu, where everything including water and the bill can be electronically requested. I admit, I have little patience for poor service and this system suits me well. The dishes are brought out remarkably quickly and the staffs themselves are polite and endearing, as only Japanese wait staff can be:) We were also provided with a laminated A3 menu as a paper menu.
We start the night with Takoyaki, a favourite of ChocolateQueen’s. I fell in love with these octopus dumplings while I was in Tokyo, where I was mesmerised by the way they were cooked, in spherical pans with impossibly long chopsticks.
An assortment of sushi, we opted for this over the Sushi Roulette simply to get a larger variety of flavours. Toppings included salmon, tuna, kingfish and prawn and avocado. The sushi were fresh and tasty, my favourite for the night being the sweet kingfish
We’ve only ever had ox tongue at Japanese BBQ, so thought we would try this alternative. The tongue was quite meaty, sitting atop a tomato based, pasta like sauce. To the side was a dob of mayonnaise and the only way I can describe the vibe this dish emitted is Bolognaise meets Japan…
Something I feel compelled to mention is the presence of large chips on all but one of our serving plates; I’ve managed to hide most of them in the photos with repositioning. Not only was it unsightly, with huge white chips on our otherwise darker crockery, it’s also a health hazard, as microscopic, potentially harmful germs aggregate and grow in the exposed porous material. An unexpected annoyance in an otherwise flawless setting.
This place is ideally suited to larger groups, as the booths themselves are quite large, and to it’s credit, I never got the impression that we were being rushed (something I truly detest), even though the line was becoming longer as the night progressed, evolving into a mini mosh pit of hungry, hungry people.
If you haven’t been before, the immaculate surroundings, efficient service and novel ordering system make for a unique experience. I strongly recommend booking ahead to avoid the impossibly long cue.
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Lvl 1/ 78 Harbour St