Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Izakaya Wagaya

Wagaya is a new Izakaya style Japanese restaurant in Melbourne, with interactive (ipad) ordering feature. I was fortunate enough to be invited to review the restaurant, at the invitation of their lovely marketing team. To be honest, I had never heard of Wagaya prior the invitation as I have been travelling in and out of Melbourne regularly in the past 6 months and my weekends have normally been based off a long list of 'to eat' places, so I was very pleased to learn there was a new Japanese restaurant in town.





Since it was a tapas styled eatery I was able to try quite a few things without entering into a food coma after 2 dishes.

When we got there we were greeted by a lovely entrance of cherry blossom. The booths were spacious so it gave K and I plenty of space to put our bags.



First thing we tried was the soft shell crab salad. It came on a bed of leafy greens, a zesty salad dressing, lotus chips, corn and cucumber. I liked the crunch the lotus chips added to the salad. As much as I like corn normally, the corn felt out of place in this salad,

How could I have Japanese for dinner and no sashimi? I ordered the salmon sashimi, it came with generous, large thick slices of salmon.

Next we got a bit adventurous and tried the eel and cream cheese California roll. This had the sweetness of the marinate on the eel and the creaminess from the cheese. Texture wise, I found this quite mushy, I think it had to be eaten with the lotus chip, but I found it a tad annoying there was 3 slices of sushi but only 2 slices of lotus chips.

Then came the tomato, mayo, corn pizza. Honestly, I ordered this out of curiosity more than anything. It was the first time K and  I had heard or seen such a combination presented. I found it very interesting, there was a generous amount of topping (calamari, mushroom, tomato, corn) and oozing with cheese on top. The pizza itself was thin base, so if you plan to order it, make sure you eat it fast, before it gets soggy.

The skewers were next, first skewer was the fish cake. It was nicely charred and the cheese melted on top was just the right of melted cheesiness goodness to fishcake ratio.

Second skewers we got was the ox tongue. It was soft and juicy, grilled to just the right amount of time

The last of the savory we got was ramen, The noodle had a bit of a bite to it, so it's perfect for those who don't like their noodles soft. The soup was not as think as I would like it to be but it still contained a rich tonkotsu flavour. It had a bit of a kick to it, tasted like pepper or shimichi.

For desserts we got the parfait. This had a generous amount of green tea ice cream, I really enjoyed the layer of crunch and the red bean topping.

Also we got the WA assorted to share, this came with green tea cheesecake, black sesame ice cream and daifuku. The cheesecake was rich and dense, strong green tea flavours, the black sesame ice cream was not as creamy as I would like it to be, it tasted quite icy and the daifuku was very ordinary.

The also offered a wide selection of drinks, from cocktails, mocktails, beers, sake. So it fits in perfectly to the Izakaya theme

Overall I found Wagaya to be very interesting, their menu is very creative and good place to chat catch up with friends over some sake and Japanese tapas




Izakaya WAGAYA Melbourne on Urbanspoon

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