We’ve been trying to get into this new Balmain restaurant (Wase Japanese Dining) since it opened about 2 months ago and it’s been booked out every Friday and Saturday night since. Honestly, it put me off a bit, because it’s only popular because it’s new, I thought. We finally got in on the weekend by turning up late-ish (8.45pm) and got seats at the long communal table. I would have preferred one of the booths that line the place, as they’re a bit more private, but we were given table seats instead.
The crowd is mainly couples or young groups, and the noise level can get high, though when we got there, most people were finishing up. The waitstaff are fairly efficient given how busy they must get. Interestingly, the one and only sushi chef has a camera trained on his workstation so you can see him preparing on a big screen (nice touch if you run out of conversation with your dining partner!).
We started with Nasu Dengaku (grilled eggplant, $12) and tempura soft shell crab ($18), both of which were good, though oily, which is to be expected with such dishes. The crab was moist and meaty and dark shelled rather than orange. Tasty.
The sushi and sashimi platter took a bit longer to arrive because they were busy (said the waitress). And the plate was tiny! The bf actually asked if it was the large size that we ordered. I think it’s a bit rich charging $32 for 14 pieces. The fish was fresh and good, but the cost didn’t leave a very nice taste. Lucky I wasn’t that hungry after eating a Zumbo apricot Danish (brekky) and passionfruit tart (afternoon tea) beforehand.
Overall, the food here is not bad though the value for money is not the best. I’m not sure I’d visit again because of the cost and the crowding at the communal table (again maybe cos it’s new and trendy). And I think the name of restaurant is wanky (what type of ‘real’ Japanese place calls itself ‘Japanese Dining’?). And the wonton font they’ve used on their sign outside is such a cliché. Sugoi sushi train or Samurai (both down the road) are a better bet if you’re after Japanese in Balmain. Sorry for the rant, I just felt like a bit of a whinge. Moaning Myrtle…out.