Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another trendy Balmain restaurant

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.



9 comments:

FFichiban said...

Hee hee why am I not surprised you had a Zumbo before dinner :P Yeah I agree the font looks a bit tacky and makes it look like a Chinese place imo. The food looks nice though :)

Belle said...

hi ffichiban - it's never a bad time for Zumbo cakes, is it?! And yeah, the food's not bad at Wase, we just felt a bit ripped off.

Lorraine E said...

LOL at Moaning Myrtle :) I totally understand, $32 for 14 pieces and the need to ask if it's the large size is not good, especially as half of them are sushi. If you're ever on this side of the bridge, Sushi Samurai (no relation to the Samurai in Balmain) has a really good sashimi platter for $21 and the sushi is huge and about $10 per "plate". Actually they also have a branch in Pyrmont so that's closer still :)

Belle said...

hi Lorraine - thanks for the tip. We'll definitely be giving Sushi Samurai a go.

thewayitcrumbles said...

Teee I wouldn't complain, 2 meals of Zumbos (XD) and Japanese - though for that price, I think it'd be better to make it 3 meals @ Zumbos ;)
for some reason, the camera trained on the sushi chef made me think of the Coogee Hotel announcing that they were installing cameras in the kitchen - but we're all over that now, huh...

Belle said...

hi Chris - lol re. the camera and that hotel. It actually reminded me of Iron Chef, with the chef arranging the sushi on the patterned plates.

Reemski said...

Ooh, excited. Making a trip to Zumbo tomorrow! Yay! BTW I've tagged you. Come visit to see!

Sarah said...

There's Teriyaki Boy too - just a few down from Samurai in Balmain. Very friendly staff and lovely food. We've always had a great experience there and feel it's reasonably priced. (We actually prefer it to Samurai though it is good too.) But bookings are recommended!

Belle said...

hi Sarah - I'v heard good things about Teriyaki Boy also. Thanks for the tip; must try it out.

Ooh, look at this, too...