Friday, July 15, 2011

Wasabi Bistro, Surry Hills

Our next meal deal voucher sees The Boy and I head to Wasabi Bistro in Surry Hills for a seven course banquet – all for the bargain price of $49 for two people! The voucher tells us that the deal is actually worth $128, bargain!

And as if that isn’t exciting enough, this was the first outing with our new baby. No, not a real baby (eww), but our new DSLR camera. The Boy and I have gone halvies in a Nikon D3000 – which is a DSLR for newbies to the DSLR scene (which we are). It is “pre-loved” but with only one lady owner before me us it’s in top condition and I LOVE it (even though I don’t know how to use it).

Throughout the meal I have to remind myself that this is a “shared camera” so I force myself to stop giving The Boy “stink eye” whenever he reaches for my our camera. This sharing business is overrated if you ask me.

Wasabi Bistro is located in the old St Margaret’s Hospital complex on Bourke Street. The hospital has since been turned into apartments, with a plaza at street level dotted with various restaurants, coffee shops and an amazing looking cheese shop. On the day we visit it is FREEZING and the plaza serves only as a wind tunnel, so we are relieved to get inside the warm and inviting interior that is Wasabi.

The restaurant is HUGE. On the Sunday we visit we are only one of a handful of diners and the place does have a slightly cavernous feeling. The Boy points out that on a busy night the restaurant would feel comfortable and not over-crowded with plenty of space between the tables and different “areas” to sit in adding to the spacious feeling.

The deal includes two glasses of either red or white house wine, however both The Boy and I are feeling a bit off colour so we substitute our drink for Coke Zero. The Boy took this picture on MY camera – not bad for a first attempt!

Once the drinks are sorted out the meal commences with a lovely Agedashi Tofu. The tofu is soft, silky and sits on top of a small amount of dashi broth – enough to get a good flavour happening, but not enough to make the potato starch dusting the Agedashi Tofu go soggy.

Next we get to choose between steamed or fried Gyoza. It’s no competition really – both of us prefer the crispy bottom on a fried Gyoza and find steamed Gyoza a bit underwhelming really. Why steam when you can fry I ask you?

I always feel hard-core when I eat Beef Tataki, after all the idea of slightly seared, but mostly raw, marinated tender strips of beef isn’t for the faint hearted. That said; when done right Beef Tataki is a lovely, fresh dish and I recommend everyone try it at least once in their lifetime. The Beef Tataki at Wasabi is stellar, and they have taken a lot of care with the plating and presentation.

Although not for those watching their weight I can't help tucking into the inviting looking Assorted Tempura. The batter coating the prawn and vegetables is light and not at all oily. Although there are two of us dining, there are five pieces of tempura - why can't restaurants provide even pieces of food in shared dishes like this I ask you? The Boy very diplomatically splits the last piece in half so we are even Stevens in the Tempura department. He is  much better at sharing that I am.

More decisions face us with our choice of California Roll (8 pieces) or Grilled Salmon Roll (4 pieces). Being the greedy guts’ that we are we go for quantity over quality and opt for the California Roll. That said, the quality and flavour of this roll was really top notch – although a little loosely rolled leading to some pieces falling apart (or was that more due to my inability to use chopsticks...once again)!

Next course is Miso Soup, presented in a quaint lidded bowl to keep the warmth in. The soup is lovely - warm, slightly salty and studded with pieces of Tofu and sliced green onions. It ticks all the boxes for a good Miso Soup.

What more food? And more decisions? We each get to choose a main meal and whilst the options are not overly huge we don’t decide what to order until the waitress is standing at the table. I opt for the Teriyaki Chicken and order the BBQ Beef on behalf of The Boy.

The BBQ Beef tastes very simple, thus it must be healthy, right? Right! The beef is sliced incredibly thin and has a slightly smoky flavour.  Crunchy pieces of capsicum, onion and snow peas adorn the beef.

The Teriyaki Chicken is a great dish. Succulent pieces of plump chicken doused in a sweet, sticky teriyaki marinade. The rice and side salad are a nice offset to the sweetness of the teriyaki sauce.

Last decision of the meal is to choose a dessert each. Being big kids at heart, we forgo the interesting sounding sweet potato soup and opt for ice cream. I was quite taken with my choice of Green Tea Ice Cream, which even had small fragments of tea in it, when The Boy asks me if I’ve ever noticed how Black Sesame Ice Cream kinda tastes like Cookies ‘n’ Cream. Instantly I have ice cream envy!

Although Green Tea was included in our banquet it wasn’t offered to us until the very end of the meal, as we are eating our dessert. We’re both too full by this point to consider putting anything more into our stomachs, and the idea of drinking Green Tea and eating ice cream kind of makes my stomach want to curdle. I feel, when eating a Japanese meal, Green Tea is best served at the beginning of the meal, rather than at the end. What do you think?

Wasabi Bistro is at Shop 6B-8, 417-431 Bourke Street, Surry Hills. You can phone them on 9357 2076.

Wasabi Bistro on Urbanspoon


  1. I have always wondered about this place! looks great, photos look great too!

  2. oo food looks great and congrats on the new baby! (slr) hehehehehe

  3. New camera, yay! Great pics, BTW. I'm so having Japanese for lunch today.

  4. I am so tempted to go here now, it looks lovely. Congrats on your new toy, lol Cheesecake Boy and I are trying to work out his new toy too right now, it's not so straight forward :(

  5. I'm glad you like the little 'baby'; your photos look fantastic (that lens is great). And don't forget that sharing is caring!

  6. ooh! Nice! I'm always a fan of japanese food! Nice pics btw! and DON'T make me point out the obvious steaming benefit! BAHAHA!

  7. Congrats on the new baby!! GO NIKON!

    I can say your photos have already improved -- you have the eye already -- just needed some new tools!

    It's so good you got it in time for Simon's class tomorrow!! Wish I could go -- I'll try and book into his next one ^__^

  8. Nice pics! I want a new camera now, it's all your fault Miss Piggy - waaaahhh!!!!

  9. your pictures look amazing! i want one....
    its funny that you like the beef but yet have your steak well done!?!

  10. Excellent job on the pictures, I think the new camera might have been a wise investment.

    I love going back over old posts to see just how bad my pictures were before I learned to use the other settings on my camera. Still not superb on my part. But I feel I'm getting there.

    I'm sure the class will be wonderful. I look forward to seeing what you can do, meanwhile. I'll be out looking for some prawn tempura to sate this craving you've sparked.

  11. I absolutely loved the tataki at Wasabi Bistro! Congrats on the new camera!

  12. Mmmmm.. ths shots look amazing!

  13. yay on your new (DSLR) baby! im sure ull master it very soon esp with Simon's photography course tomorrow! and yes i have to agree that green tea should be served with the meal rather than at the end.

  14. Lots of fun with the new (shared) camera! =D

  15. Nice photos! Congrats on the new purchase :)

  16. love the shots, dave barely blogs so i'd say that it's yours!

  17. Wow that was fast! That coupon only came out a couple of days ago!! We got one too, so looking forward to it :) (And I totally agree re fried vs steams- fried all the way!!)

  18. haha i much prefer pan-fried over boiled gyoza but at least it's healthy :)
    usually green tea is offered at the end as a digestive tea but obviously it can be drank from the beginning of the meal; mum usually makes green tea after dinner though

  19. What an awesome meal and very healthy too... except the tempura ;) I love nice fresh Japanese food.

    Congrats on the new camera.

    ...and green tea at the end of the meal, hmm I would prefer it at the start instead of the Coke :)

  20. Congratulations on your new baby! And on the meal deal too, it looks fabulous and what a saving! :D

  21. New baby, hehe. I need to book in for the voucher I have. Looks good.

  22. Love meals deals - Stud and I did this one and were really happy with it.
    Def think that the tea should be served at the beginning. Or at least they should have asked you?
    Loving your new pics ;)

  23. Hi Everyone - thanks so much for your comments on my post, and for welcoming my/our new baby to the life of Miss Piggy & co. Interesting to read everyone's views on steamed vs fried gyoza, and also when tea should be served.

  24. I have vouchers for this place too. Great to read it was money well spent. I just have to book my table now. Can't wait :)


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