Thursday, November 10, 2011

Food Review - Wabi Sabi Garden

This is the second restaurant review on this blog. Eating is definitely a hobby of mine, not far behind photography :)

Wabi Sabi Garden is an interesting restaurant, found in St Kilda (they also have another branch called Wabi Sabi Salon in Collingwood). I wouldn't describe it as authentic Japanese food, it's definitely more of a Japanese-fusion vibe. I really like the decoration both at the door and inside the restaurant, it really looks like a real Japanese style.

 We had the Wabi Sabi Signature Share Plate Course (a 6 course set dinner). I'll let the photos speak for themselves, the food was as delicious as they look :)

Japanese Tapas Platter with Oyster Tempura

Hiramasa Contemporary Sashimi

Scorched Sushi
The first appetizer was a little disappointing. The oyster tempura was perfect, but the other dishes on the platter were a bit boring. The sashimi was excellent though. It's not a traditional sashimi with wasabi and soy, but instead is garnished with garlic chips and mint, with a ponzu (lime) dressing. This dish reminded me of a fusion sashimi dish that I really liked from Nobu (which is a Japanese - South American fusion restaurant). No problems at all with the scorched sushi, very tasty.

Soft Shell Crab Tempura

Grilled Black Cod in Miso

Wagyu Beef Meatballs in Gravy

The soft shell crab tempura was excellent. The black cod was also done well, but again reminds me of a dish from Nobu restaurant. I'm a bit disappointed with the wagyu meatballs though. While there's nothing wrong with the dish itself, it wasn't really anything special and failed to live up to expectations. Wagyu beef is typically an expensive and less common ingredient, but this dish ended up very plain. My suspicion is that the restaurant uses a lot of wagyu beef to prepare other dishes, and the leftovers/off-cuts are ground up for meatballs. Nothing wrong with the dish, it was still tasty, but it just didn't deliver to my expectations.

Matcha Latte

Pear Berry Creme Brulee & Sesame Ice Cream

The matcha (green tea) latte is a drink that I tried in Japan and instantly fell in love with. I'd rate that cup of macha latte from Kyoto train station as the best hot drink I've ever had in my life. I've always been trying to find a green tea latte that can recreate that flavour, but unfortunately the one at Wabi Sabi isn't it. The pear and berry creme brulee was delicious, as was the sesame ice cream.

In conclusion, I'd recommend this restaurant. It's not cheap, but worth it for a nice meal. Not all the food was perfect, and I wouldn't go for the wagyu meatballs a second time, but overall I'd rate this restaurant highly.

Wabi Sabi Garden on Urbanspoon

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