Thursday, 8 August 2013

Wasabi - Uplands Crescent

Uplands is certainly turning into a hot-spot for lively evenings out, be it bars, pubs or fine dining.

One restaurant which is now very well established on Uplands Crescent - just a few doors down from The Gower Kitchen - is Japanese eatery Wasabi.

The interior hasn't really changed over the eight or so years it's been open. It's simple and modern with a touch of stereotypical Japanese decoration - I'm talking about the lanterns and bamboo. I always find Wasabi a warm and comfortable place to eat, but the seating sometimes feels a little too 'cosy' (the nicer way of saying 'cramped').

Colourful interior with some nice bamboo.

You are either sat on a long middle bench - where you will more than likely end up sharing the table with another party - or the individual tables, which are very close together too. So it's not the ideal place for an intimate meal (if you want to whisper sweet nothings into your lover's ear, chances are the couple next to you will hear every erotic word).

Onto the food!

As you'd expect from a Japanese restaurant, the food is a mixture of sushi and noodle-based dishes. It's hard to recommend something specific as it's all very different. You'll find tame chicken and salmon dishes, but a few items down you'll find octopus and eel.

On my most recent trip I ordered for two people: two portions of gyoza (a deep fried pork-filled dumpling, which is a must have!), a portion of yaki soba (egg noodles with chicken and mixed vegetables) and two sushi dishes - the spicy tuna maki and the tempura maki (working out around £22 without drinks).

Gyoza - a must have

Yaki soba - essentially noodles with chicken and vegetables

It's all delicious and deceptively filling - another case of "I could eat twice that much" as the food is served, but "do you want the last tuna maki, I'm stuffed!" as the meal ends.

Tempura maki and spicy tuna maki - lovely!

If you are anti-raw fish there are plenty of options including cooked chicken, fish and prawns. The bento box is a good mix for first-timers who aren't sure what to order as it contains a nice selection, though it used to be better value than it is these days.

One point I will make is the food was served lightening fast. Literally five minutes after placing my order I was placing a dumpling in my mouth. This can be great if you are hungry and maybe moving elsewhere afterwards, but less so if you are in the mood for a long, lingering meal (they don't let you linger too much).

Beer? Well, on tap it's the Japanese duo of Asahi and Kirin Ichiban. Both very refreshing with sushi dishes and both very strong. There's an array of bottled beers too, along with sake, which is lethal (but fun!).

As you've gathered, Wasabi is a hit with me. It's a tad expensive these days as it's grown in popularity, but it's now a brilliant staple of the ever-growing Uplands Crescent choice of eateries. 

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