Nothing says birthday like a feast, but after a long and tiring Thursday, it just didn’t seem to be in the cards. So just before getting off work, and needing to come up with something quick, I ended up calling Sushi Wasabi in an attempt to get a last minute table. After much hemming and hawing by the lady on the phone, I was granted my request for four, and quickly amassed my diner participants.
Arriving first onto the scene, and early to boot, I waited patiently for my birthday companions to finish their day jobs and arrive. The Captain was first into the door, followed quickly by BP. In what was the quickest arrival succession in the history of time, Sarah was barely a step behind it seemed. With my order of tea on the table, we just requested a few more mugs. Three additional tea cups arrived, along with warm hand towels and we were all settling in nicely. As everyone looked through the menu, I went about my duty and opened birthday cards and presents.
With everything near me unwrapped (including the chops sticks), and our minds made up, the attentive server took our order;
The Captain and BP were both flip flopping over a few options, so they eventually came to the conclusion it would be easier to get what they wanted if they split the dinner for two; kaishoku-bon. The combination started with miso soup, which is pretty standard fare but was declared above average on this occasion. I liked that it came in the swankiest little serving bowls; a nice touch. The main component arrived on a massive platter, with most of the items separated accordingly and the rice in two individual bowls.
Two skewers of chicken yakatori, gomae and standard salad, slices of fried salmon (is there a name for this?), salmon and tuna nigiri, cucumber maki, and sweet potato/zucchini/shrimp tempura.I was told everything on the platter was good, and it was striped bare by the end of our meal. The stand outs seemed to be the tempura, which was light and perfectly cooked, the spinach salad (a first for both), and salmon pieces. Not a bad little tray it seemed.
Thinking about something light and refreshing, Sarah and I decided to conquer an individual serving of Sunomono. Doing it’s job wonderfully, the dish included thinly sliced cucumber, a shrimp, octopus, seaweed all on the required base of noodles. The touch of lemon was nice.
With the sunomono offering Sarah her first ever taste of octopus, I was surprised that she decided on the Spicy Octopus Maki, along with the Garden Maki for her mains. She said both were delicious, although the lettuce inside the garden roll seemed to make for a challenge.
I started with an order of Chirashi, which came in a massive bowl. Not exactly brimming with goodies, I was surprised to see only one piece of each fish, as in all my previous orders here, it would include multiple cuts. I must also note, the dish was down from 3 types of roe to 2. Besides the small changes, everything was good. The rice was still slightly warm, and perfumed perfectly with vinegar. The fish had clean lines, and the assorted vegetables were a nice touch.
Of course, at this point, and maybe because of the birthday celebration, I couldn’t stop myself. With our plates clean, I ordered two pieces of both uni (sea urchin) and toro (tuna belly). Arriving promptly, the tuna belly disappeared faster than Ben Johnson’s gold medal. Preparing to savor the deliciousness that is uni, and with Sarah curious about this delicacy, we each grabbed a piece. With a take-it-or-leave-it item like uni, I wasn’t surprised to see Sarah on the leave it side of things. Myself, I have to say, the uni wasn’t as good as I’m used to. Whether it was the end of an order, or the sea urchin it self, the gonad-goodness had seen better days. Lucky for me, Sarah gives into my insane cravings for grapes, and delivered a bag of green and red to finish the meal (I devoured both within minutes!).
There were a few hiccups on the night with regards to service and food, but overall, the restaurant was a fantastic place to celebrate the big Three O and bring in a new decade.