On our last night in Sydney we were planning on heading out to a posh restaurant like Aria or Rockpool, but since most of the restaurants we had visited so far we had found on www.eatability.com.au, we thought that we would try another place from there. Especially since most of the ratings were spot on so far and the places were very good value. The place we found was Waqu, a Japanese place in Crow's Nest (just across the harbour on the North Side of the Bridge). Eatability users had rated it very highly, especially their 5 course tasting menu for $39.
The first thing we noticed when we walked into Waqu, was that a majority of the people eating there were Japanese. I always think it's a good sign when people from the home country of a restaurant choose to eat there.
The room is tastefully decorated, but with minimal Japanese influence. A lot of Japanese restaurants are covered in Japanese writing, figures, posters, but Waqu seems to have avoided travelling down that road.
I have listed the 5 course tasting menu below and included the pictures of what we ate. There's actually 6 courses if you include the Broccoli Soup Starter.
Cold Soup broccoli cream soup
Course 1 (assorted entree) deep fried soft shell crab taco beef tataki, ponzu jelly and frying fish roe dressing, chargrilled eel fillet and eggplant, yuzu pepper, roasted garlic aioli tartar
Course 2 (sashimi plate) chef's daily selection of sashimi plate
Course 3 (entree) oven baked cod fillet with "saikyo" miso sauce or roasted duck fillet, raspberry sauce or tempura fried prawns, vegetables and 'yuba' tofu sheet
Course 4 (main) salt black pepper angus beef steak, creamy mashed potato or roasted whole quail, tamari ginger sauce or deep fried soy marinated chicken, 'shiso' leaf salsa dressing
Course 5 (dessert) white sesame cream brulee or green tea mousse with green tea ice cream
I'm not going to review each dish for you, but I can tell you that the whole experience was amazing. We loved each dish in it's own way. None of the flavours were over powering, especially considering we were eating strong flavours such as Eel and Creme Brulee made from Sesame Seeds. The sushi was so fresh, you would think it was just killed out the back! My favourite was the deep fried soft shell crab taco beef tataki, ponzu jelly and 'frying' fish roe dressing. I'd never had soft shell crab before - apparently it's a type of crab that shed's it's shell, and when it does, they're ripe for the eating. I read that you usually buy these frozen. The tastes and textures in this little taster were amazing, so fresh and crunchy. It really was like eating a little Japanese Taco! The Angus beef was great too. The sauce wasn't too strong, allowing you to enjoy the full taste and soft texture of the meat.
If you're in Sydney, I definitely recommend paying a visit to Waqu- the quality of food and service that you get for $39 is fantastic and located so close to the city, it's easy to get to. I loved it and will definitely return on my next visit!