There’s nothing I like much more than stuffing myself silly with good food, so I’m always on the lookout for new all-you-can eat restaurants in Sydney. Our usual all-you-can eat Japanese joint, Kansai, has been one of our favourite restaurants but having dined there on countless occasions and having tried every menu item, it’s no longer as exciting as it used to be.
So when Wasabi Bistro offered an all-you-can eat deal on a group buy site, it was just too hard to resist. We’re a little wary of these group deal sites, especially after two not so stellar experiences with them last year but at $69 for two people, with unlimited access to their menu, we decided that this one was well worth the risk.
Learning from past experience, we booked our table a month in advance to avoid any booking problems and chose a Monday night to avoid the crowds. The restaurant was still relatively busy for a Monday night, perhaps because of the many coupon deals they’re doing, but tables were spacious and service wasn’t a problem.
We’re greeted by the manager, who helpfully explains that we can order whatever we want from the menu (except drinks) and tells us that this is the first time they’re trialling an all-you-can-eat option at their restaurant. With a 1.5hour limit, we jump straight into ordering, even before we’ve had a chance to glance over the full menu.
The dishes however, are relatively slow to arrive, giving us plenty of time afterwards to plan our subsequent orders. We start off with a favourite of ours, seaweed salad, which comes as three cute bundles which are so tasty, we immediately order two more. Fresh oysters come with a fancy sprinkle of tobiko coupled with a slightly tangy dressing which goes surprisingly well with the oysters. We’re also keen on trying the deep fried oysters, but after not turning up after an hour, we ask about our order only to be told that they were sold out for the night.
Spicy Sashimi Salad
Covered in a slightly spicy red sauce, the sashimi salad resembled that of one our favourite versions of this dish at Sushi Arigato. This one however, is a little disappointing as there’s only a small sprinkle of sashimi cubes on the lettuce bed. We thought the sauce was so-so, a far cry from the addictive sauce we usually find on sashimi salads, and overall, the salad was a little dry.
The entree menu offers a wide selection of deep fried goodies, and we waste no time considering how much we can stomach- we just order them all. I’m not too familiar with takoyaki, only having had it a couple of times before, but this version was slightly different as they were crispy from being deep-fried.
My sister, who is crazy about dumplings, orders her favourite of gyoza. This small version is nicely pan fried with a crispy bottom, and we all agree is quite delicious
Pronounced prawn parcel, I’m not quite sure whether the spelling on the menu was deliberate or just bad spelling from the menu writer. Either way, these prawn parcels are crispy and tasty, though we’d rather keep our stomach space for other things.
We order a serving of prawn fries out of curiosity- I was imagining something along the lines of prawn flavoured potato chips, but they turn out to be cute strips of deep fried crumbed prawns. They’re tasty, but are a little on the heavy side, especially for an all-you-can eat meal.
Salmon and Avocado Roll
A japanese meal can’t be complete without my sister’s favourite of salmon and avocado roll, and this one is done beautifully, with a generous serving of a salmon.
We also order the rainbow roll because of the appeal of the name, only to remember later that we’ve never really liked them. Unfortunately, I can’t say we felt any differently about this one, though it was quite well presented
We’re not too impressed with the tempura prawns when they’re placed on the table, as they’re covered in an excessive amount of batter. However, this batter is extremely light and crispy, and is no problem at all as I could easily eat the batter only and still enjoy it…..though it does leave us feeling quite full afterwards!
Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab
Coated in the same tempura batter as the prawns, the soft shell of the crab adds an extra crunch, making it incredibly crispy. Coupled with the sweet, tasty crab meat, this easily becomes favourite dish of the night.
I’m not quite sure if this is the usual version, as one on the menu appears to be on a hot plate, but we were quite disappointed at the texture of this one. Although it was cooked beautifully, the meat was unfortunately incredibly chewy and would definitely not be worth $28 (regular price).
We notice that most of the tables seated around us are also using vouchers, though a different one from ours, as they all seem to be ordering the same things, starting with the tuna tartare which was beautifully plated, and looked slightly out of place for a restaurant like this. It was better to look at than to eat though, and felt a bit more like a potato salad with a few cubes of tuna thrown in.
We were quite disappointed that the sashimi boat, the first thing we ordered, had still not arrived 1 hour and 15 minutes into the meal, despite the staff telling us that it was ‘almost ready’ when we asked about it half an hour ago. We ended up asking complaining to the manager, who apologised and explained that the boat takes some time to make and assured us that it was being made (but surely it doesn’t take more than an hour to make?)- and indeed, the boat did come out some 5 minutes later!
The boat itself was beautifully arranged with pieces of fresh salmon, tuna and kingfish, which looked much nicer than the sashimi boats we were used to at Kansai. We would however, liked it much better if it had been brought out near the beginning of the meal, before we had gotten full and not when nearing dessert.
We had also ordered several other (smaller sized) sashimi dishes from their menu, as well as quite a few other dishes which didn’t end up coming, so we moved onto dessert. Dessert options on the menu only consisted of ice-cream, but our first choice of matcha ice cream was unavailable that night. The only option available was therefore vanilla, which wasn’t too exciting, but it was nice to end the meal with a something sweet.