One Chef Hat – Queensland Good Food Guide 2012
Wasabi Restaurant & Bar
2 Quamby Place
Noosa Heads QLD 4567]]>
Tel : +61 7 5449 2443
License: Fully Licensed (no BYO)
Wasabi is fast gaining a reputation as one of the state's best Japanese restaurants. A balance of East and West in decor, the fare is strictly traditional, expertly prepared by master chef Hajime Horiguchi. Stylish and sophisticated, this Noosa Sound destination restaurant has heads turning and tongues wagging across Queensland.
PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
This had to be the best dining experience of our short break in Noosa. Out on the Sound, Wasabi was a very different dining experience to its last incarnation in Sunshine Beach. Here we are talking about a serious world-class operation. Initially we were asked where we wanted to sit – choices being sitting on the floor or a more Western tradition of chair seating. Dining with my Dad and Judie – there really was no option, it needed to be a chair. On entering the restaurant, however, sitting on the floor turned out to be less of a physical challenge than we had imagined. All it involved was sitting on the floor with a recess cut into the floor for both the table and our legs. The waiters walked tall (on the natural floor) and gave the appearance to us, sitting at a lower lever (on chairs), of Lilliputians. However, seating should not become the dominant factor. Its food and service we were there to enjoy. The menu made for intense scrutiny. Typical Japanese menus, which we have become accustomed to, didn’t prepare us for this exciting and very different menu. The waiters were clearly used to dealing with Wasabi Virgins, talking us through each dish. I ordered Suichin Sake to share with my Dad and we both expected the sake would arrive in a warm vessel. How wrong we were. Rather, it arrived chilled, and yet still so ‘warming’. We started our meal with Hiramasa Kingfish sashimi; followed by Mooloolaba tuna tartar, tempura asparagus, black tobiko and ginger dressing – what a sensational dish – crisp, crunchy, moist, tasty and such contrasting flavours; followed by gyoza - six crispy, pan-fried Japanese pork dumplings with spicy ponzu dipping sauce and a pickled cucumber salad. We all could have continued eating from the Kondante menu – but there were wonderful delicacies in store for us. The main courses followed: Shichimi Niku – Japanese seven-spice grass-fed Hereford tenderloin, wasabi sweet potato mash, enoki and shimeji mushroom sauce. But, if I had to have a highlight of the night, and if I had to give you a recommendation to order, it would be the spatchcock teriyaki. A whole free-range, corn-fed spatchcock, deboned and stuffed with hijiki rice, torigara shoyu, roasted golden eshallot, nama shitake and warm Japanese mushroom salad. I can’t think of anything that could describe the enjoyment we got out of eating this dish. The only trouble was – who could eat anymore? Wasabi must go on your list of places to dine at when next you visit Noosa.