Friday, 30 January 2015

REVIEW: Wagaya

Cassie Cakes Review of Wagaya
Up the stairs to Japanese food pleasuretown!
I remember when Wagaya first opened in Chinatown in the valley, about 4 years ago now, I must have visited about 5 or 6 times. I love Japanese food and Wagaya had me tickled pink with their touch screen ordering system. Since then though, I haven't been back for a year or two so it was high time I revisited.
Cassie Cakes Review of Wagaya
The booths give a great feel of your own private dining space

Initially, I was going to bring Mr Cakes with me as Wagaya is all dark and fairly private, I thought we could have a little date but on further consideration, I uninvited him and bought my other favourite man with me instead. Don't worry, he was cool with it.

Cassie Cakes Review of Wagaya
Tree in the restaurant like it's no big deal

As I said, Wagaya is dark and atmospheric with little booths that could hold up to 6 with private dining spaces at the back for larger groups, which are so cool with their sunken tables and authentic Japanese zataku low tables. They also have really fun karaoke rooms! Wagaya is private enough for a nice date but it's also lively enough for a group of friends to visit before a gig out in the valley. And it's BYO wine, so that's another awesome point.

Cassie Cakes Review of Wagaya
The touch screens! So fun! So dangerous...

My friend had never been to Wagaya before so I was really excited for him to use the touch screens, they're so much fun to use but you do need to be careful as you can accidentally order a lot of food. It's so much fun to press those buttons!

Cassie Cakes Review of Wagaya
The crunchy chicken cutlet roll. Man...I could eat those crispy bits by the bowlful.

Cassie Cakes Review of Wagaya
Styled myself up a little plate. #Foodstylist

We started off with my favourite sushi roll, the Chicken Cutlet Crunch roll, which was $10 for 6 pieces. You can choose 3 or 6 pieces for all of the sushi rolls, we went with 6 cos we're awesome. I adore the chicken crunch roll, it is so delicious with a nice crumbed chicken cutlet and avocado, topped with deep fried panko breadcrumbs on top. We both really loved it.

Cassie Cakes Review of Wagaya
Salty soybeans sitting in a saucer. Check those alliteration skillz.

Next up we ordered the classic Edamame ($5.80). The portion size was really good and kept us going through our entire visit. The first few on top weren't that salty, and for a salt fiend like me, that matters but I found the salty goodness a few beans in.

Cassie Cakes Review of Wagaya
STAHP! You're killing me! Look at that crispiness!

I'm a sucker for karaage, which is deep fried bits of chicken thigh. The Spicy Chicken Karaage ($8.80) is a karaage lovers must. It came out and my eyes got wide. It was crispy and had a sweetness to it that is just so my kind of thing. Some people may find it a little fatty, but I actually love a bit of fat. I'll eat the fat right off your steak. So for me, this was heaven. Like...really good. I could go some now...

Cassie Cakes Review of Wagaya
My friend, my confidant, my lover, my wings.

It will not come as a surprise to you then that my all time favourite dish from Wagaya is the Spicy Fried Chicken Wings ($7.10). I have not visited here once and not gotten these wings. They're crispy and juicy and delicious. I can't detect any heat in them though, but I eat my chilli very hot so I might be a bit immune. Either way, if you're a wing lover, get them. If you're not, get them. They'll convert you.

Cassie Cakes Review of Wagaya
Oh little red things, what are you?

Cassie Cakes Review of Wagaya
Food styling. #shouldhavegotacleanplate

Then we ordered the Tuna Avocado Roll, $12.50 for 6 pieces. This roll was so good, the tuna inside was just seared on the outside so it was nice, raw and plump on the inside. It was so fresh and good, that it might just knock my beloved crispy chicken wings off the No. 1 dish perch. I really liked the spring rolls on top too, they paired well with the tuna. There were some red things on top, which looked like saffron but couldn't have possibly been at that price so if you know what they are, please tell me. We were curious as what they were.
Cassie Cakes Review of Wagaya
Go away, duck. Stop ruining the good food run. Oh I see you in the corner there, wing. Don't think I'm not coming back for you.

Things were getting to the pointy end now...or the fat belly end, as we both were pretty full. But we soldiered on because as I said before, we're awesome. And we did it for you. We both love duck so we decided to try the Seared Roast Duck ($10.50). Unfortunately, we found the chink in Wagayas amazing food armour that we weren't looking for. Given the name, we thought it would be a hot dish and in fact, I think we found it in the Grilled Dishes section of the menu but what came out was cold duck with a lot of ginger on it. Neither of us was a fan. Would give it a miss next time.

Cassie Cakes Review of Wagaya
The desserts. Alright.

We rounded off the night with two desserts, the Green Tea Cheesecake with Green Tea Ice Cream and Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream, both $7.50 each. The chocolate cake was okay, it wasn't amazing. It would have benefitted from being served hot, I think but as it was, it was still okay. I thought the green tea cheesecake was the better of the two desserts but it still didn't blow me away. It wasn't very cheesecakey , it reminded us both of a shortbread biscuit. I liked it, but maybe they should call it something else - Green Tea Shortbread Cheesecake Kinda Thing.

Cassie Cakes Review of Wagaya
The smoky hot grill.

We were both really impressed with how quickly food came out and the service we received. The wait staff were friendly and efficient. It makes it the perfect venue for a quick lunch or before a show as everything comes out quickly and as it's ready.

Cassie Cakes Review of Wagaya
Hey tree.

Overall, we had a fabulous time at Wagaya. I'd recommend sticking to their strengths, which was almost everything. I would recommend skipping dessert and just getting more delicious sushi or chicken wings. It's a really fun place and I'm glad I had the chance to revisit, I won't be leaving it too long til next time!

Disclaimer: Cassie Cakes was an invited guest of Wagaya. Opinions are my own and the above review is an honest account of my experience.

Izakaya WAGAYA Brisbane on Urbanspoon

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