Hi. Mr Tiffin here. I’m writing a guest post as part of the Festival of TIFFIN birthday celebrations.
Wagaya is an Izakaya style Japanese restaurant. Wikipedia says ‘An izakaya (居酒屋) is a type of Japanese drinking establishment that serves food to accompany the drinks. They are casual places for after-work drinking.’ We were invited* to enjoy the hospitality of Wagaya in Fortitude Valley.
On entering Wagaya and being shown to our little private cosy booth I’m thinking this is something new and fun for me. It’s a large venue broken up into traditional looking rooms and booths and it is how I imagine restaurants in Japan may be. The seating and tables have that authentic feel, especially in the larger rooms suitable for bigger groups. We are filled with excitement and all of a sudden Tiffin is ‘Hello Kitty’ and I am ‘Speed Racer’ as we are transported to Tokyo.
The booths have touch screen ordering and we have fun perusing the huge menu and figuring out the easy to use system. The restaurant has at least ten Karaoke booths attached so we check out those prices on our touch screen also. Of course a restaurant of this size is fully licensed but Wagaya has the option of BYO wine also. I order an Asahi Dry Black beer. Tiffin notes there is red but no white wine available by the glass.
We peruse the extensive menu for food and most of the options are smaller tasting plates, which suits us fine as we want to taste it all. We decide on Lotus Root Chips and Vegetable Tempura to start and, after ordering via our touch screen, the service is efficient, unobtrusive and friendly. The Lotus root chips taste a bit like potato crisps and are great with my beer. The Tempura is well prepared with crispy batter as expected and not too oily.
Next up we order some more adventurous dishes, Sea Urchin Sushi, Octopus Korean Pancake and Tuna sashimi. I find the Tuna sashimi to be a bit bland, however the Sea Urchin Roe Sushi is lovely. The smooth texture of the sea urchin is topped with fish roe that pops on the tongue. Better without soy or wasabi as to enjoy the subtle sea flavours. The octopus Korean Pancake has small pieces of Octopus in the pancake with a tangy ponzu dressing. The octopus is tender and the dressing compliments the pancake very well. Yum!
With more room left in our bellies we order Agedashi Tofu. The tofu comes in its own sauce, sprinkled with spring onions and is deliciously silky with a crispy exterior. The sauce and spring onions accompany the tofu perfectly.
The restaurant is busy for a Thursday night and I get the impression it is still being enjoyed by Brisbanites, despite being open for a few years now. The wooden bench seating is a bit hard for a mature chappie accustomed to comfort, however good times are being had as indicated by the popping of corks from the $25 per bottle Jacobs Creek Sparkling. Cocktails are also inexpensive here priced from $8 to $10.
We don’t really need to eat more food but the menu is very tempting. At between $7 – $12 for most plates we order one last dish, an old favourite, Chicken Karaage. Perfectly cooked tender moist chicken and we enjoy it with mayonnaise and soy/wasabi. Great comfort food to end a very fun evening.
Speed Racer and Hello Kitty drive off satisfied as Racer X disappears into the distance…
*TIFFIN and Mr Tiffin were invited to enjoy their fill of touch screen dining at Wagaya Izakaya as a guest of SD Marketing Global
Visited: Thursday 12th March 2015 – Dinner Service
Level 1, TCB Centre
315 Brunswick St (Mall)
Fortitude Valley Qld 4006