Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wagaya - Haymarket, Sydney (2)

After praising the quality and expressing my satisfaction felt towards Wagaya early last year and subsequent visits over the past few months; it appears this eatery has become just-another-place that cuts costs and marginalises all the ‘extras’ once they have a steady flow of curious customers arguably predominantly lured by the touch-screen menu that stirs a contagious giddiness across all demographics.

Perhaps it’s just a one trick pony? Have our readers also noticed the differentials between now and their last visit? Don’t hesitate the express your thoughts through welcomed comments :)

Here Comes The Food

Salmon Sushi Roulette ($8.50): One of the major highlights for Wagaya’s patron-entertainment where brave souls are asked to mentally prepare themselves for the unexpected-nostril-flaring-wasabi-burn. The once-apparent approaching fear that if perchance you are unlucky enough to have chosen the wasabi-packed salmon sushi has become lacklustre - this dish (noticeably) has diminished in size, quality and alas even the sole reason for the ordering this dish: the wasabi-filled sushi is less potent and almost tame. The salmon compared from my previously blogged experience is less fatty, lost the texture of fresh salmon and makes you feel like you’ve just guiltily purchased a $10 salmon-variety pack from the faux paux Korean-pretending-to-be-Japanese sushi takeaway counters that litter the Sydney CBD disguised in the form of arguably Wagaya’s signature dish.

Wagaya Salad ($7.50): It tastes rubbery and comparable in taste to the freshly packed pre-made salads you can purchase from the supermarket. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a go at how these salads taste (I buy them when I’m lazyyyyyyyy). But when you go to the restaurant and see something being charged at a premium with no additional efforts besides a few kernels of corn (probably canned), a miniscule sliced egg, deep-fried lotus that is soggy and a pathetic blob of mayonnaise, you don’t help but the wonder what the heck is going on.

Lightly grilled salmon and scallop box sushi ($11.90): Wow, they weren’t kidding when they called it “box” sushi; it literally looks like a box is sitting on my sad clump of rice. The salmon is grilled perfectly ….. perfectly bad … it’s dry, charred (to the point of a burnt aftertaste) and the scallop … is just as perfectly bad. Presentation wise it’s o-kayyyyyyy but taste wise … it failed miserably.

Japanese Pizza (unfortunately I forgot to write down the price ><): It’s deliciously cheesy but that’s about as far as complements go. The dough is soggy (I prefer a more crispier texture), which was odd as the pizza came on a hot plate. The chicken pieces are tough and made my jaw sore from chewing.

Takoyaki (once again I forgot to take down the price arghhhh): when served at our table the cheese had already solidified, I didn’t have a piece of octopus in my ball (rage) and the balls just didn’t taste good (…..o_O).

Sukiyaki (Small: $9.90): Unfortunately this came last because it was a last minute order as we were still hungry. This dish was my plan B; the contingency plan; my Valkyrie (yes a deliberate reference to the movie). Did it disappoint? Not-one-bit. It’s got both quality and quantity going for it – the ingredients are perfectly matched with each other and are typical to what you would expect in a sukiyaki. The soup base is delicious in the proportion of soy that has been mixed in: sweet but not too overpowering. The value is fantastic; if you recall from my other Wagaya post I ordered the large size and when comparing it to the small size I suggested to our readers to opt for the smaller one (even if it means getting two). This is now one dish (and probably the only) I would order if I were asked what my choice of dish is the next time (if there is one) I dine at Wagaya.

What do you do when you’re distraught and confused as to how you should react after experiencing a not-so-grand dining experience? Drown your emotions with good ‘ol icecreammm.

From the top left in a clockwise direction: sticky rice, durian, green tea, taro and black sesame from passionflower ($14): sooooo good.

Level 1, 78-86 Harbour Street
Haymarket NSW 2000
Ph for bookings: 9212 6068 (call after 5pm as no one answers before this time)



NQN said...

Oh dear, that really sucks. I thought Wagaya was really good value for money when I tried it which was a while ago. Was it still really busy?

Belle said...

The one thing worse than bad food is overpriced bad food. Shame about your meal. Have they changed management maybe?

FFichiban said...

So much rage lol! Too bad though, this place was so promising the first few times we went eh?

tomatosalsa said...

ive never been, always end up opting for ramen kan next door instead. but have heard similar comments from ppl that have been before..

D said...

Heya NQN: yup yup it was still busy but we had booked so no dramas waiting :) It waaaaaaas really good value for money but.....perhaps not anymore.

Hihi Belle: they might have changed management but I can't be 100% sure on that. I wholly agree with your comment regarding overpriced bad food .... I've been a victim of this too many times but the pain is just as bad :(

FFichiban: someone has to be the bad guy on this blog :p yeh the first few times was sooo good.

haro tomatosalsa: word of mouth is a powerful tool.