30 Jun Wagaya, Melbourne CBD
Wagaya is a restaurant chain from the same group that brought us Sushi Hotaru and to celebrate its opening, it was offering 50% off the whole menu. Wagaya is also located in Mid City Arcade and it’s accessed via elevator through to level 3. The restaurant spans two levels with the lower level filled with private booths and the upper mezzanine level having a mix of both booths and open table seating. As the restaurant got busier with eager bargain-hunters the noise level rose and echoed through the whole space, though the booths helped to block off some of the sound. Like Sushi Hotaru, Wagaya features a touchscreen ordering system, which made ordering so much more efficient.
Mum loved the spicy tuna mentai hand roll. She surmised it was because it was the first thing she ate, but I have to say it did look rather good.
We were disappointed that sea urchin was not in season and as a result, sea urchin sushi was unavailable. As a substitute we had the sea urchin chawanmushi. It had great flavour, but was a bit overcooked so lacked the silky smooth texture we were after.
The sashimi box came next, filled with egg roll, scallops, tuna, salmon, kingfish, osters, prawns, scallops and octopus. I’m not fond of tamagoyaki but this one wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. It had more of an eggy flavour rather than a sweet one. The seafood was fresh and had a nice flavour, though the tuna’s texture was a bit rough.
Salmon belly sushi was just OK – it didn’t seem to have much of the smooth, decadent fattiness that I usually associate with salmon belly.
The fried scampi roll was chosen instead of soft-shell crab because it’s not something we’ve seen often. The scampi meat was sweeter and more delicate than soft-shell crab and it was accompanied with a satisfyingly crunchy crumb.
Our favourite dish of the night was the seared scallop and salmon box sushi. I’d eaten this before at Sushi Hotaru so I knew I could expect a lovely seared flavour and smooth and juicy scallop and salmon meat. Saltiness from the sprinklings of roe balanced the mayo sandwiched between the rice and seafood. This was so yummy we ordered a second plate – at half price, how could we go wrong?
The last plate that arrived was the eel skewers. The smokey and juicy eel meat had been coated in a sauce that was too sweet for our tastes.
We were all pretty pleased with the meal we had. The variety of sashimi in the assorted box was good for sampling, but in hindsight it would have been better if we’d ordered separate plates of the fish we know we like.
Shop 201, Level 3, Mid City Arcade
200 Bourke St
Melbourne, VIC, 3000