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Waqu

Waqu is one of D2D’s favourite Japanese restaurants! His family comes here and has the seasonal degustation every time. Some distinctive things about this place are: they like foam and not really cooking their food. As you’ll soon notice, each course requires minimal cooking and maximum plating!

What’s also noticeable is that it was very difficult to take photos! This place is rather dark (our table had a candle – ambience, tick!), so it was a struggle but D2D managed to edit these very well.

Waqu

  • Website: http://www.waqu.com.au/
  • Address: 308 Pacific Highway, Crows Nest, NSW 2065
  • Call: (02) 9906 7736
  • Book online: on Dimmi (and earn points towards $50 voucher)
  • Open: Tues-Wed (from 6pm), Thur-Sun (from 12pm)

Ok, so let’s start the six-course degustation!

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Complimentary cucumber wrapped around herbed rice

First up is the Soup of the Day. This is served cold and in a wine glass. I decided to drink it like wine, rather than use the spoon! It’s Japanese pumpkin soup. Tasty but nothing that special.

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Soup of the day

This next one looks just like the soup again. But it’s not. It’s actually their mocktail. Quite delicious and almost like sorbet! They have a drinks menu including cocktails, mocktails, beers and wines.

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Peach calpis mocktail – $8

The second course arrives. It’s sashimi with some interesting additions: mango sauce (the yellow part), the brown ‘rice bubbles’ and the green tea salt, which had a cool mix of bitter/saltiness.

Each course is explained to us by the staff.

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‘SU-JIME’ SALMON SASHIMI
mango sauce, myoga salad, lightly fried wild rice, green tea salt

Third course: I really liked this one! Scallops are so soft (because they are hardly cooked) and smooth. Again, there’s a whole array of random things on this plate. Various sauces, some salty prosciuotto…

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SCALLOPS + BEANS
confit of scallops, pea puree, pea+yoghourt mousse, basil splash, prosciutto crisp

For the Fourth course you can choose between the Kingfish or the Barramundi. We got one each.

The special thing about the Kingfish is the BACON FOAM! See, they like foam here.

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PAN FRIED KINGFISH
bacon foam, watercress purée, 60°c steamed white asparagus, roasted soba seeds

Our waiter also told us that the skin is apparently the best part of the fish, and yes it was pretty delicious. The barramundi was incredibly soft.

The eggplant nibitashi is a weird flavour. D2D ate all of mine.

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PAN FRIED BARRAMUNDI
grilled eggplant nibitashi, cucumber + zucchini purée, sautéed king oyster mushroom

Here comes the Fifth Course!
Again, you can choose between the lamb, chicken and steak. I chose the lamb, which was pretty nice. What I liked most was actually the vegetables on the side (the mung bean sprout salad!). As you’ll notice, there is a random little sprout on the plate…

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ROAST RACK OF LAMB
purple carrot + almond purée, mung bean sprout salad, potato confit, zucchini flower

D2D also had this random sprout on his plate! And you can see, they split the peas. Very decorative there. The steak was very rare (not much needs cooking in Waqu).

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TAJIMA WAGYU SIRLOIN STEAK
BMS 6+, Grain Fed ($8 surcharge)
celeriac puree, rocket puree, apple sauce, potato gratine, dried mustard seeds

Finally, we head for dessert. I’m quite satisfied and full. This is Strawberry X3! Basically, it’s deconstructed strawberry cheesecake. We were instructed to eat bits altogether and sure enough it tasted like strawberry cheesecake! The sorbet was also a good palate cleanser.

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STRAWBERRY STRAWBERRY STRAWBERRY
strawberry mousse, cake, crumble, meringue, red wine sorbet with cream cheese sauce

Food: Generally

This is actually the second time I’ve been to Waqu. The first time was for lunch. Their website has copies of their menu options, but basically for dinner, there is:

For lunch, there’s:

  • three course lunch set – $35
  • five course lunch set – $55
  • one plate quick lunch – $18

I had the one plate quick lunch (fish & chips) last time, which was pretty satisfying/filling. However, it doesn’t quite reflect what the restaurant normally serves (contemporary Japanese).

Price and Service

We used D2D’s $50 Dimmi voucher, so the meal was brought down to about $45 pp and we also went on Sunday night (so $58pp x 2 plus drinks). This was a very good deal for 6 courses with excellent service. The staff was very pleasant and explain each dish as it comes (even though sometimes we don’t quite understand).

What’s Around?

Maybe the food wasn’t filling enough, but D2D had a craving for kurtosh so we got a bit more food…

Waqu on Urbanspoon

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