Wagaya has been a frequent name that I have spotted in blogs and on my Facebook news feed recently. Following the trend of some bigger restaurants in Sydney by opening a branch in Brisbane, there was this initial hype about the big menu and ordering on a touch screen so much so that a friend chose Wagaya to be the place for celebrating her birthday. Had it not been for the event, I doubt I would wonder to this side of town on a Saturday night, although you may find it comforting to know that there is reduced fee of AUD 5 for Wagaya customers if you choose to park indoors.
Back to Wagaya, walking in the pretty large restaurant, there is the immediate generic ambience of Japanese restaurants in Malaysia, especially the ones situated in shopping malls. By no means is that bad but there is a sense of SOP (standard operating procedure) in everything, making everything rather cold.
You are greeted with the standard "i ra shai ma se" by waitresses of different nationalities, my friends and I could spot Korean and Chinese but no Japanese among the waitresses. You are then quickly lead to your seat and taught how to operate the almost idiot proof touch screen where you can order your drinks, food and even call for the bill.
The menu is indeed large and covers all the essentials.
Those familiar with a particular Hong Kong TV game show would know where the inspiration of this dish comes from. 6 pieces of ordinarily looking salmon sushi with one piece that has more wasabi than rice. Luckily, it was the friend sitting next to me who got the unlucky piece and teared instantly, followed by choking.
The soft shell crab maki had decent amounts of that deep fried beauty and if there was one complaint, it would be the batter was slightly on the thick side.
This must have been a roll ordered by my friend because I absolutely don't recall eating this. Plus side was the copious amounts of roe topping.
Any sushi platter that comes with a raw prawn deserve plus points. When it also comes with sea urchin, you can have some more plus points. A good mix of seafood with the only let down coming from the rice. Lack of rice vinegar or the use of questionable quality rice could have caused the ball of rice to not hold its shape and being grainy.
No complaints with the adegashi tofu. This was quite good.
The chicken kara age was pretty good too.
Overall you can't help but feel that the kitchen must have operated with SOP vs. an individual chef and his brigade let free to do their own thing, especially from the number of items on the menu. Credit must be given at the efficiency of the touch screen system, orders were dished out with accuracy and speed. More privacy for those who don't like to be asked every 10 minutes if everything is alright. To me, if you want generic Japanese food and quick services, this is the place.
However as someone who very much prefers a cozy small place, once is probably enough for me.
Address and contact details:
Verdict: 3 stars out of 5 stars. A generic Japanese restaurant with a generic menu.