Monday, October 17, 2011

Wagaya @ Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

I think I am on a roll with all things Japanese. Another post on Japanese food for all of you.

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:

Wagaya on Urbanspoon

Verdict: 3 stars out of 5 stars. A generic Japanese restaurant with a generic menu.


Michelle Chin said...

Haha, I miss that game show! My school use to replicate this specific game for teacher's day. Imagine the faces... lol!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

mchin: revenge to all those nasty teachers! haha.

Sean said...

at first i wondered whether wagaya is supposed to be a variation of wagyu. heheh :D

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

sean: that would be a new breed!

Brisbane Devoured said...

i went here last week too, and loved it, i thought it was a lot of fun! definitely impersonal though, but at least there are no waiters hanging around constantly interrupting your conversation! i think ill return... just to bring different friends there to show them.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

brisbanedevoured: maybe it was just the big crowd or maybe it was just me, but yeah love the fact they largely ignore u!

qwazymonkey said...

Well, generic's still better than nothing right? And from the sounds of it, food wasn't all that bad. Only consolation would be to pay reasonable price for it. Hope that was the case. And I hate to be the one choking on wasabi. That would have killed the dinner.

Anyway, just want to inform you that I'm back to blogging again and I've recently migrated over to Please do update your RSS or blogroll. thanks!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

qwazymonkey: reasonable prices for reasonable food, thats about rite. cant wait for all your new posts to start rolling, will update the blogroll!

CUMI & CIKI said...

chis.. low grade rice , mana boleh ar.. and oh, were you happy ur fren was choking and not u! hehe.. bad boy:p

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

c&c: haha of course i was happy!