The last time I went to Wasabi, in Mandarin Oriental, I think we hadn't even crossed the Millennium. Gasp! I was young then, the age of some of the current bloggers I hang out with. Almost. I was still probably older than most of them even then.
When Aly (who seems to be my main source for invites these days) asked me to join her for a tasting in Wasabi, I could not say no. I don't know what is happening in front of the MO, or what they're building, but traffic there is DIABOLIC! If you want to dine at MO, just a friendly tip, take the train.
We were given a warm welcome by Kevin Hee, the General Manager of the restaurant, a gregarious character, making everyone feel very much at home.
Dainty little celery and carrot sticks with a lovely dip.
Crockery seems to be an important part of the presentation it seems.
The lovely edamame. Such a simple, but delightful snack.
Their signature starter, a crab ball
That's Kevin there... regaling us with tales of his dog...and how it was overfed, just like he was doing to us.
Tuna sashimi, with a lovely tangy sauce...
A gorgeous sushi platter, with my favourite ingredient, avocado. Yummeh!
Doesn't that look pretty? Salmon with Mango. Do they go? I'm not sure, but sure looks attractive.
Chicken yakitori.... Japanese satay if you must. Tender pieces of chicken well marinated. You cannot go wrong with this simple yet satisfying dish. Love the platter in which it is served.
Aly loves her meat on a stick.
Agedashi tofu always make me think of the kids. It is their favourite dish in Japanese restaurants. My agedashi bill usually makes me faint.
Soon to be Mr & Mrs....yup, congratulations are in order. This was actually the meal preceding the proposal.... for full details, ask the woman or the man himself.
Ebi Tempura. The batter was light and crisp, I could eat 10 of these.
Lil Chef is quite the catch, I reckon. Aly is one lucky gal. Oh, incidentally, he is holding up another signature dish of Wasabi's, the baked papaya with seafood, and cheese. Actually, if Kevin didn't bring up the matter, it never occured to me. Solo papayas. They seem to have all but vanished! They used to serve this dish in solo papayas, but as Kevin pointed out, they are no longer available. Or rarely so. This is true, I cannot recall the last time I saw a solo.
The walls are adorned with Japanese paintings, in particular, a series of Working Japanese Women, which according to Kevin, was based on WW2, when women were finally allowed to do SOME jobs, (presumably the men were all at war) such as teaching, etc.
Black sesame ice cream and green tea ice cream.
Banana Fritters with vanilla ice cream. Not sure how this is Japanese.
For a lovely ambience and interesting variation on Japanese, Wasabi would be an ideal choice. You can choose from three outlets, one in Waikiki, one in Singapore, and one here at the Mandarin Oriental. (it's not part of the hotel itself). It's located at the basement, on the side of the MO that faces Suria.
Wasabi Bistro - The Breakers Hotel, 250 Beach Street, Waikiki, Hawaii - +1 808 922-1133
Wasabi Bistro - MO, 03-21630968
Wasabi Bistro - MO Singapore, +65-68853091