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Neatly tucked away in a corner of the first basement level of the swanky Mandarin Oriental hotel, Wasabi Bistro well laid-out, with a mixture of cosy booths and open seating, with a warm and relaxed ambience. The interior is minimalistic, pleasant and comfortable with adequate private seating. It is also a great place for group or work dinners.
The food menu is divided into a section of set lunches and dinners, and an a la carte section, with an interesting assorted sashimi range and small hot and cold plates. The teppanyaki menu offers a good variety of seafood and meats, including Grade 5 Japanese Wagyu and Score 8-9 Australian Wagyu.
The Wasabi Sampler starter is a beautifully presented combination of the restaurant’s signature starters. Kumi’s No.1 – a crabmeat and avocado mix wrapped with whitefish – is a delightful blend of delicate flavours that lies in the chef’s secret sauce. The other bites are the ahi poke, mini tofu, a delectable creamy spinach in a goma sauce, a fresh and lightly battered shrimp tempura, and a rainbow sushi roll. The sashimi sharing platter is extremely fresh, excellent with a gentle touch of wasabi. The uni is rich and buttery with a sweet briny flavour.
From the teppanyaki kitchen, the Grade 5 Japanese Wagyu is tender, rich with the classic texture that one expects from an intensely marbled meat like this.
The miso cod is pleasantly light and does not have the intense oiliness that sometimes comes with a grilled cod.
To end the meal with something sweet, the yuzu sherbet and sesame ice-cream do not disappoint—the yuzu is extremely refreshing and absolutely perfect for those who prefer a fruity dessert while the sesame ice cream is creamy yet airy, not overpowering the palate.
A bread pudding is also available to cater to those with more Western tastes, and is served warm with a vanilla ice-cream and whipped cream. The delightfully crispy crust is finely balanced with the softness of the soaked bread, along with the blend of the warm and cold temperatures of the pudding with the ice-cream.
Wasabi Bistro has a good selection of red and white wines from the old world and new. Offerings of wines by the glass is available although not extensive. The restaurant also has a good selection of sake, with detailed descriptions on the menu, and also experienced staff giving recommendations according to your food selections. The Echigono Karakuchi, which has a refreshing fruity aroma with hints of rice grain and white chocolate notes, is highly recommended.
Service at Wasabi Bistro is excellent. Plates are cleared quickly and glasses are filled promptly. Staff are friendly and knowledgeable about the menu. They’re also very good in recommending signature dishes and also advising on suitable drinks.
The restaurant’s location in a five-star hotel is an indication that the food is on the pricier end but considering the quality of food and drinks, it is pretty good for a special occasion or a business dinner. The value is definitely in the food and service that guests receive.