I first heard about Wasan through BlackBoard Eats, which offered a free deal for a complimentary Wagyu Beef Tartar and a glass of their house sake at Wasan. I got the deal and forgot about it until it was almost the expiration date! So I quickly made reservations to give them a try.
We were the first table to arrive so we were seated at a table-for-two. The restaurant itself is pretty small but the service is very friendly. Even though we were early, our waitress seated us and left us to look over the menu. When we handed over our deal code, she was super nice and service did not change at all throughout the night.
We started off with a carafe of their house sake, Wasan Junmai, which was pretty good. It was smooth and just a bit dry. Normally, a carafe costs $10.00, so we were already cashing in the freebies! After we finished our carafe, we opted to split a canned beer – Yona Yona Pale Ale ($8.00), which was really good. There was a hint of fruit and the ale was very light.
Our first appetizer was the Cold Cheese Tofu ($5.00), which features tofu, cheese, dashi, tomato jelly and asparagus. I was a bit apprehensive at first but after my first bite, I wanted more! There was definitely a cheese taste but it wasn’t overpowering. The cheese made the tofu a bit firmer than typical cold tofu dishes, but I still liked it. I just wish it was a bigger serving!
Next to arrive was the Uni Lover Roll ($13.00). Both the Boyfriend and I are avid uni lovers so this roll was practically calling our names! The roll features super fresh sea urchin, avocado and tempura flakes. The tempura flakes was a nice opposition to the otherwise smooth sea urchin. The uni was definitely fresh and I quickly gobbled the pieces up.
Finally, our complimentary Wagyu Beef Tartar arrives as our last appetizer. Normally, an order of Wagyu Beef Tartar costs $16.00, so our second freebie was a great one! The Wagyu Beef Tartar features Wagyu beef with shiso, red onion, spicy mayo, quail egg and soy sauce to mix. It also came with rice crackers as a base, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was crunchy and crispy and was a better compliment than the typical baguette. I liked that we got to mix our tartar by ourselves so we could taste and mix to our liking. The Wagyu Beef was very fresh and tasted amazing!
Our entrees came shortly after our appetizers. I ordered the Salmon Chirashi ($15.00), which features salmon sashimi with apple-chip smoked salmon skin and assorted root vegetables. The root vegetables gave the plain white rice a sweet flavor. The salmon, however, was the star of the plate. The salmon was very fresh and it practically melted in my mouth.
The Boyfriend went with the Tuna Rice Bowl ($14.50 for large), which came with a large serving of tuna. From the look of the tuna, it seemed kind of thick and hard. But once I put it in my mouth, I found that it was very tender and soft. The tuna almost melted with each bite!
After all our dishes were cleared away, our waitress brought over some hot barley tea for us to clear our palates. She also dropped off the dessert menu and we opted for the Extra Rich Brownie with Arare Mochi Ice Cream ($8.50). The Brownie is served with Himalayan Pink Salt and Banana Chips. The Himalayan Pink Salt was a very nice compliment to the sweetness of the brownie. My favorite, however, was the mochi. It was basically a regular mochi coated with rice pops. The rice pops was crunchy and the mochi was very fresh. The skin of the mochi had a nice bounce to it, which showed that it is definitely not frozen! So good!
Service throughout the entire night was very attentive and our waitress constantly refilled our barley tea throughout the rest of our meal – even as we were paying the bill! Our entire dinner felt very quiet and intimate, despite the other patrons in the restaurant. I will definitely be back for more raw goodies!