Wabi, WC2

Wabi Combined Wabi, WC2Like a culinary version of Karate Kid II – where Mr Miyagi’s great white hope takes on the Japanese at their own game – former Nobu head chef Scott Hallsworth has used his six years of experience working within the revered restaurant group to embark on his own venture.

Located just outside of the hustle and bustle of the West End in Lincoln’s Field, the restaurant takes its inspiration from the Japanese aesthetic Wabi-sabi, a movement characterised by simple, undeclared beauty.  This philosophy is demonstrated in the understated yet stylish design, including contemporary wooden furniture, a clean palette of cream and black tones and moody lighting.  The vibe is similarly appealing, providing all of the upbeat buzz of somewhere like Nobu Mayfair without the attention-seeking clientele.

At Nobu, Hallsworth developed a reputation for pushing the boundaries of gastronomy, creating dishes that were distinguished by their unexpected contrasts of flavours and textures.  His signature creations for Wabi reflect this, spearheaded by such delicacies as Foie gras martini with umeshu jelly, nashi & black vinegar; Onsen egg with dashi-soy, truffle salt & chives; and tea smoked duck tataki with burnt ginger amazu sauce.  Desserts, such as the deconstructed Tiramisu, are also highly impressive, bringing together the best of European ideas with Japanese ingredients and precise technique.

Those after a lighter bite also have the option of dining at a sushi bar overseen by the talented Taiji Maruyama.  Another Nobu London graduate, Taiji is highly regarded for his innovative approach and Wabi sees him use the very best European ingredients to conjure up unique offerings such as butter poached Spanish red shrimp with yuzu, chilli & cucumber dressing.

Completing the venue is an equally stylish bar in which to enjoy a pre or post-prandial drink.  Whilst the cocktails have a distinctively Asian twist, the have commendably maintained have a classic style, with plenty of drier concoctions to choose from.

Food: 4.5/5
Venue: 4/5
Value: 3/5

Cuisine Type: Japanese
Dinner for two:  £120
Cocktails: £10
Wine: £7.50

36-38 Kingsway
London WC2B 6EY
T: 0207 400 5400

minilink Wabi, WC2