Having recently opened in Holborn, Wabi London is a calculated endeavor. It’s a Japanese restaurant, with ex-Nobu Australian Chef Scott Hallsworth at the helm, promising to take diners on a “culinary journey that goes beyond sushi and sashimi.” Intriguing.
The interior of the basement-located restaurant is sleek, with bold black and white décor, clean, sharp lines and low lighting. The cocktail lounge is filled with shiny mirrors and hotel bar seating, while the spacious dining area boasts dark-wood tables and ceilings. Adding a buzz to the venue is the large open kitchen.
My husband and I visit on a Thursday evening and the restaurant was pretty empty with only a few couples sitting at the bar, which is where we started our evening with a Forgotten Dream (cucumber, lemon, Bulldog gin, Midori, and green chartreuse) and an Apple Blossom (Russian Standard Vodka, manzana verde, Nigori sake, Calpis, fresh apple juice, and lime juice). They were both delicious.
We opt for the full-on dining experience tonight; however, there is a sushi bar as well as a dessert bar. We’re eating inside tonight, although, there’s also an outdoor terrace for when the sun shines. Our friendly waitress shows us to our table, where we’ll be trying the astounding 10-course tasting menus, both the vegetarian and meat options.
Our first starter is Otsumami Snacks: fire-roasted edamame, rice senbei, smoky pork scratching, and sweet and sour nasu, expertly presented as served as a sharing platter on a wooden tray. Everything tastes exceptional and before we know it, we’ve devoured the lot, despite our waitress advising us to take it easy, as there’s a lot left to try. Thankfully, the next course is smaller, but doesn’t compromise on taste.