The Bloggers’ Table: Waza Japanese

Waza serves traditional Japanese cuisine and fresh seafood, enthusiastically curated by professional chefs with decades of experience.
Their kitchen advocates for new ideas to let diners feel the true meaning of Japanese cuisine, and experience Japan’s delicate and profound culture.

Kurt and Sarah

Around The Clock Foodie

Instagram: @aroundtheclockfoodie

Creative sushi dishes are all the rage in Sydney at the moment, with sushi doughnuts and burgers popping up. Waza Japanese restaurant in Balmain has kept up with this craze, going further with the addition of a sushi pizza! Waza also serves traditional Japanese delights.

The restaurant is bright with nicely dressed tables. The ambience is vibrant with chatter amongst diners, and traditional Japanese music to set the mood. Upon entering we were greeted by the warm and friendly host Kei with a great personality, making for an entertaining evening with great service.

Chef David Ho has honed his skills in kitchens of Japan, China and now Australia, drawing on this experience to create Waza’s menu. There is a sushi bar staffed by a traditionally dressed chef waiting to prepare fresh sushi and sashimi, purchased from the fish markets earlier in the day.

As is to be expected from a quality Japanese restaurant, the sushi and sashimi are beautifully prepared. The premium sashimi and sushi selection offers a range of seafood including squid, salmon belly, roe and tuna. Accompanying this was a smoked salmon salad with a sesame dressing that made this a healthy start to the evening.

For our mains we tried the steak, cooked perfectly to medium rare, with vegetables and served with a dipping sauce. The tender wagyu tounge was braised in a flavoursome sauce.

One of the highlights of the evening was the sushi pizza, which is a restaurant favourite.

It is a round crispy rice cake topped with avocado, mayo, tomatoes and prawn crackers – so interesting and delightful!

The restaurant has recently attained a liquor licence so you can now purchase alcohol and BYO wines. A great place to try a wide range of sashimi options, sushi and their famous sushi pizza! Thoroughly recommended.


Random Din Dins

Instagram: @randomdindins

Waza is Darling Street’s enclave of modern Japanese expression. The menu is broad, beginning with sashimi, both traditional and modern. The richness of our local seafood catches are turned into edible works of art.

Their sushi rolls take what can normally be found a step further using red rock tuna, soft-shell crab, mixed seafood and prawns with sesame sauce and wasabi mayo. Waza is displaying a great effort to differentiate themselves from the many choices of Japanese establishments on the strip.

The venue space carries a tone of simplicity and zen, with carefully chosen pieces of art and a granite bar lining the dining area.

Waza seamlessly blends a stylish bar of Sake based cocktails with a snazzy interior and laser light logo display at the foot of the stairs leading through the entrance. Once you’re greeted by Kei and his friendly staff, you’re in for a spectacle of food theatre. The art of slicing sashimi is a skill many pay thousands to learn, perfecting their precision for years. It’s always a treat to witness skill like this in their ‘Special’ and ‘Premium’ platter selections.

It’s the Roman Empire ‘Sushi Pizza’ that demonstrates Waza’s great potential in taking Australian Japanese to new levels.  If this is a preview of what’s to come, then they are definitely onto a winner.


Two Girls One Fork

There’s no luxurious piece of meat like the Wagyu, with the carcass of this breed of cattle going for anywhere between $4000-$6000. It’s the caviar for all meat eaters, and it’s the pinnacle of Japanese beef.

The rendered flavour from the renowned marbling in this cut is what gets me every time. Served on a hot plate, the art of combining aroma, texture and taste is a sight to behold at Waza.  From their Scotch Fillet ($29.90) to their Sirloin ($58.90), it’s done superbly here.

The only way the flavours you get here can be achieved is serving the meat straight into a pan from the refrigerator and cooking it on an even heat at low temperatures. This allows the creamy buttery render to coat the meat, which is why it’s one of the few meat dishes I can eat without condiments.

The assortment of tuna, salmon belly, king fish, octopus, eel, prawn, scallop, ark shell, salmon roe, flying fish roe, egg, yellow tail, scampi, snapper, sea urchin, bean curd and cucumber are assembled onto an elegant looking platter that’s almost as mouth watering as the wagyu.

One thing I’ve started to notice more at many Japanese sushi places is the Okoge techniques, or scorching, on rice. They do sear their Nigiri here, but I’m liking what I see with the prominence of an increased use of crispy rice. It’s the main feature in their sushi pizza!

Waza Japanese: 237 Darling Street, Balmain
Ph: 8377 1491