Wowed by Wabi – New Culinary Japanese Wonder in London’s Holborn

Wowed by Wabi - New Culinary Japanese Wonder in London’s Holborn

You would almost be mistaken for thinking you were in the heart of swanky Mayfair upon reaching Wabi; large flaming torches outside, a cloakroom as you enter and a spiral staircase leading you down to the bar, lounge and dining area at the basement level below.

In fact, this stylish new Japanese restaurant resides in Holborn. To seal a firm luxurious stamp, the space is elegantly filled with clean lines, soft deep colours and subdued lighting, giving it an intimate, refined look and a cool member’s club feel.

To warm up, Mr Husband and I sipped on amazing artisan Asian-inspired cocktails at the sleek dark panelled bar (go for the Blackheart if you like a drink with rum, or go off-menu like I did and try a mean lychee martini – gin-based, softly sweet, fresh and crisp).

Wabi is headed up by ex­Nobu head chef Scott Hallsworth, who has cleverly managed to present us with different taste dimensions to a cuisine style most famously known for its rice rolled sushi and sashimi. Wow-factor Wabi dishes vary from something crunchy to BBQ to fire roasted offerings, as well as an extensive selection of nigiri, sashimi, sushi, maki and cut rolls.

Wowed by Wabi - New Culinary Japanese Wonder in London’s Holborn

The ex-Nobu team also includes highly skilled sushi chef Taiiji Maruyama and Sergio del Castillo Mora, a fellow Nobu London graduate, who oversees the dedicated dessert bar. We decided to go for the well-rounded 10-course ‘Kaiseki’ tasting menu, which includes a bowl of moreish fire roasted edamame and crunchy temaki cones – mini ice-cream like bites, filled with toro and dressed with wasabi cream and charcoaled onions.

A small plate of seabass sashimi followd by yellowtail sashimi with smokey nasu and yuzu bubbles made two perfect pre-courses before tucking into a yummy ‘lobster and chips’ – kombu/ butter poached lobster with uni, thinly sliced vegetable chips and yuzu-truffle-egg dip – our firm favourite. Next arrived warm loch duart salmon with a lemon miso, green chilli salsa and burnt cedar. Mr Husband’s second favourite dish was the aged rib-eye ishi-yaki – black beer marinated beef, served sizzling with a Japanese BBQ sauce.

Wowed by Wabi - New Culinary Japanese Wonder in London’s Holborn

A selection of sushi finished our savoury courses, followed with calpico sorbet and slow gin sorbet. Our menu was topped off sweetly with green tiramisu and crunchy cocoa nib ice cream; Wabi’s personal take on an Italian pudding classic.

Other highlights on the menu include kombu-­roasted Chilean sea bass with spicy shiso ponzu, wagyu and foie gras gyoza with goma ponzu, wood-fired mushroom salad with yuzu-truffle-miso dressing and soba ‘pancakes’ with king crab, avocado, yuzu mayo and puffed soba. Sweet-toothes will love Sergio’s signature ‘chocol-8’ – chocolate decadently served eight ways. Wabi certainly wowed us with its modern, fresh and distinctive take on Japanese dining – we are sure it will for you too. Watch Out Nobu, Wabi is in town…

Wowed by Wabi - New Culinary Japanese Wonder in London’s Holborn

For more information and reservations visit: www.wabirestaurants.com

By Reena Patel

Editorial Team

The independent luxury magazine showcasing the finest and most luxurious things in life. Luxurious Magazine travels the world visiting the best resorts, hotel and restaurants to see whether they warrant the 'Luxurious Magazine' seal of approval. We also feature the latest news, finest products and services, luxury events and talk to leading personalities and celebrities.