Monday, October 13, 2008

Wasabi Tei

Ok ok so this is for the Matsuo supporters, - I say Wasabi Tei is better. Seriously, I believe that it's a conspiracy amongst all the floggers -how can Matsuo be better than Wasabi Tei???? It's so good that Jane and I , who are chronic late wakers (and don't do anything before 12noon if we can help it), hate queueing (I really can't stand queueing for anything such a waste of my time and my life), hate dirty looking places, hate bad service and generally all the qualities that dining at Wasabi Tei possesses, would make an effort to wake up (relatively) early on a holiday, brave the horrible downpour and go to Far East Plaza (we don't even like going there) to eat Japanese food.
Complimentary Starter - it's some vegetable thing with chicken (Wasabi Tei does not serve pork) and dried tofu, which is served piping hot. It's slightly salty and sweetish, and a great way to start the meal since the chef is a one-man-(slow)-show and is a Nazi and the food takes quite a while to come.
Chawanmushi ($5) - The first time I came, I didn't order this since it was a whopping $5 - but nearly everyone around us ordered it! This time, since I made such a great effort trudging down, I made sure I tried it. It's the most ingredients I've seen stuffed into a chawanmushi ever!
Apart from the prawn hanging out of the chawanmushi cup, there's lots of fresh mushrooms. The egg itself is freshly steamed - it's only poured into the cups once your order it, and subsequently steamed. The egg is extremely wobbly and smooth.
This is what's at the bottom of the cup - some jelly-like thing (Konnyaku perhaps?), half a prawn, crab meat (I think it's the surimi fish crabmeat).And for the first timers here, I strongly recommend that you try the Chiraishi Don ($20). The ingredients are dependent on what's in stock, and today we got a really fat scallop. It was extremely fresh, juicier, larger and more glistening that Matsuo's. The salmon sashimi is so much thicker, fresher and fattier than Matsuo's. Matsuo's quality is just slightly above Sushi Tei. Wasabi Tei's quality is on par with Akashi.
This is the thickness of the salmon sashimi, it's the thickest that I've seen out of Japan.
Tuna and Mekajiki (sword fish) sashimi - thick, fresh and delicious.
This was from the previous time I went to Wasabi Tei - we had 4 pieces of salmon, 3 pieces of mekajiki, 2 pieces of hamachi, 2 pieces of tamago and an extremely fresh uni. All for $20. How can you beat this value???? This picture's courtesy of Julie cos I didn't bring my camera. Watermelon, which comes with the lunch set (along with miso soup).
The previous time I was here, my friends ordered the Salmon Teriyaki Set ($15 with miso soup, rice and watermelon). It was burnt on the outside, but for $15, it was a huge huge slab of salmon, and it was extremely fresh and juicy. Unlike those aneroxic dry salmon pieces you find at other places, this one was meaty and full of flavour. In fact, my friends were at first very unhappy with their dismal charred salmon, but once they started eating it they changed their minds.
My Califonia Maki ($6)from the previous visit too, I over ordered (had the chiraishi set as well as this). Though it won't rival Tatsuya's incredible Califonia Maki, it's still pretty good despite being a bit messy.
This is the Nazi chef himself - he looked real virulent the last time I visited, but then again, if he was, they wouldn't get an A for cleanliness? This was taken from outside the door, where I was queueing for really long. He cooks everything himself, and only makes if when you order. He's pretty scary (when he converses with his female helper) and he doesn't talk directly to the customers. Only the lady does the talking, and she looks very grimm. If you ever come here, do bring good and cheerful company!

Be prepared to wait quite a while for your food.A for cleanliness.
Wasabi Tei has these really particular set of rules - you have to order everything at ONE time, or they'll charge an excess of 20% for the second time you order (dunno about the 3rd and 4th times - do they increase it to 30 and 40% respectively? Or do they just do a First Thai?)
The restaurant is like a hole in the wall and only has 12 seats, hence all the rules. If you don't make it to the first seating, the second seating takes real long since you'll have to wait for the people before to finish eating. Since they have a mere 12 seats, at least one dish must be ordered per seat, and if your whole group of friends haven't arrived, you're not allowed to sit. They charge $2 for any drink (green tea, mineral water, canned drinks etc) but there's no additional GST or service charges.
This is the second time I've been to Wasabi Tei, and I'm extremely happy to say that the freshness, quality and the volume of fish is as good as my previous visit. It's definitely not a place to bring your client or a anyone short of your good friend, since they're really particular about their rules. But you won't be dissappointed with the marvellous sashimi.
Do note that they only accept cash payment.
Wasabi tei
14 Scotts Road
#05-70 Far East Plaza
Tel: 62388216 ( Like Julie, I really don't suggest you call them - they look angry enough to bite off your head)
Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 12noon - 3pm, 5.30pm - 9.30pm
Sat: 12noon - 9.30pm
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays


His Food Blog said...

The "vegetable thing" is seaweed and the place takes 16 pax not 12 pax.

But this is definitely one of my fav place for Sashimi. :)

red fir said...

Hijiki comes straight from a can. Besides warming it up, there's no effort made into preparing the otoshi. I sometimes get a umaki tamago (unagi-tamago yaki) for otoshi at Matsuo.

The tuna used is not hon maguro (bluefin tuna). (I trust Matsuo doesn't use hon maguro in their sets too.) Salmon comes in different grades, thick slices doesn't mean good, and no Jap restaurant worth their salt will use mekajiki in their sashimi. Swordfish is frozen. (That's why I get peeved when I see Akashi serving swordfish in their sashimi.)

Sorry girl I'd have to really disagree with you on this one. If you really want VFM with very good quality (uni per pair $12! awesome.), go Botan at Far East Square. Check out my post and smallpotatoes posts on it. That one is really gem of a find. Quality is good and portions are so huge for the price you pay one order can easily feed 2. :) The chef is very nice.

Anonymous said...

nazi chef!!! u watch seinfeld!

anyway, nice blogs. keep it up

p said...

seriously? uni at 12 O_O i didn't see that the last time i was at botan.. darn.

y'know honestly i didn't like the botan bento the last time i had it for dinner - lots of variety but most of it didn't taste that great.
maybe it's a one off, since i never returned after and ice and smallpotatoes do great(accurate) reviews usually.

LiquidShaDow said...

Geez...I didn't get any uni or ikura or tamago on my chirashi!

m said...

Sorry for the super late comments - didn't relaized I didn't reply them!

hfb: ok 16pax - super tiny I hate queueing but other than that, I like the food.
ice: Tried botan but it's in cbd v inaccessible&crazy ex parking! I like mekajiki lots tho! Actually, I like most sashimis except for squid and boiled octopus.
fatboyslim: lol I don't - but I read ieatishootipost. Hate nazi chefs!:O
p: I suppose it's personal preference? I like wasabi tei. Actually, I think it's cos my food standard isn't as high as theirs :P
liquidshadow:yikes maybe the chef was being stingy tt day! :O I think quality fluctuates quite a bit - the last time I went the sashimi wasn't fresh! But the chef was still as grouchy as ever!

alsontxh said...

hi there,

i have just been to wasabi tei yesterday, and i rarely visits wasabi tei becos they are rather costly for my wallet! but i assure u and jap food fans that this is the place to go for some "close to japan" feel.

i ordered their sashimi with sushi rice bowl, which is in a bento box like wat u just posted. but i tink its $22 now. and also a bbq cod fish for my wife, a kanikama, and chuka kurage(jellyfish), and their yuzu ice cream, and shishamo. all for a total of $63.

i prolly go wasabi tei not more than twice a year. my first visit was about 9-10 years ago? and comparing my experience from then and yesterday, i should say they have maintained their standards really well! being a sashimi fan, i only ordered the sashimi sushi rice box. and only get to try other dishes provided my wife ordered them. shes not a big fan of raw stuff.

tucking in to the food yest i had this close feeling that i was back to japan! i was there in 2008 for my honeymoon. we were at this ameyoko area place managed by a family and they served really authentic jap cuisine.

no where in singapore ever quite comes close to wasabi tei i should say, no doubt i have not been to alot of places.

have wasabi tei changed bosses? i never seen that nazi boss before leh! only saw this quite ah beng chef, with the red hair and kim lian(gold chain).

i tink going at 2pm is best becos there is no crowd, and the chefs can take their time preparing their refined art!

Unknown said...

I suggest you try out The Sushi Bar #03-89 @ Far East Plaza as well if you haven't already. It's located on the 3rd floor behind FuncDeco. Their chirashi are much more worth it, with even thicker cuts, much more variety and their Uni is the freshest I've tried. Do check with the staff for their specials, the previous time I went, they actually had Hon Maguro fresh from Japan along with Madai. To avoid disappointment, try to go on Tuesdays and Fridays, when they receive their Japanese airflown supplies.