Posted 25 August 2007 - 05:21 AM
dinner there tonight.. reservation for four secured wednesday afternoon.. the two of us arrived at 9:30 and were seated immediately pending the arrival of the remainder of our party, whom we indicated would be drifting in over the next 30 minutes.. no efforts were made to park us at the bar, and we were given a large six top in the rear of the resturant that was overly comfortable and made a great setting for the evening..
overall, it felt like a studied approach to present day, high end, nyc small plate eating..
cocktails off the list were nice, not overly sweet or syrupy; i don't understand anywhere nearly enough about wine, but eat out enough to usually recognize a few bottles on the list; whle my focus was on white tonight, i recognized nothing, with the exception of a Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc which we skipped over.. 3x markup on bottles, they had a bottle of most everything open and available by the glass.. bottles were iced down to order- if you open something, enjoy it, and expect to order another bottle, it should probably be done with this in mind..
food was great- we quickly went thru vegetable and shrimp dumplings and an order of spring rolls.. wrappers not as delicate as the dim sum at Chinatown Brasserie but fillings were all fresh, of high quality, and well prepared.. the spring rolls were fried well and good with the drinks..
dishes came out individually throughout the evening plate by plate, were served family in a well paced format and dishes were switched 3+ times throughout the meal..
mains varied a bit, nothing wasn't good or better, with the standout being the sea bass with salt and pepper in a pepper sauce that was served with a tea strainer style spoon.. the vegetable fried rice was very well prepared and a nice ending point of the evening.. beef negimaki, wrapped around asparagus, with a sweet/sour chili dressing was good; creamy lemon shrimp is the first departure from the creamy spicy shrimp dish at nobu that dirves so many fried asian fusion dishes.. seafood toast, with a tomato/sweet/spicy sauce (the recommendation of the waiter) was the suprise hit of the night, highly reminiscent of the guilty pleasure of the crispy rice cake with spicy tuna dish at koi.. the peking duck was the low point of the meal- the crepes were of a very high quality but the meat itself was just good..
the asian affogato should be the show stopper dessert of the year, a vietnamese coffee that's brewed over the ice cream at the table.. the warm chocolate cake was disappointing in that it was only what it needed to be- warm, molten, mildly bitter chocolate with a small scoop of ice cream served on the side..
if you enjoy the cooking and experience of Perry Street, I think you'll enjoy this.. the menu wasn't as consistent, but it's better done than any of the high end asian that's currently in new york, i.e., budakkan, shun lee, tao, none of which will experience a drop off in sheer number of clientele they serve but Wakiya offers so much more personable of an interaction, and a high caliber of food, that it will be a shame if they overbook the restaurant and allow a corresponding drop off in the level of staff interaction and/or quality of food that we enjoyed tonight, which was perfect and attentive..
expensive.. good for a fun night out.. hard to describe the overall experience, but think of it as a fun alternative to the front room in the modern..