There are a few things in life I just can’t pass up. Amongst those are bubble tea, talking to strangers dogs on the street and 1/2 price food, so when a friend told me that she had scored us a table at Wabi Sabi Garden and we were going to get 50% off our food, I was stoked. All I needed now was a random dog to say hi to and a bubble tea…
We had a table booked for 7, so I headed straight over after work and met them there. Parking was a bit of a cow, but I ended up scoring one right out the front and felt pretty smug about the whole thing. Heading in past the front bar, I was surprised by how big the place was, and loved the cute little decorations around the place.
When I joined my friends who were already seated, the waitress came over straight away and asked what we’d like to drink. B had a great rosé whilst C and I opted for a cheeky brewski. We are not known for the speed in which we order our food, so after the patient waitress came over for the 3rd time to check if we were ready to order, we finally were. We ended up ordering:
- Edamame with Dip
- Tempura Gyoza Dumpling (pork & vege)
- Steamed Vegetables
- Spiced Potato & Mixed Beans Croquettes
- Soft Shell Crab Tempura
- Contemporary Sashimi Platter Trio
The interior of the place is quite dark, but the lanterns and subtle lighting make sure that it never feels dingy. Instead, you feel like you’re in a proper izakaya (居酒屋) in the heart of Tokyo, enjoying some after work drinks with your best mates Satoshi Tajiri & Hayao Miyazaki (if you get this, kudos to you, my fellow nerds).
The food took about 15 minutes to come out, and I was really pleased with how fresh everything was. Sometimes the deals that you get mean you cop crappy service and the nasty tasteless scraps, but Wabi Sabi Garden really looked after us. We scoffed into it so quickly that we didn’t get any photos of the food, so here is a mildly amusing selfie instead.
The food was absolutely bloody delicious. The fish was oh-so-fresh, the croquettes were cooked to perfection, and the tempura was crispy & light. What more can you ask for?
After we finished eating I had a bit of a sticky-beak around the rest of the venue and saw that they were a lot bigger than I had first thought. They cater for quite large groups, and I imagine this would be a great place for a work break-up or an engagement party.
They even have a gorgeous outside area, with tables scattered around the traditional Japanese garden setting. I didn’t get a photo of the tables outside because there were people in them and that’d just be a bit creepy of me to do!
Our total bill, including drinks, was under $95, which for Japanese food in Melbourne for 3 people is pretty much unheard of. Oh, and we’re totally coming back to try the Prawn Katsu Burger!
Wabi Sabi Garden are open for Lunch Mon – Fri 12pm-3pm, for Dinner Tue – Sat from 6pm and they shut up shop on Sundays.