Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Wasabi - Leeds City Centre

Wasabi opens 19th February at 12 noon.

It feels like an age since I first saw the signs for Wasabi plastered against one of the new shopping units in Trinity. Like a few things in Trinity Wasabi wasn't ready for the grand opening last year or even the second opening of the food hall Trinity Kitchen in the autumn.

The wait is over as Wasabi, the first one outside London, is finally here... and with a smaller pick and mix shop to boot (located on 'the bridge' above Albion street - opposite Nandos). 

I was lucky enough to be invited for a sneak preview a couple of days before they opened. With the windows still plastered with posters I had no idea what to expect when I walked in.

Despite there being no natural light the place was light and bright. The whiteness creating a clean and refreshing look.

Our hosts for the night were very welcoming and advised us that there were staff walking around with sushi and if we wanted anything hot just to nip up to the counter and ask. 

I headed straight for the counter when I came upon their crisps - wasabi and seaweed flavour crisps... Intriguing.

I decided to go with a hot breaded prawn for my first taster which was handed to me in a cup with a little bit of sauce at the bottom. Usually £1 each this was a great little thing... I may find it difficult to walk past without buying a couple in the future just for a snack. 

I got to meet the head chef (apologies but his name escapes me now), his local knowledge of sushi was impressive and we had a good talk about Leeds' sushi offerings. It was clear he was passionate about what he does.

A and I were handed a matcha milkshake... I took a few sips but wasn't so sure about it. Something which I did love but didn't get a picture of was the sesame milkshake - sounds weird but really really nice! A definite recommendation.

Next up - the sushi. Below is a Japanese omelette and I think a seaweed gunkan.

Surimi crabmeat and cucumber futomaki

Some hot samples of spicy chicken and chicken katsu

A dumpling...

Chicken yakisoba

Fried prawn futomaki and salmon sesame gunkan

Chicken teriyaki futomaki

Aloe Vera water - everyone looked suspicious as they passed this around but it was amazing! So refreshing and light and left your breath, if not kissable, certainly room freshening.

More chicken katsu (a little dry) 

Chicken curry - better than an average chicken curry cop out for the less adventurous customers.

The range of salad and sushi boxes on offer are in the fridge cabinets. One of these will definitely fill you up!

The pumpking salad box - around £5 it's most definitely filling. A great one for a work lunch treat (unless you're loaded and can afford £5-7 lunches every day)

Mango Aloe Vera water - even better than the other! I will definitely be nipping in for a few bottles, I suspect a great hangover cure too.

Check out wasabi's website for details on their menu and prices but it is fairly reasonable with pick and mix sushi being between £1-2 and the hot meals around£4-6 each. 

The food felt healthy and nutritious, in addition to this it was also very filling! 

Get down there on their opening day as early as you can as the first 50 customers get a years free sushi!

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