BANGKOK RESTAURANT

Wabi Sabi

As a mid-range mall-dwelling Japanese joint, Wabi Sabi is par for the course.

2
Average: 2 (1 vote)
CentralWorld’s Groove draws in big crowds on weekends. These young, urban professionals are clearly seeking out some kind of European exoticism, as they pack themselves into Wine I Love You, S’Mores or Hyde & Seek Peek-a-boo, all of which serve Western fusion food. In contrast, Groove’s token Japanese restaurant Wabi Sabi is rather quiet. Maybe it’s a sign Bangkokians are much pickier about raw fish than bad pasta and random processed meats covered in melted cheese.
 
After all, Wabi Sabi isn’t all that bad, or expensive. So why the lack of love? Well, there’s the decor, a soulless attempt at evoking something edgy and urban—think Zuma or Ku De Ta—that ends up feeling a little shoddy and Fuji-like in its sterility. And then you’ve got the cookie-cutter picture menu, which offers every dish under the rising sun, from grilled snow fish (B450) to California rolls (B220) and bowls of udon noodles (B220).
 
As a mid-range mall-dwelling Japanese joint, Wabi Sabi is par for the course, though. The Salmon Galaxy (B550) is fresh and generous, even if the salmon probably wasn’t line-caught off Norway. Similarly, the big tub of sashimi “five kinds,” is everything you could reasonably expect at B980. Note that prices are net, individual sushi was 40-percent off and a couple dishes were 50-percent off on our last visit. One such dish was the marinated Hokkaido scallop carpaccio, which was served with tough, chewy squid that the marinade clearly failed to loosen up. What the mix of lemon juice and soy sauce did achieve was making it pretty hard to tell how long this seafood had been stewing in its juices.
 
Deep-fried dishes are similarly pedestrian (such as the slightly oily and bland fried silverfish, B140), but we can’t say you’d necessarily get much better in a standalone joint tucked down Soi Thaniya. (You would get more than just the option of Ozeki sake, though.)
 
On the plus side, Wabi Sabi’s service is diligent and smiling. And we were pleasantly surprised by the desserts from La Gallerie de Patisserie—the raspberry and chocolate cake is a successful layering of textures and flavors. Look out for the cheap set lunches (from B120) and the specials like buy-one-get-one-free on Sapporo (B220 per glass from 7-11pm), too.
 
Corkage charge B300
This review took place in May 2015 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.
 

 

Venue Details
Address: Wabi Sabi, G/F, The Groove, CentralWorld, Ratchadamri Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 02-252-6451
Website: www.facebook.com/wabisabigastrobar
Cuisine: Japanese
Price Range: BBB
Open since: April, 2014
Opening hours: daily 11-1am
Parking available
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