London, UK – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine
At the end of November 2012, new Japanese restaurant Wabi will open its doors in London’s Holborn. In the kitchen will be Australian-born Scott Hallsworth, former Executive Head Chef at Nobu Park Lane, and founding chef of Nobu Melbourne. This is a man who knows his tataki from his teriyaki.
Scott spent six years at Nobu in London before he was handpicked by Nobu Matsuhisa to launch Nobu Melbourne in 2007. He has cooked for the likes of Michael Jackson, the Beckhams, Robert De Niro and Bill Clinton, and continues to push the boundaries of Japanese gastronomy, with dishes characterised by bold contrasts of flavor and texture. Wabi is a joint venture with entrepreneur André Cachia.
The restaurant name comes from the Japanese aesthetic Wabi-sabi, meaning simple, undeclared beauty. Dishes served at the Wabi preview dinner certainly fulfilled that definition, following a theme of seasonal Japanese cuisine with a contemporary European twist. Some exciting amuse-bouches led to a first course of chickpea dashi-kombu soup with lobster kobu jime. Next came some excellent white fish sashimi with homemade yuzu koji, then a beautifully presented tuna takaki with tomato-soy sheet. The avocado & king crab roll with creamy mentaiku and puffed rice was cleverly constructed and delicious, as was the roasted scallop with yuzu truffle egg sauce and yuzu tobiko.
Diners eating at the sushi bar will see chef Taiji Maruyama at work, another graduate of Nobu London who will be conjuring such delights as butter poached Spanish red shrimp with yuzu, chili and cucumber dressing. A pastry bar will sit alongside the sushi bar, serving contemporary European desserts with Japanese influences. The pastry bar will also feature a soft serve ice cream machine with flavors changing daily.
Wabi is conveniently located on the fringes of Covent Garden, and backs on to the historic Lincoln’s Inn Fields. The main restaurant seats 120 guests, with a further nine at the sushi bar and seven at the pastry bar. Wabi will be open every day, with lunch served from 12pm—3pm, and dinner 6pm—11.30pm.
See more top London restaurants in the Elite Guide to London