If you are a regular reader, you know I have been on a quest for a new sushi place near my house. None of the ones I have found have been bad, but I have yet to find one to declare my allegiance. So we decided to go back to Wasabi on 82nd because it was a place we used to go on occasion and hubby always liked their nigiri. (Note: I am not confident about the prices listed here. I got them from the website, but I think they might be outdated).
So, it was a little sketchy from the start, because it was 7:00 on a Saturday and there was literally one other table there. A sushi place with no business is always a little scary to me. We sat down and decided to get a little appetizer and ordered the agedashi tofu ($5.50). It was two large chunks of tofu that were lightly fried and sitting on top of some tempura sauce (which is a fish broth base). It was covered by lots of bonito flakes, which are cool because they are so light; they kind of move, making the dish almost look alive. It has a nice crisp exterior and soft interior—the only thing I would change is to make the pieces a little smaller in order to have more crunch ratio—the inside of the tofu was a little too creamy when you got to the inside bites. Anyway, hubby was sort of against it, but in retrospect it was one of the best things of the evening.
For rolls, we ordered the Indy roll ($15), the Fantastic roll ($16), and the Chop Chop Crab roll ($12). The Indy roll is shrimp tempura inside and salmon, tuna and avocado across the top drizzled with mayo and eel sauce. The Fantastic roll is spicy tuna and crunch topped with salmon, yellowtail and avocado. The chop chop crab is soft shell crab mixed with spicy mayo inside and out. Ok, so the first two look pretty good in the picture right? But none of these rolls were good. I can’t put my finger on it totally, but the fish was just flavorless. And some of it seemed sort of like it might have not been the freshest. The spicy tuna in one of them was a mushy paste-like substance. The chop chop crab had lost its crunch and tasted like it could have been made with fried anything. These were not good rolls. I had maybe one or two pieces of each and just stopped eating. It just wasn’t worth the calories.
My daughter had the katsudon ($10), which was a fried breaded pork cutlet sautéed with onions and egg over rice. This dish did not look very appetizing and the taste wasn’t much better. It was also extremely bland and lacking in flavor. My son’s New York strip teriyaki ($20) was the other best thing on the table—the steak was tender and cooked just right. He was quite happy with his and we all kept sneaking bites.
All in all, Wasabi will not be a place we will be returning. Honestly, with the amount of business they had that night (maybe one or two other tables came in and one carry out order was filled), I am surprised they are still in business.
Wasabi on 82nd
5025 East 82nd Street