Tuesday, April 14, 2009


308 Pacific Highway, 
Crows Nest NSW 2065
PH. 02 9906 7736 

Dinner: Tuesday-Sunday 
Close Monday

Betty booked waqu after browsing through another food blog searching for places to try. Waqu looked good with it's 5 course dinner and nicely done website. I even made an outlook invite to myself and Betty to make sure it synced to my phone!
It's located on the corner of the Pacific Highway and Falcon street, so it was a quite easy to find. Over the harbour bridge, get off the Falcon street exit and drive til you see it on the corner. Parking was easy, since Crows Nest is quite dead on a saturday night.

We walked in and were greeted warmly by the friendly staff and were directed to our table straight away. You gotta love the restaurants that actually greet you and seat you when you come in, instead of ignoring you til they finish what they're doing. We were seated right in the corner in a slightly dim booth right next to a closed window. I loved the way they had the walls decorated with the wavey patterns.

We chose our courses and the food appeared in almost an instant. I realise it's a set menu where they really don't have to cook such a big variety, but nevertheless, I was still impressed. First up were the entrees, we had a dish called "amuse" not pronounced the way you'd think it would be. This had spicy soft shell crab taco, crystal bay prawn, peach, chorizo, cauliflower puree and tomato essence & fresh tofu, sweet miso and soy flavoured ground beef, ‘renkon’ chips.

The soft shell crab taco wasn't really a taco since it was served on two small pieces of tortilla, but it was still a tasty starter with the crispy, crunchy legs and the juicy crab meat inside. I also liked the leek garnish, it gave it a little bit of an oniony flavour but not too much.

The prawn was nothing special and the same went for the chorizo. I've had a better chorizo at churassco's in Bondi. The tofu on top of the sweet miso and soy flavoured ground beef was the best of the lot.

I didn't actually read the menu properly so I think Betty might have accidentally eaten some beef mince tonight :( The 'renkon' chips were thinly sliced lotus roots baked til crisp. I loved it!

Course number two was the ocean trout tartare, wasabi cream sauce. The ocean trout was served raw diced into little cubes sitting in the shape of a casino chip on top of some mashed potato in the centre of a large dish with salmon roe and wasabi cream sauce touching it's edges. The wasabi cream sauce was so creamy with only a slight hint of the heat from the wasabi. The trout was fresh, springy and very much well suited to the sauce. I also liked the salmon roe dotted along the dish. It's fun to try and pick up each individual egg with your chopsticks without breaking them :) The mashed potato was a little uneven I'd have to say. That's a big letdown, if you can't get mash right then don't try haha!

Betty's dish reminded me of the scallop ball you get at Cabramatta when you eat at Vinh Phat Seafood Restaurant. It melts in your mouth when you bite into it and tasted slightly sweet yet savoury at the same time. The calamari was ground finely so you didn't really have to chew it and the abalone in the centre reminded me of the octopus you get inside a takoyaki. The risotto was a little hard. It could have been cooked for a little longer with a little bit more stock. Even so, it was nice.

Course three for me, was the rack of lamb: ‘panko’ and herb crusted rack of lamb, dry miso, ‘tamari’ garlic sauce and for Ms Betty, it was the Calamari + Abalone + Risotto: lightly fried ground calamari cake, abalone and squid ink risotto.

Betty's Snapper was firm and tasty. Although the foamy sauce got in the way of actually tasting the fish and the sauce itself. The snapper skin was the best part of this meal. It was quite nice, but not as nice as the crispy skin you get on salmon from Jazushi. Yum! Even though the foam got in the way of eating the fish, it went quite well with the zucchini and leek ribbons. The sweetness of the sauce went very well with the almost bland flavour of the zucchini. The leek on the other hand had more flavour than the sauce. I reckon I'm starting to like leeks now... strange but true hehe...

For course number four, I chose the Quail: roasted quail, ‘yuzu’ butter sauce, hoba leaf, ‘satsuma’ potato. Betty chose the Snapper: slow cooked snapper fillet, sweet corn foam, zucchini and leek ribbons.
The quail was de-boned. I love it when I don't have to put much effort into eating. It was awesome, great for lazy people like me haha! I Think there were grapes in there too which reminded me of the longans you have in chinese herbal broths. The lemon and salt on the skin of the quail matched the flavour of the quail meat well. The meat was soft, succulent and not at all dry. It reminded me of frog legs my mum used to cook with a little batter, lemon, salt and pepper. It was tasty and brought back great memories of past food that no longer exists due to food poisoning scares from imported frog legs. The chips on the potato cubes were quite nice, but better than that were the chestnuts. I love chestnuts! They're so sweet and powdery. There were a few nuts on this too, so this dish had the feel of a chinese herbal broth almost, since I've had almost all the ingredients in the one dish in a broth my mum's made before!

Last of all, we had our dessert. This consisted of glass tiramisu, vanilla ice cream, green tea crème caramel.

The ice cream had some lychee flavouring to it. It was like eating vanilla ice cream with a shot of soho. It was so, so good! 

Lastly, there was the greaen tea creme crème caramel. Originally I thought it was a crème brulee, but I realised what it was when the top didn't crack open like a piece of glass shattering when a bullet strikes it. It was covered in maple syrup and tasted divine, the matcha flavour was so sweet and tea-ish. I reckon this was a great dessert after a great dinner.

The tiramisu, sponge cake piece was a little dry, but the coffee flavor that was sucked into the base of the cake was quite nice.

Overall it was a very satisfying meal, so much to eat and such quick service! All up I'd give it a 7/10. It's almost like a better version of the little snail, but japanese styles!

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