Friday, March 26, 2010

Sushi Wabi

Last night my girlfriends and I indulged in a little celebration of sorts at Randolph’s Sushi Wabi. It was Christy and Aliy’s belated birthday celebrations and we also congratulated Megan on her recent engagement! Several of the girls are likely to get married in the next two years so Mary Ellen, the only already married one, proposed a toast that we would make sure to schedule our weddings so none of us pick the same weekend.

Sushi Wabi is located on Randolph Street amidst several trendy, upscale eateries including their sister restaurants of De Cero and Veerasway. You’ll notice the similarities among the three restaurants particularly in the dim-lit lights, long rectangular rooms with tables lined against the walls and a small bar area in the rear. Definitely check out the restrooms, as they are very contemporary with modern sink fixtures. Not quite as unique or interesting as Publican, but still worth a visit.

Our drink of choice was the Sakerita which is one of Sushi Wabi’s specialty drinks recommended by our server. It’s made with Patron Citronage, Sour, Cucumbers and Bicyuwajo sake which made for a nice light drink with a hint of cucumber. By the end of the night, most of us had ordered one – or two – of these summery drinks. Another favorite was the Pineapple Hii made with Japanese vodka and pineapple juice, garnished with chunks of pineapple.

To start, we ordered the shrimp special and edamame for the table. I’ve also had the seaweed salad before which I recommend for those who like seaweed; it’s incredibly fresh and delicious.

For dinner, we ordered 11 maki rolls to share with a mix of larger rolls and smaller rolls. The first three that showed up were the Caterpillar, Hot Daisy and Fire (pictured below from left to right). After tasting each of the three rolls, we all selected our favorite and it was a clear split: Aliy and Abby liked the Caterpillar, Christy and Megan preferred the Hot Daisy and Mary Ellen and I selected the Fire. It was a tough choice as they were all extremely tasty with a complex mix of flavors in each roll.

Then, the rest of the rolls started arriving…Two more specialty rolls: Godzilla and Tarantula. The Godzilla is mainly tempura shrimp with a light mayo sauce. It was another favorite of the table with a very balanced blend of flavors. Not too bland and not too spicy. The Tarantula is made from soft-shell crab and fresh crab. While I usually enjoy soft shell crab, and this crab was very fresh, there were just so many other flavorful rolls that this one fell by the way-side. Also, if you’re not into seeing the crab legs coming out of the ends of this roll, you can pass on this.

It was also a little bonus when the Ecuador roll showed up when it was misdelivered to our table. We were attacking the sushi with such hunger that no one noticed we didn’t even order the Ecuador Roll! It was a lucky break, because this roll was very light and green-leafy with the cilantro adding a unique twist to traditional sushi flavors.

Three more traditional (well, traditional in American Sushi Restaurants) that we ordered were the Caterpillar, Dragon and Rainbow. While these were all extremely delicious and perfect for the not-so-adventurous sushi eater, the specialty rolls are just so decadent that these too can be de-prioritized in your choices.

Lastly, we also had three types of smaller rolls which were the Spicy Shrimp, Spicy Tuna and Veggie Tempura (we ordered two of these). My favorite of the three is the Veggie Tempura. It’s served with the sweet potato still slightly warm and accompanied the other elaborate rolls quite nicely.

I adored the artful designs of the sushi, the quick and pleasant service particularly for a sushi restaurant and the fantastic recommendations by our server on both sushi and drinks. Though the total bill was quite pricy, this is a great location for celebrations or a special evening out. Be sure to make reservations in advance.

Sushi Wabi
842 W. Randolph Chicago IL. 60607
TEL: (312) 563-1224

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