Omakase Tasting Menu with Wine Pairing, £85pp at time of booking.
Wabi, Horsham is a Japanese restaurant in West Sussex, with a sister branch in Brighton. This month we enjoyed a six course tasting menu with wine pairing, including pork belly and a triple chocolate brownie with matcha ice cream.
Style and atmosphere
Having visited the restaurant only once before in 2013, we were looking forward to trying something new. Walking through light snowfall, we felt very welcome as we headed upstairs to the restaurant and were seated at our table for the evening.
Having booked for 6pm, we had the place to ourselves for the first hour before it started to get busy with other couples and groups of diners out for a Saturday night.
With dim, ambient lighting combined with dark woods, it’s a very relaxing, luxurious venue.
Food and drink
Over six courses and a dessert, we were treated to a range of flavours, textures and combinations that you can tell had been expertly put together.
Our menu included:
- Truffle Spice Edamame, Scratchings and Whitebait
- Chicken Tempura with Kimchi Mayonnaise
- Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Spicy Den Miso and Apple Relish
- Miso Roasted Black Stone Bass with Hijiki
- Tea Smoked Lamb Chops
- Dragon Roll with Assorted Nigiri
- Triple Chocolate Brownie
The starter of edamame beans, scratchings and white bait was a great beginning to the evening, paired with a sweet white wine. The white bait was fresh, well seasoned and was also a generous portion – not that there was any chance we’d go home hungry after six courses!
My favourite dish, although it had close competition after the lamb chops were served, has to be the slow roasted pork belly. These were delicious, beautifully cooked and stylishly presented, and were very succulent. I would definitely recommend these as a tapas option if you’re not visiting for the tasting menu.
My close second favourite, the lamb chops, were wonderfully charred and each had a smoky, tea flavour that brought out the meatiness.
The most dramatic moment of our evening was when the the sushi dish arrived, complete with a white smoky cloud from dry ice. This effect is somewhat of a speciality for Wabi, who also showcase it in their cocktails downstairs.
For the finale, the dessert was such a change in texture and flavours, it was easy to indulge while already being very full. The matcha ice cream on top of the brownie was a soothing palette cleanser, before we proceeded to sit back, relax and finish the remainder of our wine.
In total, we enjoyed a relaxed three hour stay before heading home and believe the wine probably added up to 2/3rds of a bottle, or a bottle each.
Each dish really was delicious and paired perfectly with the varied wine choices. These were mainly white wines, fruity, and with a range of flavours coming through. Our favourite was called The Beautiful Lady from 2012, with floral, delicate notes.
To begin, the service was quite quick and then slowed down with each course, allowing us the time to savour and enjoy each dish at our own pace. We were always being well-attended to and felt we could ask any questions in regards to what we were being served.
Throughout ,the service was very good and friendly and I’m sure we’ll be back again.
For each wine served alongside each course, we were given an in-depth description of the flavours to note and this helped us to appreciate the tastes and occasion of the evening. While we weren’t celebrating, we’ve been very busy recently and it was wonderful to have an evening to ourselves with everything taken care of for us.
This review isn’t sponsored. I just had a lovely experience and wanted to share it here. Have you been, or are planning on going? Let me know what you think below.
I’d also like to hear if you have any recommendations for Japanese restaurants in Sussex and London to try next.