There is a new Wasabi House in Sackville – and it has all-you-can-eat sushi!
Three weeks ago, popular restaurant Wasabi House opened their second location. Wasabi is hands-down our favourite sushi place, and one of our favourite restaurants in general in Halifax.
Why? The food is great, the staff are amazing, and the rolls ring in around $1 cheaper a piece than their competitors. But Wasabi House is not known for their speed. Their Quinpool location is small, and the service is s.l.o.w. I’m not saying this as a critique. For us, that has come to be part of the experience, and even part of the charm. Great food, served slowly – the kind of spot you go to spend an evening together.
So I was both intrigued and a little skeptical for the new Wasabi House. Skeptical because of speed, and because I have had all-you-can-eat sushi before, and it has always left me disappointed. There are some kinds of food that can be produced reasonally well in bulk, but few foods, especially sushi, shine in an all-you-can-eat atmosphere.
The Sackville location is big – enough to seat around 50-60 people – with a large sushi bar along the whole right hand side of the restaurant. We quickly got a seat and a menu, and started selecting. Drew took the lead on this, happily ticking off our sheet like a kid in a candy store.
The food came quickly. Miso, Edamame, and three kinds of veggie and fish tempura found their way to our table in 5 minutes or less. By the time we were nearing the last few bites, our server appeared with a plate of skewered meats, something we hadn’t ordered, but, in his words, “It’s all you can eat so, I didn’t think you’d mind.”
And we didn’t. The meat took us just long enough for the sushi to arrive – two HUGE trays of assorted rolls.
This was the real test. Miso soup, edamame, even veggie tempura, are a lot easier to produce a lot of in a short period of time, but sushi can get kind of sticky and flavourless if it isn’t prepared fresh or well (think Sobeys/Superstore trays).
The quality did not suffer. The fish was fresh, the rolls beautifully prepared, the tempura crispy, the rice freshly cooked and perfectly seasoned. And while the full Wasabi House menu isn’t available under the all-you-can-eat option, most of their rolls and sides are included.
We were only about halfway through our massive sushi plate when Drew got check-happy again, and I started to get a little worried. Like other all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants, wasted food comes at a steep price. I am pretty sure that our server noted that our eyes were bigger than our plates because I know there were a few rolls that didn’t make it to our table, but we all breathed a sigh of relief when he announced that we had come to the end of our order and asked if we would like to order any more.
For three people, our bill came to $82 ($23.99 + tax each), which I thought was really reasonable for the piles of sushi we consumed. Drew and I normally spend around $45 – $50 when we get sushi, so about the same as at the all-you-can-eat. The biggest difference was that we felt like we could try a wider variety of rolls without stressing over the cost per roll.
It is also faster and larger than the original, and they have parking, something the Quinpool location lacks. I still love the Quinpool location. It is walking distance from my house, and I love the cozy atmosphere, but I would definitely return to the all-you-can-eat location again – those times when I really, REALLY need a big sushi fix.
Find local gift ideas from independent Nova Scotia businesses on the 2013 Local Wishlist.