Watami is one rare non All-you-can-eat (AYCE) Japanese restaurant in Waterloo, with a full focus on Japanese cuisine (others are typically a mix of Korean/Japanese). Although Watami’s owner is Chinese, the restaurant’s interpretation and execution of ‘modern Japanese cuisine’ is refreshing – not exactly authentic, but appealing. Their website is also very impressive.
I love fish, I love raw fish – Y and I have very high expectations of Japanese cuisine. After being sick and tired of stuffing our faces with mediocre/terrible food at AYCE places, we were extremely excited to see if Watami will pass the test to be our new go-to sushi place. However, we were confused by Watami’s logo as the words on their logo read Yamamoto– a typical last name for Japanese, instead of Watami. Maybe I’ll ask them about it on my next visit.
The decor is modernized, contemporary and rather intriguing. I enjoyed the spacious interior (and random fire places). Service is usually pretty reasonable – not too slow, but not exceptional either.
Now to the food. I was pleasantly surprised by the serving sizes of the sushi and rolls. Rolls should always be bite-sized! Some places puff them up with so much rice that I have to dissect the poor sushi before eating it. I’ve tried the Sushi Lover Boat for Two and we barely finished it. I guess we will be sticking to individual orders going forward.
I love California rolls. Not a traditional Japanese roll, but it is simple and delicious. You’ll be surprised by how some places can butcher the Cali roll! Too much rice, uneven cubes of avocado/crab meat etc. Bad Cali rolls makes me sad.
On the Table for Maple:
The common roll (Rainbow roll) looks nice, and has generous amounts of fish.
The new roll (Salmon Salad roll) was refreshing and interesting.
The creative rolls (Las Vegas roll / Tex Mex roll) were weird. Cream cheese in sushi is just wrong, wrong, wrong.
Overall, I thought it was a good experience and a change from ordering 2 million rolls to get your money’s worth, and trying so hard to finish them ( or hide them in napkins when you can’t finish them – don’t lie, everyone’s done it!). Going for A La Carte at Japanese restaurants might be a slightly more expensive option than AYCE, but no food goes to waste and no insane amounts of sushi goes to your waist.
*Note: They also gave me a sushi cake for my 21st birthday!
1) $$ price (a dinner for two will typically be $60+ )
2) Clean, crisp ambiance
3) Thoughtful service (my sushi cake!)
4) Refreshing taste