Wabi- Gourmet Japanese in West Sussex

Official website: http://www.wabi.co.uk/

Train station: Horsham

My favourite restaurant in Horsham, West Sussex (where I’ve been working for the past year and a bit) is Wabi. I took R here for Valentines day last night, and had every intention of taking to photos of my meal to share here, but forgot (well it was valentines day!)

So, let me describe the food I usually have here. The first time I came, I asked for a vegan tasting menu (£32) and the food just kept coming…

Edamame– always lovely, and always a big portion.

Sesame Kelp Salad with Goma Ponzu Dressing  – Really tasty kelp salad with a mustardy dressing with sesame and mustard seeds. Portion size has varied a lot with this dish but last nights was nice and big.

Tofu Tataki with Onion Ponzu – one of my favourite dishes, as I love tofu, not so popular among those who don’t. It’s slices of raw tofu with a kind of onion marmalade on top and dressed with a vinegary sauce. I can’t get enough of it!

Takikomi Gohan (Rice Hot Pot with Japanese Mushrooms) – This is like the Japanese version of a risotto, so lots of different mushrooms and rice with a soy type flavour. Very tasty and comes with a flame underneath the pot to keep it hot.

Nasu Dengaku  (Baby Aubergine Grilled with Miso Sauce) – I just don’t like this dish. The aubergine is difficult to eat (especially with chopsticks) and too watery which just isn’t pleasant when it’s too hot. The yellow sauce has a sweet/umami taste which I don’t like. I only ordered this once and won’t again. 

Vegetable Tempura with green chilli dipping sauce – The sauce here is amazing- green and sweet and zingy. Perfect green chilli flavour. Vegetables include onion, broccoli, sweet potato and something that looks like a nettle leaf and I haven’t yet identified.

Japanese Mushrooms Grilled Over Hoba Leaf -Miso flavoured mushroom selection. It comes with the flame underneath as with the Takikomi Gohan and is served on a big Hoba leaf. It’s a good idea to have some rice with this dish as otherwise you are just eating mushrooms.

Vegan Sushi selection – pretty standard sushi selection, lots of mushroom and some unidentifiable vegetables, but delicious and comes with soy sauce, wasabi and pickled radish.

Fresh fruit selection – Pineapple, berries, passionfruit. Very nice 🙂

I think that’s everything. Can you imagine the first time they brought all of that out for me to eat?? I left a lot and took the sushi and fruit home in boxes. The waiting staff are very attentive though, and happy to make recommendations, although I would recommend warning them ahead if you require vegan food as if it’s busy they won’t do the tofu tataki unless they know you’re coming.

Last night I just went for my favourites: edamame, tempura, tofu tataki and kelp salad and it was perfect, with a couple of mojitos to accompany. The cocktails are excellent and the drinks menu is extensive with many sake options and wine too.

Upstairs, there are large tables behind curtains at floor level for “shoe free” dining (apparently like the Japanese do it) and you sit on cushions. Good for a large party.

Wabi comes highly recommended and apparently they’re opening a branch in High Holborn soon!

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