Saturday, August 28, 2010

Canary Wharf cheap eats - Wasabi, salvation for all salt lovers out there

'You got to try this,' Ab gestured at a oversized cup during lunch one day. I am naturally adversed going for prepacked sushi that come with those small green sachets. They invariably turned out to tasting flat and ended nothing more than empty carbo.

But Ab wasn't referring to the prepacked sushi at Wasabi, he was talking about Canary Wharf shopping mall Wasabi's chicken katsu curry rice.


These days, the Canary Wharf people no longer have to suffer the likes of Singapore Sam (you have been forewarned) and Burger King. Nando's opened up yet another branch at Cabot Mall but Wasabi, having occupied the prime spot in the basement at the bottom of the escalator (a natural choke point), remains one of the most popular takeaway during lunchtime.

What sets Wasabi apart is that it doesn't even put up an appearance of being heavy (think Pret) or chic (think Paul's. It doesn't provide any seating space and customers have to scurry for the couple of benches distributed around the mall when they eventually got their hands on a Wasabi takeaway.<! - Adsense ->

So what made it special? Just one ingredient - salt. Britons love their salt an Londoners adore this cheap condiment that practically gives taste to even the blandest food and Wasabi is the salvation for salt lovers.

I did end up with Wasabi's chicken katsu curry (£5.20) to find that I have blown my entire week's of recommended salt allowance on a single meal. To be fair, Wasabi isn't the only one playing the game - The Japanese Canteen is another. Wagamama at least put up a pretense by laying down some salad but not Wasabi.

Exactly four chunks of deep fried meat, which I can only assume to be chicken or reformed chicken meat, tough enough to chip a tooth, too much rice doused in curry with enough salt to make Neptune cry, I begin to understand why some return to Wasabi again and again every noon - for their daily salt fix and there's no guilt involves as Wasabi does the job for them. No salt passes through their hands, only creamy curry.

Wasabi has got this queuing system. You are to join a queue where a member of the staff stands right at the end who will write your order down on a plastic lid. Once enough lids are collected, they would then be passed on to the kitchen staff who'll prepare your takeaway. Your number is then called and the meal will be ready for collection after you pay at the counter.

What's interesting is that if you aren't sure about what you're going to order, you can very well go to the counter directly and place your order there. Ab did just that and ended up getting his lunch way faster. Well, I'm not asking you to jump the queue... who am I kidding, of course I am. Just be sure to stay off salt for the rest of the week.

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William K Wallace said...

I think I will give Wasabi a big miss. I weaned myself off salt a long time ago, I will barley take any nowadays.

lina said...

sounds nice. NOT! :D

C K said...

Have to watch our blood pressure these days.. heheh, we're no spring chicken anymore I suppose. :)

C K said...

I do have my weakness for salt... tubes and tubes of potato crisps! What about you? Aw... come on!

hotels in canary wharf said...

@C K,
I know what you mean.Salt is my passion too. C'est la vie

C K said...

@hotels in canary wharf,
While Wasabi is salt laden, I shudder at the thought of having a salt free meal.

Just curious, may I know whether you are the PR at Hilton Canary Wharf? It seems that you've been dropping quite a bit of comments with a linkback to Hilton.