Where: 1/78 Harbour Street, Haymarket 2000
Opening Hours: 5pm - 2am daily
Phone: 02 9212 6068
Entering Wagaya is a little like floating into a Miyazaki film. A wooden interior plays on patterns of light and shade, with occasional splashes of stone, informing you that you're wandering into a singularly Japanese forest. Gentle, tinkling music hints at the presence of friendly spirits behind the scenes. Even the animation is a gentle nod to Murakami's particular brand of anime.
Animation, you say? That's right, touch screens sit at the end of every table. And aside from providing aesthetic appeal, they're functional little critters that allow you to browse the menu, order your choices and keep you updated on your meal as it is cooking.
The menu is as authentically Japanese as the ambiance. Common favourites like gyoza, karaage and tempura are on board, next to a selection of sashimi, ramen and hot pots. Slightly more unusual fare comes in the form of Japanese pizzas and the humble, yet delicious, renkon chip.
Drinks don't disappoint either. A generous cocktail list, including 'Cinderella Blue Moon' and 'Ninjya Turtle', provides plenty of imaginative options. In terms of sake, Wagaya carries their own in-house and the Australian Go-Shu, plus more pricey Japanese options. For the less adventurous, Asahi and Sapporo are stocked alongside a range of Korean and Chinese beers.
With all this to offer, it's no surprise that Wagaya is often full to the brim. Remember to book ahead on busy nights, private rooms are available for bigger groups. That said, with its generous opening hours, Wagaya is a perfect option for night owls.
Shio Ramen with hot Go-Shu Sake
Good For Groups: