Thursday, 20 August 2009


I love touching things, so imagine my delight at the news of Wagaya’s revolutionary interactive touch screen menus. If you’re wondering, yes, I almost had involuntary scrotty movements. You are seated by a human at one of the numerous spaces around the open kitchen in the warm Japanese restaurant that cleverly combines Earthy elements with more modern pieces, but after that, the contact with staff is minimal. Of course, each table is decked out with the screen you really came here for, as you begin scrolling through the massive menu of salads, sushi & sashimi, yakitori, rice, noodles, meats and desserts. It’s surprisingly user friendly, so you should feel pretty stupid if you can’t work it out yourself.

Everything is ordered through this screen. I mean everything, including the free tap water that is even accompanied by a ticket and placed into a cup that keeps track of the delivered orders. As soon as a selection is made, this snaps the kitchen into action, preparing and delivering your dishes with military precision. It’s a very slick operation and surprisingly nothing gets lost in digital translation.

The electronic gimmick aside, the food is actually pretty good and great value. Dried lotus roots that decorate the soft shell crab and unagi rolls a bit over the top, but both nice. Scallop and garlic fried rice in a stone pot takes on a lovely charred flavour, crumbed and deep fried cutlets of crumbed pork come with an oyako-don type eggy, onion sauce, the show stealer is the chicken kaarage pieces with a wickedly flavoured mayo.

Despite the technological brilliance, there’s no way of electronically reserving a spot in the line. You’ll just have to show up and wait or get on the old fashioned blower.

3.5 / 5 yums!
Where? Level 1, 78 Harbour Street, Haymarket, NSW
What? Dishes average $10

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