Mr. Wasabi – Schenectady, NY
One evening, we decided to go to Mr. Wasabi (1677 Union Street in Schenectady) for a light dinner.
Inside, the restaurant is cute and modern, and is a perfect place to sit down with family and friends for a nice dinner.
As a starter, I chose the kimchee tuna (Korean kimchee with tuna and pear – $8).
Barring one small technical flaw, this was a fun and exciting dish. It was the sum of its parts: small diced pieces of raw tuna, a richly flavored spicy kimchee of cabbage, and some julienned pear. It was served atop a rather large hay-ball of daikon, which added nothing other than volume; it really didn’t need that. All of the flavors melded together with a smattering of toasted sesame oil and topped with a shake of sesame seeds. For every sweet bite of crispy pear, there was a spicy acidic hit from the kimchee. The tuna served as a textural counterpoint to the pear and kimchee. I seldom order appetizers from the sushi bar, but this is one I will order every time.
For $4, the green salad was a surprising value. Rather than the sushi restaurant standard of the whitest part of iceberg lettuce with a tomato or two, this was a good portion of romaine and cucumbers. The ginger dressing was sweet, but not overwhelmingly so.
Being a light dinner, I thought it would be best to just order one specialty roll as my main course. I settled on the Out of Control (pepper tuna, avocado, and crunch inside, topped with spicy crunch tuna. It wasn’t presented quite as it is stated and shown on their takeout menu, but, nevertheless, it was delicious. The lightly seared pepper tuna in the middle was a definite high-point as was the spicy tuna salad topping the roll. It was drizzled and served with a sweet and creamy sauce that actually worked well with the slightly spicy tuna.
One item that intrigues me on the menu is the Ginza Roll. There was a restaurant on Route 2 in Latham going back about 14-15 years now that I used to love called Ginza. I know the family reopened that restaurant in a nearby strip mall that was a little off the beaten path, and I don’t think that ended well. It would be really cool if the original owners of Ginza are somehow affiliated with Mr. Wasabi because I love them both!