WAQU, Crows Nest

If you’re looking for a fine dining place that offers value for money in North Sydney, WAQU is the place to go! It offers a unique dining experience in contemporary Japanese cuisine. And being located on the corner on Shirley Road and the Pacific Highway, it’s definitely not hard to find. WAQU serves lunch and dinner, offering a 3-course and 6-course menu for dinner which changes seasonally. My very first visit to WAQU was back in 2011 for the 6-course Spring menu to celebrate J’s birthday. We’ve been very keen to go back ever since! Coincidentally, I stumbled across their website last week and noticed their New Year Special Lunch Menu priced at $35 pp, available until the end of this week. Without further consideration, I was the phone to make the reservation!


New Year Special Lunch Menu (10th Jan – 3rd February 2013) at $35 pp

The menu consisted of 3 courses. The first and second courses were set, while the third course was our decision to make from 4 options (sirloin steak, wagyu flank steak, barramundi or snapper).


Apple & orange juice

The special lunch menu also included a glass of complimentary wine or beer. J and myself aren’t a huge fan of wine or beer, so we opted or something more simple.


Course 1: Soup of the day + garlic and herb bread

The soup of the day was a combination of rock melon juice and jelly of some sort, served in a cocktail glass with bread. The taste was very unique, or “very funky” (quote J). The jelly was savoury (tasted almost like salmon… perhaps my tastebuds were playing tricks on me!), while the rock melon gave it a sweet twist. I thought it tasted better when dipped with the garlic and herb bread. Although the combination of flavours was very creative and unique, it was not my favourite dish.


Course 1: Spicy Soft Shell Crab Taco

It consisted of spicy bean sprouts, soft shell crab and caviar sandwiched in a tortilla wrap. The bean sprouts tasted like it was cooked in curry powder which gave it a spicy taste. I really enjoyed this dish, but it was too spicy for J’s liking.


squid ink sauce, shungiku sauce, japanese flavoured couscous, fennel salad

The salmon was very smooth. I would have liked it better if it was pan-fried or seared. But it’s definitely very nice if you’re someone who enjoys sashimi. I thought the couscous was very dry, and only tasted nice with the sauce. There were 3 types of sauce on the plate – squid ink (black), vegetable (green) and yuzu (white). Yuzu is a citrus fruit that looks almost like a small grapefruit. This gave the salmon and couscous a light and sour twist – loved it!


Course 3: 200g RANGERS VALLEY, F1 WAGYU FLANK STEAK, 400day grain fed, BMS 5+
beef jus, eggplant puree, seasonal vegetables

There were 2 steak options offered on the menu. The sirloin steak (1) was imported from Japan while the wagyu flank steak (2) was local. Sirloin steaks are less juicy, a little tougher and tend to dry out faster. So J opted for the alternative. J enjoyed the steak but thought it was no match for the steak he had at Sugaroom!


onion & daikon vinaigrette, parsley puree

Like usual, I stuck with the seafood options and opted for the barramundi. The fish was very well cooked – it did not fall apart as I cut through it and the skin was very crispy!  I don’t remember what the sauce was, but the barramundi definitely tasted better with it.


LEMON TART, lemon meringue, tarragon orange mango ($12)

There were a few dessert selections available, however they were not included as part of the special lunch menu. We didn’t intend to leave without checking out the desserts! The lemon tart was very light and smooth with a touch of sweetness, but it did not taste anything like lemon. However, it was awesome when consumed together with the raspberry sorbet, fruits, jelly and sherbet. Loved it!


GREEN TEA ICE CREAM PUFF, with fresh mix berries ($6)


HOUSE-MADE MACARON – Green Tea ($2.50 each)

We decided to take some of their macarons home. There were 5 unique flavours to choose from including chocolate, green tea & raspberry, blackcurrent & chestnut, caramel coffee and mango. We purchased 5 to take home, but ate them all before we left the restaurant! Eating one, led to eating another, and another, and eventually they were all gone! So we bought another 5 to take home! The flavour combinations were very unique and worked very well together. The buttercream and jam had an even level of consistency sandwiched in two soft cookies. Loved them! I’d make a special trip back just for these macarons!


Overall the restaurant provided excellent customer service. We were taken to our seats upon arrival and shown the menus. Staff were generally very helpful and attentive. After bringing out each dish, the staff would give us a brief description. They would collect our plates and used cutlery after we’ve finished each course and provide us with new cutlery. Once again we were very pleased! As their menu changes seasonally, there’s always something new on the menu which gives a reason to come back!

WAQU modern Japanese dining
308 Pacific Highway
Crows Nest, NSW 2065
Ph: 9906 7736

Waqu on Urbanspoon


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Bluehikaru
    Feb 09, 2013 @ 23:43:26

    We thought trying something new however was not impressed with their customer service overall….a dozen of us went to Waqu on a friday evening for dinner. We arrived there a little early and waited until their opening time but their big restaurant door was still locked. We waited for another 5 minutes and had to ring the restaurant to remind them to open for business for the night. Anyway We booked their private room with 6 course autumn menu and some of us also had the matching wines option.

    Staff there generally did not seem having a good mood as the ones in other Japanese ‘fine dinning’ restaurants who always offer services with friendly and helpful attitude with a SMILE all the time. Instead they looked a bit stressed.

    Degustation plates and matching wine was creative and pretty but cant really tell if it is really fused with Japanese essence. Most dishes does not have Japanese fusions to me. They tasted just all right. Not particularly memorable, just eatable.

    We ended up going to another crows nest restaurant after this due to the relative compacted version of their ‘fine’ dishes. By the way since most of our group ordered same course dish most of the times and we realised the food portion for each plate were always uneven so does the quality of the dishes themselves. The orders were also mixed up a couple of times.

    As we only had our meal in the private room, we had to judge the ambience on its private room only. Actually it is more like a section of the restaurant with gyprocks separating the dinning area into two. The private room was also next to the kitchen and bathrooms, one of the walls in between of the public and private dinning area did not have the top part enclosed! so no acoustics. It is half open, no door for the room which was disappointing. I personally think it is a mismatch with their ‘fine dinning’ concept as normally most high end Japanese restaurant would at least have a door.

    The menu was too inflexible as its set menu and does not have a la carte options at all. Cocktail and dessert list had too few kinds to offer.

    Lastly but not the least, the manager was also rather rude to us and told us off after we had a few drinks and started talking with each other with a bit raised voice and had a couple of laughs. We have a very big group and this situation was unfortunately unavoidable. In reality, Who would just eat their food and without having a few cracked jokes at the table? especially after the alcohol? The public dinning section was even noisier and we could literally hear anything out there including the noise from the kitchen. The manager kept on saying they are a ‘fine dinning restaurant’ not a public pub while we could not even complain how noisy their public section was!

    I understand that they might be proud/snobby of their restaurant but humiliating their customers? Is this how a manager if a ‘fine dinning’ restaurant treat his customers?? I also saw a online review saying Waqu restaurant manager taught the good-mannered customers a lesson how to discipline their young kids and did not want them being in the restaurant. That was actually pathetic.

    Just sharing our bad experience to everyone for your information. I would say this had been the weirdest restaurant we have ever been. We were all very disappointed with this restaurant and will NEVER go back again.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: