You know those times when you stray from the beaten path, rather than walk the way you usually do you just happened to take a different turn, still heading in the same direction in the end. Sometimes you end up finding new things this way, which is what happened to me last week. I stumbled upon a newly open Japanese restaurant in Leeds City centre.
Sushiwaka, just off of the Headrow used to just be a Karaoke bar, but sometime late in December it opened a new restaurant serving wonderful Japanese dishes. Don't worry the karaoke is still there, just upstairs.
Having checked them out online, their food looked divine and with their current 20% off food deal I couldn't pass it up. This week myself and two mates went to try SushiWaka out for ourselves. I had the Chicken Katsu Bento Box, pictured above though it also came with a bowl of miso soup, not pictured.
It was superb. The chicken was tender, really juicy and the batter had an amazing texture. The rice was as you'd expect, nice and sticky. The side salad had wonderful dressing that complemented the entire meal well. One of the most interesting parts though was the tofu in the top left there. I'd call it egg fried tofu, but it did have a much cooler name that the waitress mentioned when she kindly explained what it was. I've never had tofu in such a way before, it was extremely good with a lovely interesting taste and a crispy on the outside, spongy on the inside texture. The miso soup was also some of the best i've had, a billion times better than Wagamama's.
There was some Japanese beers on draft, sadly weren't ready yet but they did have some great bottles instead. The drinks menu was quite extensive, which I think sets it apart very well from many other local Japanese places.
Generally speaking i'd say there was a lovely atmosphere, with very helpful and professional staff. You can tell the food was extremely authentic, almost all of the staff were Japanese. Our food was served incredible quick and was piping hot, you can even watch the chefs at work. The music playing was a lovely selection, really did make the dining experience even more enjoyable.
Their website can be found here http://www.sushiwakaleeds.co.uk/, though they don't have it fully updated yet, it will be soon enough. I would highly recommend this place. It's much more authentic than other Japanese restaurants in Leeds and it really does show in how tasty the food is. If you're wanting a decent priced, enjoyable experience I would certainly suggest heading to Sushiwaka. It doesn't treat Japanese food like a novelty like chain places do, but instead with the respect it deserves.
I'm gonna give it a 10/10 rating.
26 New Briggate, Leeds.
0113 246 9692
Also, here's some terrifying balls with moving stuff things on top...! I didn't try one but my friend enjoyed them a ton, so that's good.