Lifelike Japanese-themed murals, bright neon pink lights and classic monochrome checkered flooring - Mumbai folks (especially our SoBo fellas), say hello to Wakai. I'd like to describe this restaurant as a mini Shinjuku tucked away in the quaint and artsy lanes of Fort. Bringing fun and upbeat Tokyo street vibe to Mumbai's nightlife, Wakai is THE place to head this weekend if you love Japanese cuisine, appreciate Asian dishes or simply are looking to check out something new to try out.
As you enter the space, you'll spot a fine-dine seating area on the lower floor and towards the right, the steps lead you to the upper level (that offers more fancy bar vibes). If you're looking to have a conversation in a bar without screaming at the top of your voice, I'd say make a reservation in their lower floor. It's got soft music and is more cosy. But, if you're looking for a LIT night experience, their upper level (that's also soundproof btw!), is your zone! Expect techno music, a more lively atmpsphere and well, it's got the coolest smoking zone. The best part? Mumbai's first live sushi bar too is up here.
The culinary offerings are well-curated by Chef Parvez Khan, who brings his inspiration from his stay in Japan to Wakai's kitchen. So, expect contemporary fusion, rich flavours and lots of in-house and imported ingredients.
Start your meal with a glass or two of their boozy cocktails. If you're a G&T person def opt for their cherry gin & tonic. And to munch on something, I highly recommend the Wasabi Cornettos. Oh boy, this comes with a blast of flavours enveloped in crispy cones. If you're like me who likes filling their tummies with mannyyy appetizers (RIP main course, haha), you can opt for their Truffle Edamame Gyoza, Tofu Karage, Spinach And Sesame Sauce (this one's ideal for health freaks)!
Jumping to the main course, there's an array of flavourful dishes. Sushi lovers, this place is legit your Disneyland. Offering So. Many. Options. - you can pick from their one-page sushi only menu with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Being a vegetarian - I went for the chef's pick - Shiro Kuro Ninniku Maki. Yep, some names might be intimidating, but thanks to their super-friendly staff, they're happy to explain the idea and concept behind every dish. When it comes to vegetarian main course - their Garlic Fried Rice and comforting curry ramen come highly recommended.
To end your hearty meal on a sweet note - you can pick from their Nama Chocolate (must try for dark chocolate lovers), Baked Sesame Cheesecake or Passiflora Edulis.
All in all, whether you're heading for a fancy weekend brunch with your girlfriends or a super happening place for Friday nights - Wakai won't disappoint you. The price range is slightly on a higher-end, but trust me it's worth the splurge.