Last night we were walking around Hyde Park Square around 9 pm and I was being extremely indecisive (much to the annoyance of the husband) about what I wanted for dinner. I was looking at Poco a Poco or Teller’s but finally decided to just grab sushi. So we walked over to Beluga only to discover that…Beluga is no longer Beluga but has become the second Dancing Wasabi! Click on the logo to go to their website.
I first tried Dancing Wasabi a few years ago and fell in love with it (the fact that it was all half price didn’t hurt). For a while there I was going once a week with my friends (I was still single at this point and not cooking as much).
But lately I’d been noticing that it seems like the quality of the rolls had gone down. Tempura rolls would be too done and hard. Regular rolls weren’t rolled as tightly as they should have been. And overall it seemed like they just weren’t as good as they used to be. Now I don’t lay all the blame on the restaurant. Every time we went there it would be like an hour wait (others also getting hip to the half price sushi and tasty rolls) and since I came from a restaurant background myself I get it. I mean the restaurant was always busy and when you’re a server or cook it can definitely be wearying to always be pushing, pushing, pushing. Plus since the space was so small it’s not like they could have more people working and it must have seemed never ending to the poor employees.
So I was a bit leery when we went in, but since I knew it wouldn’t be bad (the sushi was never bad just not as good as when I first started going) I figured it couldn’t hurt.
And I’m pleased to say that they’re back. The building holds a lot more tables so they’re able to handle more people and more importantly, staff more people. We went in and most of the tables were full (even at 9:30) although there was no wait.
I ordered the Sunday Morning – basically a fried Philadelphia Roll, and Bengal Roll – spicy crab, spicy tuna, avocado rolled inside out, and have to say that the quality has definitely increased in the new space. The Sunday Morning was perfectly tempura’d (is that even a word?) and sliced on a sharp bias. The Bengal Roll was tightly rolled and filled with the ingredients.
My one quibble was that I asked for the Bengal Roll to be extra spicy, and I think the server may have accidently typed extra spicy on the Sunday Morning because it was covered in a spicy sauce drizzle (which made it even tastier, must remember to ask for that again) but the drizzle didn’t continue to the Bengal Roll. Oh well, she seemed really busy and after she brought me a side of sriacha it fixed that right up.
The only thing I wish is that Dancing Wasabi would start featuring new rolls (maybe one or two a month as a limited time only special?) so I could switch it up a bit. While I love the rolls they currently offer, the menu hasn’t changed in the years that I’ve been there and it’d be exciting to know there’d be a new roll I might be interested in (and cause me to go back in again to see what it is). That way if the feedback is overwhelmingly positive on the new offering and everybody loves it, they could maybe add it to the menu rather than doing a huge overhaul and potentially getting rid of somebody’s favorite.
Overall though, I’ll definitely be back due to the better quality and the fact that the second Dancing Wasabi is only a few minutes walk from my place. And who doesn’t love the fact that they’re open late (perfect for me since I’m a bit of a night owl). But now I’m tempted to go back and eat at the first again to see if the quality there has increased since their employees aren’t getting rocked all the time.
What do you think of Dancing Wasabi? Has anyone eaten at the original location since the second one opened? Have you noticed any change in quality?