Continuing on from my last post about my trip to Surfers Paradise in the Gold Coast, for dinner on the first night, we decided to visit Wassam. I searched long and hard and realised there wasn’t really that many fantastic restaurants to choose from at Surfers. Wassam seemed a bit mysterious to me at the time because I couldn’t actually find any details about the place on Google. I couldn’t even find a phone number (its details are now up on Urbanspoon, not much use for me anymore though :P). The only thing I found was from Tripadvisor and that it’s ‘authentic’ Japanese food. The name certainly didn’t sound Japanese to me! My curiosity got the better of me.
The restaurant was located at Level 1 in the Chevron Renaissance Building. We walked along Gold Coast Hwy thinking that going through the Chevron Renaissance Hotel side was the way to go (since we were so directionless) and ended up getting swiped in through security by a guest at the hotel. Only after we got through did we realise that we could have just entered through the other side off Surfers Paradise Boulevard. It’s actually located inside a shopping area at the bottom of the hotel which houses many fashion stores and restaurants. It boasted a small but nice collection of bar items and patrons are able to sit at the bar to enjoy their evening.
When we arrived at the restaurant, we were the only patrons there (it was still early) and took our time taking in all the menu offerings. We decided on a tasting platter for two as an entree which included delicious elements such as tamagoyaki (sweet egg rolls), beef tataki which I remember had been chilled in the fridge (which means it was pre-cooked) but was still tender and pleasurable. Others included deep-fried baby octopus, chashu (pork) and salmon. I couldn’t quite remember how these tasted but I do remember that they were well-seasoned and quite delightful on the palate.
Next we ordered soft-shelled crabs (one of my favourites). I like eating fuss-free crabs where I don’t have to spit out every little piece of shell…I know, I’m so lazy! Anyway, the crab was crunchy and tasty, too bad there weren’t that many on the plate.
If memory serves me right (proof of my old age), I believe we ordered a wagyu steak. Looking at the picture now, I couldn’t be 100% sure. I do remember it was around the $30 mark for this dish but can also remember nothing of the taste. Ah silly me.
The last dish of the night was mixed tempura. The batter was done very well. For those of you familiar with the art of cooking tempura, you actually have to throw bits of tempura batter into the hot oil where the pieces of veggies and seafood are cooking and then use chopsticks to ‘stick’ the tempura batter bits onto the surface of those other pieces. This then creates the flakey surface of the tempura as you can see in the photo. When you do this correctly, the surface will become light and crispy but not that oily.
After the lovely meal, dessert was of course ordered to end the night. As Yuye doesn’t really have a sweet-tooth, we ordered a green tea ice-cream parfait to share. It had many elements – green tea ice cream, cream, mangoes, strawberries, corn flakes down the bottom, red bean and last but not least mochi. I loved the combination of all these ingredients! I especially liked the idea of mochi in my desserts because it has such a nice chewy texture but doesn’t have much taste to overpower any of the other yummy things.
Overall, an unexpectedly good meal. I would highly recommend this little hidden gem to people looking for nice food in Surfers. I couldn’t complain about their service either, the waitstaff are all Japanese and served us attentively and efficiently.
Lastly, I found out where the name Wassam was derived from – it was the name of a very small town in Japan called ‘Wassamu’, located in Kamikawa Disctrict, Hokkaido. There is also a train station called Wassamu in that town and its photo was stuck on the wall of the restaurant (which I took a photo of below). The town only had a density of 4164 people as of 2007 within a total area of 224.83 square km and I can imagine that the townsfolk would all know each other.
Phone: (07) 5538 8836
Level 1 Chevron Renaissance Building, 3250 Gold Coast Hwy
Surfers Paradise QLD 4217