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Wazen (CLOSED)

Restaurants King’s Cross

Time Out says

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.

Please note, Wazen is now closed. Time Out eating & drinking editors, Sep 2016.

There’s not a lot to love about this part of town; the regeneration of King’s Cross has yet to reach this no-man’s land of youth hostels, budget hotels and chicken shops. Wazen, a smart new Japanese restaurant on Acton Street, feels like an outlier. For a start, it’s a considerable upgrade on the site’s previous occupant, Shibuya, a restaurant nuts enough to serve tofu salad hosed with salad cream.

If you go at lunch, as we did, your choice is limited to a compact menu of bento boxes. It’s no bad thing. Our donburi bento and sashimi-and-tempura bento offered excellent value that the evening à la carte menu – which sees prices leap north – might struggle to match.

Thick-cut sashimi is a strong point here. Stone bass and tuna were of exceptional quality, bettered only by some seriously good fatty salmon that had a glorious, buttery texture. Tempura also impressed, with good veg in gossamer-light batter that yielded easily yet packed a crunch. Our favourite, though, was beef tataki, with its coriander dressing and a red-hot droplet of chilli.

Another plus? Attention to detail. There were two different soy sauces – a lighter version for sashimi, a stronger one for sushi. Presentation was exquisite. And pretty little snacks came gratis.

The downer? Slightly jarring jazz muzak and a lack of atmosphere (the place was almost empty on our visit). Still, for anyone seeking a good-value bento in this part of town, Wazen is definitely worth a look.

Details

Address: 2 Acton St
London
WC1X 9NA
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