Time Out says
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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.