Sherman's Food Adventures: Wasuta Pasta

Wasuta Pasta

One of the more stealth foods that I really enjoy is Japanese pasta.  I just love their interpretation of classic Italian cuisine that can be very close to the original while also being completely reworked.  There are certain places you can get this including Cafe L'Orangerie and Noah's Cafe but there is also a trail of former restaurants that have come and gone.  Now we have a new options in Wasuta Pasta hidden on River Road in Richmond.  Ophilia and I headed there for lunch to check it out.

We ended up starting with one of their daily features in the Wagyu Beef Carpaccio with parm, ailoi, caviar and toasted focaccia.  This was really good despite the fact that Wagyu can be a bit stringy if not cooked enough (fats have to be activated).  Seeing this was not A5, it wasn't that big of an issue.  It was sliced thin and was still buttery with a few chewier parts.  There was enough compliments for aromatics and flavour while the bread was crunchy albeit sliced a bit too thick.

Next, we tried the Crab Cream Croquette with a rosé sauce.  Although the exterior of the croquette was still fairly crispy, it would've been even more so if the sauce was served on the side or underneath rather than on top.  Inside, it was creamy and rich with obvious pieces of fluffy crab.  With that being said, it was more of a textural thing because the crab flavour wasn't prominent.  That wasn't really a big issue as the croquette still ate well and I would order this again.

For our pastas, we started with the Fettuccine Uni Cream with fresh scallops, basil, nori and panko.  This was pretty rich and there was the background sea-flavoured sweetness of the uni. Once mixed, the basil and nori added each of their own flavours, but not overly so due to the overall saltiness of the sauce.  The pasta was al dente and was enveloped by just enough uni cream.  I thought the most appealing part of the dish was the whole scallops (from the shell) that included the roe.  They were cooked perfectly and were sweet.

We love anchovies so it was clear we would be ordering the Spaghetti Aglio e olio with Anchovy.  In terms of texture, the spaghetti was perfectly al dente.  Although the pasta was well- seasoned, the anchovy flavour was mild.  We could've done with more intense salty-fishiness to go with the garlic and chili peppers.  Furthermore, the dish needed a bit more olive oil to keep the pasta from clumping up.  By no means was this not good, it just needs a few tweaks.

My favourite pasta of the bunch was the Fettuccine Mushroom Butter Soy.  All that you needed to know about the dish is in its name.  Butter soy is such a classic Japanese pasta and it is a good baseline for this type of restaurant.  They didn't fail as the pasta was once again al dente and there was enough moisture to keep things loose.  It was aromatic and nutty with the light saltiness from the soy.  The mushrooms naturally added an umaminess that Japanese cuisine is synonymous with.  Lastly, the garnish of umeboshi plum gave the dish an extreme hit of salty tang.  So overall, the meal was pretty good and is something a bit different in a hidden location in Richmond.

The Good:
- Something different
- Friendly staff
- Quality ingredients

The Bad:
- Kitchen ventilation not the best


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