We took our tired selves out for dinner tonight to Wann Izakaya on Broad Street. We have been extremely disgruntled by the attempts at Japanese food here in Regina, although we do understand the near impossibility of being able to get any fresh foods in the Canadian prairies that resemble at all the ingredients in Japanese food.
Wann Izakaya comes the closest so far to anything we have tried. The restaurant owners and chefs are actually Japanese, which goes a long way to having the best available Japanese style ingredients in the meals. We were able to practise our fading Japanese language "skills" on our lovely waitress and that was an added element of fun to accompany a most delicious meal.
The food is tasty, the sauces at least somewhat authentic, the gyoza is properly cooked with sufficient garlic, the sushi is fresh, the ginger has not been dyed bright pink...my first alert that a sushi restaurant may actually be run by Koreans or Chinese....the portion sizes match the prices, so it certainly is not a huge stretch for the wallet. I can eat 2 or 3 appetizers in order to get the equivalent of a full sized meal for a cost of $12 to $18 in total! Finally, a local Japanese restaurant where I can get the typically smaller portion sizes but with an untypically lower price per dish! My only complaint was that the small panko'd potato patties (that you don't find in Japan anyway) have no curry spicing in them. Other than that my meal was very tasty. I had a small plate of 3 slices of vegetables in panko with a delicious dipping sauce that had fresh sesame seeds in it. The veggies were large cuts and the panko was crisy, rather than undercooked and oily as it often is here. There was a goodly amount of hot black pepper in the panko and that was a nice touch. For once I opted to avoid my favourite chicken karaage but will try it next time we go there. My husband had a marvellously large portion of sushi and nigiri sushi that was just filling enough with the addition of good salty miso soup. There are a goodly number of items I can actually eat there without sending my blood sugar soaring from all the carbs, all because of the portion sizes and because of a good variety of salads I am going to dig into next time along with my karaage! haha
Nice to find a lovely, remodelled clean space with an excellent chef and accommodating staff along with the tasty Japanese-style meals and excellent prices, with good menu selection. My only hope is that this relatively new restaurant will survive the economic downturn and be able to remain open long term without having to compromise their standards. Parking is a bit of a problem depending on the time of day, but it is worth parking a couple of blocks away if necessary and crawling over the icy sidewalks to give this place a try.