Wakaze is one of the very best of the new wave of Far Eastern cafes and restaurants that have blossomed around central Leicester. It’s a stylishly stripped-down, modern Japanese venue perfect for both snacking and blow-out dinners.
Complimentary bowls of steaming miso soup, beautifully savoury with kombu and tofu, come out from the open kitchen at regular intervals while diners get stuck into neatly-presented sushi, hearty domburi rice bowls, ramen soups and bento boxes offering a bit of everything. GFC favourites include terrific chicken and herb gyosa dumplings, delicate mackerel nigiri and the lip-smacking teppanyaki chicken. Service is prompt, friendly and helpful, and the place is kept scrupulously clean.
Started by a couple of former Leicester University business students and a Japanese chef, Wakaze offers an independent vibe that contrasts with some of the big chains across the way in Highcross. From the steel-lined kitchen walls to the pine tables and the cherry blossom motif tea cups, it has its own distinct style. It’s no surprise that it has increasingly reached beyond its core market of Chinese students and attracts a diverse crowd for its simple but excellent Japanese food.
By Tim Burke, Leicestershire editor