Wasabi Japanese In Hackettstown Offers Standards and Specialties

Don't let this restaurant's less than tempting strip-mall facade fool you, the cuisine delivers tasty surprises.

Once you get past the nondescript, strip-mall storefront and rather dark interior, you’ll find that Wasabi Japanese restaurant offers colorful cuisine that includes fresh and flavorful sushi, sashimi, teriyaki and tempura dishes.

This BYO’s menu opens with ‘kitchen appetizers’ that include fried and steamed dumplings, oysters, mussels, squid and soft shell crabs, as well as a negemaki platter of six tender, pop-in-your-mouth, marinated slices of beef wrapped around scallions and served in a pool of hoisin dipping sauce.

Negemaki platter

In addition to the expected array of sushi and rolls, there are interesting surprises, like the deep-fried ‘Sexy Jalapeno’ with cream cheese and spicy tuna, and a beautiful ‘sweetheart’ presentation that pairs the spicy tuna with Avocado served in a perfect row of pretty hearts.

All entrees come with sticky rice, miso soup—which arrived lukewarm—and a salad with a nice ginger dressing that was sadly swamping the greens. Fortunately, we also ordered an excellent mango salad that mixed slivers of fruit with tidbits of raw tuna and flecks of black sesame seeds.

Mango salad

Our crispy red snapper was spot on, offering generous slices of battered fish and slivers of peppers and asparagus in a red sauce that was the perfect balance of sweet and spicy, leaving a mere tingle on the tongue.

Red snapper

The extensive menu also offers teriyaki, hibachi, tempura and fried-rice-style dinners of chicken, steak, shrimp and salmon, as well as udon and soba noodles and special bento box combinations.

Although there are the standard fried banana and fried ice cream choices for dessert, the complimentary, supreme, iced-cold pieces of orange that arrived with the bill were a lovely surprise as a finishing touch from our friendly waitress, whose only fault was bringing the dishes a bit too fast to allow us to truly savor Wasabi’s fine specialties.

 

Wasabi, 80 Main Street, Hackettstown, 908-850-8080, wasabihackettstown.com. Open for lunch and dinner Sunday through Saturday.

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