Wasabi Japanese – Hotter than Hot
Interviewed by Jun Wang Written by Elise Krentzel
Everyone knows that the Japanese mustard plant 'wasabi' is hot. When ingested alone, it can burn right through your nostrils making for a very sore passageway, stinging burning eyes and hot flushed cheeks. Of course, no one would willingly just scoop a teaspoon of wasabi in their mouths unless they were entering some kind of wasabi eating contest.
There's no contest here at Wasabi Japanese Restaurant because they are the winners in their category in Orange, Connecticut. Here the New Haven Register, The New York Times and the locals have voted them #Number 1. In the highly regarded Zagat's Guide, they've been voted by customers to be one of the best Japanese restaurants in America for two years in a row, 2008 and 2009.
Since 2005, couple owners Grace and Tom Ke have created an ambience inside their Japanese eatery that has many Asian touches. For instance, the tables are shiny red mahogany outlined with a strip of black around the outer rim and black wooden chairs. The room divider separating the sushi bar from the tables is a wooden structure with brass poles that brings traditional sense to the room.The wall hangings and the small knick knacks ; the cotton band of navy blue material with Japanese writing that hangs above the sushi bar welcomes guests. A Neko cat encourages customers to enter, thereby bringing good fortune to the business.Bamboo roll-up shades enhance the oriental atmosphere.