Review of Watami Japanese Dining at the Woodleigh Mall

Thinking of what to eat at Woodleigh mall? If you are looking for Japanese food options, then check out this review!

I recently visited Watami Japanese Dining restaurant at Woodleigh mall with my family and we ordered the 4 pax set. Here are my thoughts on the dishes we tried:

Restaurant interior - bright and quite spacious

Set menu for 4 pax, note that certain premium dishes require a few dollars extra.

Set menu for 2 pax

- Caesar salad: A healthy and refreshing dish with crunchy croutons, creamy caesar dressing and cheese. I liked the generous portion and the freshness of the lettuce.

- Tonkotsu shoyu ramen: This was one of the highlights of the meal, as the soup was rich and flavourful, with a nice balance of pork and soy sauce. The noodles were springy and the toppings were generous.

- Pork hotpot (Sukiya soup base) with additional udon (you can pick rice instead): This was a hearty and warming dish, perfect for sharing. The soup was very salty though, so I did not drink any of the soup. Some of the pork slices were too chewy, while others were okay. The udon was soft and chewy, soaking up the soup well.

- Tokachi-style pork rice bowl: This was an average dish, nothing outstanding but not bad either. The pork was tender and the sauce was sweet and savoury.

- Grilled gyoza: These were juicy and satisfying, with a nice charred flavour. The dipping sauce was tangy and complemented the gyoza well.

- Deep fried Hiroshima oysters 5 pieces: These were crispy and delicious, with plump and juicy oysters inside. The tartar sauce was creamy and went well with the oysters.

- Pumpkin and sweet potato tempura: These were a bit disappointing, as the insides were quite dry. Overall, still edible.

- Roasted mackerel (half): This was also very salty, might still be okay if you eat it with white rice. I don't know if it was a mistake or a style, but I would not order this again.

- Salted egg grilled chicken: This was another favourite of mine, as the chicken was smooth and chunky, with a strong salted egg flavour. The sauce was thick and creamy, coating the chicken well.

The set came with 4 drinks and we chose ice lemon tea, ice milk tea, hot oolong tea. They were all refreshing and not too sweet.

Overall, we were happy with the wide variety of dishes, with something to suit everyone. We managed to finish everything and was very full. The set was reasonably priced, as we paid ~$130 in total inclusive of GST and service charges. The restaurant was baby friendly, with Ikea highchairs and belts to keep them in position. It was also hidden at a quiet corner on the 2nd floor, so it was not too noisy or crowded.

I would recommend this place for a casual family meal or a gathering with friends, as long as you avoid the salty dishes or ask for less salt.

Service: 7/10 - food came quite fast but sometimes could not find anyone if we needed to request for something

Food: 7/10 - there were some hits and misses, higher score given due to variety in the set

Price: 8/10 - not too bad for $30+ per pax 

Overall: 7/10 - would not purposely visit again unless I happen to be in the area and want to eat Japanes food.


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