Yabase is a traditional Japanese restaurant in Düsseldorf. It is small place, serving Japanese cuisine for more than 30 years. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting reduced capacity of the restaurant, I was able to obtain seats for a quick dinner without reservation. The waiting time was moderate and even though the restaurants closes quite early, it still worked out well.
I had an upscale moriawase style plate that came with chu toro (medium fatty tuna belly), otoro (fatty tuna belly), hotategai (scallop), hamachi (yellowtail), sabe (mackerel), suzuki (sea bass) and ebi (shrimp) nigiri, one ikura (salmon roe) and one maguro (tuna back) tartare as well as some maguro (tuna back) maki (roll). Overall it was a bit of an disappointing experience, compared to my last visit. The plate seemed pre-prepared and was not as cold or fresh as I would have liked it. This was not so much of problem for the white fish and shrimp that were all fine, but the tuna variety did not impress that much, which is a contrasting experience to what I was expecting. The scallop was excellent however, so overall I was content with my dish. Even though I might have ordered seconds, I left it at that to not risk adding to the disappointment.
Sushi Guide Verdict
Yabase is catering to its guests with a minimalistic interior that now is a bit obstructed with plastic shield between tables due to the COVIC-19 pandemic. Overall, the resulting atmosphere is quite cool and impersonal, but its great that they found a way to effective run the restaurant in these days. The menu options are extensive and leave little room for even advance sushi aficionados. The restaurant has a particular emphasis on unagi (freshwater eel), but it was sold out during this day. The good quality and taste was mixed. White fish, shrimp and scallops were great, but the tuna was quite disappointing.This is most striking, because of previous contrasting experiences. The drink menu is a bit limited, but sufficient for a nice dinner. The service team was friendly and forthcoming yet the hectic energy of the night did not help in overcoming the disappointments from the moriawase plate. Based on this experience, this restaurant should be considered with caution. It may be excellent or not, without being able predict which way it will go.
Review date: September 24, 2020