A new Asian food restaurant is coming to Exeter Quay next month and a taster of what’s to come is already being offered with a pop-up restaurant and bar in its outdoor seating area.
Following the sudden closure of Asian street food Ganbeis just a few months after opening, it has been revealed that the premises is being taken over by the owner of successful Paignton restaurant Wabi-Sabi Bay.
Yesterday, December 28, the opening of a pop-up dim sum and bao bar was announced next to Puerto Lounge.
The main restaurant will open its doors for the first time on Tuesday, February 1, to coincide with the Chinese new year.
Owner Jonathan Bailey opened the Paignton restaurant just over a year ago and has had his sights firmly set on bringing its popular flavours -which also extend into Japanese, Chinese, Korean and others – to Exeter.
The 33-year-old, who has worked in the food industry throughout his whole career, said: “When lockdown hit I had been trying to get out of the manufacturing side of the food industry and open a restaurant. Lockdown gave me the opportunity to create a takeaway in Torbay which then became Wabi-Sabi Bay and it has grown from there.
“We are really proud of our food. We produce everything from scratch and make it authentic as well as pretty so it looks as good as it tastes.
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“We decided to open a pop-up with tables and chairs outside our restaurant as of yesterday (December 28) in Exeter so that people can start trying out our bao buns and dim sum.
“Especially for Exeter I have been developing a range of ramen [a Japanese noodle soup] which we don’t sell in Paignton. It takes 48 hours just to make the broth.”
The signature dishes Wabi-Sabi Bay is already renowned for is its bao buns which include its twice-cooked crispy pork belly bao with gochujang sauce, pickled cucumber, wasabi peas and spring onions.
Other dishes on its menu include a Thai green curry, mixed dim sum platter and Yaki udon noodles.
Jonathan said: “We get people travel from as far away as Bristol coming to our Paignton restaurant because of the food we serve. Asian food is an obsession of mine that I have had my whole life. I understand the flavours and cooking methods.
“We are very excited to be opening in Exeter. During our first week we will be hosting lots of special events, parties and so on to coincide with the Chinese new year.
“We are 100 per cent going to be bringing something different to Exeter and what we are trying to create is a whole experience rather than just food by having musicians in the restaurant and in the summer musicians will perform outside.”
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The former Exeter restaurant is having a big make-over which will include bringing in Wabi-Sabi Bay’s signature giant cherry blossoms and having tables made out of burnt wood.
Revealing how customers will be served their food, Jonathan said: “Everything comes out in traditional bamboo steamers so you get towers of food arriving at your table. It makes it much more of a social event rather than sitting down for a formal dinner.
“We want to help make Exeter Quay much more of a destination and a better place to visit.”
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