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Savannah Foodie
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Not your dad’s lunch box


That’s what the term “bento” means in the slang language it originated from in Japan. Today, the two–syllable word signifies a simple boxed lunch that traditionally consisted of fish or meat, rice and cooked or pickled vegetables.
Being Americans, we want a bit more than that — how else can we retain our fully curvaceous forms? I’ve been keeping myself satiated lately by slipping to Wasabi Fusion for their Lunch Box, a neatly organized meal of fried or steamed rice, two pieces of shrimp tempura, two pieces of vegetable tempura, teriyaki chicken, saut ed vegetables and a four–piece California roll.

This is no humble bento – but a nicely satisfying and varied meal that is accompanied by soup and salad.

The good news, this value–packed lunch ($10.95) is served with the hot stuff hot and the cold stuff cold. The California roll sometimes offers very over–ripe avocado but overall the meal is freshly made and rich with flavors. The tempura veggies vary and I was happy to find a nice slice of sweet potato tempura on a recent visit.

The sushi is also above average – I especially liked my two–piece unagi (eel) nigiri. Wasabi’s chef puts good effort into presenting his rolls with flair and elegance. Full bar, attentive service.

113 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd./233–8899

Bourbon trail

I’m conducting two bourbon tastings this month to help educate consumers on various American–made bourbon whiskies.

The first is Sept. 14 for members of the Savannah Quarters Club. If you’re a member, make your reservations now.

The second will be a fundraiser on Sept. 29 for the historic Ashantilly House in Darien, Ga. This beautiful site is working hard to build its list of friends and supporters. The $30 tasting fee includes a sample of six bourbons. These are very hospitable folks who love to show off their property and have fun. For more info or to make reservations, visit the website,

Restaurant News

B. Matthew’s Eatery at Habersham and Bay streets will be closed for remodeling until early October. The restaurant’s parent company, Gaslight Restaurant Group, announced it is taking over the former Clary’s Café location in Habersham Village – bringing its total properties to five.

Chef Roberto Leoci told me last week that he will taking over the helm of Bonna Bella Yacht Club. This popular marshside restaurant and watering hole should give Leoci a fun new venue to develop.

Longtime River Street eatery The Oyster Bar has closed — a few months behind the closing of its sister location on Johnny Mercer Boulevard. A spokesman for owner Turner Foods had no comment.

Sweet repast

Sweet Carolina Cupcakes has opened at 38 Whitaker St. behind Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

The S.C.–based boutique bakery will host a ribbon cutting Sept. 13 at 11 a.m. A complimentary sampling of mini–cupcakes will be provided. There will be an open house on Sept. 15 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., featuring cupcake specials throughout the day and live music starting at 6 p.m.

More info at