If your ears/eyes aren’t already bleeding from my redundant chant of “I love Asian food”, there’s something wrong with you. Nevertheless, let me reiterate that I love Asian food, and was hence super thrilled by the invitation to review Wakame, a “modern Asian” restaurant that offers Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese fare.
Interestingly, Wakame is a South African brand, with 4 branches there, and it’s first international branch in Dubai which opened just 6 months ago. Considering how greatly popular it is though, I never would have guessed what an infant this chic yet cosy restaurant is.
As is the case with most of the tastings I’m invited to, I asked the manager to surprise us with the best of what they have to offer, and they started off by serving us two of the best mocktails I’ve had in Dubai.
The “Aka Smash” was packed with lots of fresh strawberries, mint, pineapple and topped with lemongrass soda. I loved this and it has been one of my most favorite mocktails till date. The reason: there were no lame frozen and thawed strawberries in this.
Not for the lavender haters, even though the lavender was subtle but definite. This one had red grape, lavender, lemon and soda.
We then proceeded to the “Spicy” edamame that wasn’t spicy at all, and lobster tacos that I absolutely loved. What was great about them was that they weren’t just rich and indulgent, but also had a fresh tartness to them that contrasted beautifully with the lobster meat.
Spicy edamame [AED 30] and Lobster Tacos [AED 130]
I’m a major sucker for theatrics so naturally the Flame Grilled Vegetable Tempura Make had me clapping in joy! I love a char to anything, and the Yusu mayonnaise held it beautifully and had a cheese-like consistency and indulgence.
Flame Grilled Vegetable Tempura Make [AED 75]
I hate that I’m writing this review at 1 am and really, really want to go back for more of these right.now.
These are an original best selling item from their original menu in SA. Did you know that you’re frowned upon in Japan if you actually make that soy sauce-wasabi sludge to dip your sushi/maki in. I bet it’s because all sushi/maki in Japan tastes this good. Words can’t do justice to the burst of flavors these Salmon Firecracker Roses packed.
Salmon Firecracker Roses [AED 70]
So I’m usually a huge fan of ceviche and sashimi, but this yellowfin tuna with pickled daikon, zucchini salsa, Yuzu truffle and ponzu sounded a lot promising than it really was. I would have liked for this to be more tart.
Yellowfin Tuna Sashimi. [AED 95]
The Wagyu Sliders were sadly some of my least favorite sliders ever. They had WAY too much mayo, not nearly enough truffle (as the description had promised), and the beef was disappointingly under seasoned, but I LOVED the side salad.
Wagyu Sliders [AED 75]
I was Snapchatting everything I was eating, and suddenly got a strong recommendation to try the Rainbow Reloaded. If this picture doesn’t make you understand why, then there’s little hope for you in life.
Rainbow Reloaded [AED 90].
I wasn’t crazy about the Yuzu Miso Black Cod either. It looks like a piece of art and was cooked to perfection too, but was way too sweet for my liking.
Yuzu Miso Black Cod [AED 185]
As far as cooked options were concerned, the Grilled Asparagus [AED 40] stole the show. Yes, I LOVE asparagus and am always a little biased towards it, but come on, just LOOK at this! It had the most expertly balanced sesame and onion dressing and this is another thing I can’t wait to go back for. It was so, so, so good.
Grilled Asparagus [AED 40]
What could be better than a chocolate fondant? Uh, a chocolate fondant filled with MATCHA! The vanilla ice-cream it came with was rested atop a sesame biscuit crumble, and I love this kind of attention to detail.
The miso caramel cheesecake was a bit of an acquired taste I guess. M loved this, but I’m starting to conclude that M is just weird. None of it worked for me, not even the black sesame shortbread crust.
Miso Caramel Cheesecake
Although Wakame is on the pricier side, I enjoyed the best sushi/maki in Dubai here, only second to Zuma. I regret not getting to try their dimsum, as I’ve heard rave reviews about it, but it’s a good thing I’ll be going back on the regular so there are plenty of chances to try the rest of the items on the menu!
Thanks for having me, Wakame! I’ve discovered some truly phenomenal items here!