When it comes to ordering a bunch of small dishes to share it can be hard to know just how many to pick. Sure, they say you can always add more as you go, but has anyone ever actually done that? We know we haven’t.
However, as we sit in Waka, the latest venue serving Peruvian-Japanese Nikkei fusion food (and other takes on Latin American staples) we feel completely at ease, such is our confidence in our waiter.
We order three small dishes, a bowl of guacamole and one main course. It’s certainly less than the tables around us, and it doesn’t seem like a lot. But we’re assured we’ll be fine.
If we weren’t already impressed by Waka, which has the feel of a cosy underground cantina, we are when the dishes come out. They all look fantastic, the pacing from the kitchen is spot on and, on the whole, they are excellent. It’s also the perfect amount (and allows for a dessert).
We told you about the salmon tiradito a couple of weeks ago. It’s a really strong dish, with a perfect balance of flavours and textures.
The Lima maki is a riff on Peru’s classic sea bass ceviche, and it works. A crispy prawn sits in the centre, while a silky sliver of fish is draped over the top, held in place by tiger’s milk mayo. Very clever.
Guacamole (or Wakamole, groan) arrives in a plume of smoke, which enhances the taste rather than overpowering it. There’s a good hit of chilli, too.
Waka’s quinoa risotto comes alive with the aroma of truffle, and the mushrooms running through it add bite. The prawn skewers, however, are largely forgettable.
Desserts are playful and our coconut mousse is great fun, lifted by a pineapple confit.
We like Waka a lot, but don’t just trust us, trust the staff, too. The bill (for two) 1x salmon tiradito Dhs48 1x Lima maki Dhs52 1x tiger prawn anticucho Dhs52 1x Wakamole Dhs35 1x quinoa risotto Dhs90 1x coco loco Dhs40 1x large still water Dhs25 Total (excluding service) Dhs342
The bottom line Latin dishes with style and substance.