If there was a restaurant that I'd go back to again and again for the rest of my life, I would definitely choose Waka.
Yes, big words and I know there are really some amazing restaurants in Dubai right now but so far, Waka has impressed me so much that I know I won’t ever regret my decision.
Waka Restaurant and Bar brings together art and food showcasing a fusion of Latin American flavors combined with Japanese seasonings in a truly unique taste experience.
Located in The Oberoi Hotel, Business Bay, Waka offers a sophisticated level of dining, with an inviting vibe created by the warmth of the service and the resident DJ setting the mood. It brings together the perfect blend of service, style, and design, creating a setting for both an intimate and fun dining experience.
Firstly, I love the interior design. I love that they are able to divide the whole space into different parts and it feels like you’re inside an underground pub that not a lot of people know. I love the ambiance, the vibrant decoration on the floor and artwork adorning the walls and just the whole character of the place.
Secondly, before I even talk about the food, I was impressed by the staff’s knowledge about the food and the drinks and their products in general. I was engrossed as they served the dishes and how they talked and explained the ingredients and how a specific dish was created.
Then there was also the bar. It already looked nice in pictures and in person but again, what was more impressive was how the bartenders prepare the concoctions and the explanation that comes with it as they serve the drinks to you.
And then the food, let’s talk about the food. You know the feeling when you try a new restaurant and don’t know what to expect that you just order anything hoping that it will be good, at least? We did just that.
Since there’s not a lot of Peruvian restaurants in Dubai, we decided to go with what our gut instinct was telling us and ordered for what we thought would be nice.
First up was the Guacamole. This is very simple, you have the smoked avocado, mix onion and lime and then pair it with nachos and that’s it. It’s good to start with to set the tone for what’s coming next.
Next up was the Del Mercado. It’s Sea Bass, Aji Amarillo, Crispy Calamari and Sweet potato. I’m pretty sure we have the same dish in the Philippines but this was different. It was way different and I love the fusion of the flavors especially when it’s inside your mouth. It’s like every flavor is fighting for your attention.
Then the chef came out to prepare the Carne Y Trufa beside our table. It’s basically Wagyu Beef, Truffle, Lime, Togarasahi and Soy sauce and is presented in a nice kind of box with charcoal inside so it’s smoking hot and you can actually taste the smoke if that was even possible. Flabbergasted must be the word to explain how I felt after trying that. It was really something. I’m smiling from ear to ear so far.
When it was time for the mains and they brought out the Black Angus Tenderloin which is Aji Panca and Beer Marinade, roasted potatoes, choclo with spicy rococo dip, I told myself “Oh ok, it looks like a regular barbecue” but when I tried it, again, it was just amazing. The beef was just so tender and I didn’t even need to use my knife to slice it.
Another main was the Arroz Con Pato (pato = duck) which is Duck with orange glazed broad beans paired with coriander rice. It was also good but since I’m not a fan of rice and even though I’m Filipino and it was really amazing, this wasn’t my favorite dish.
The last of the main courses was the Truffle Quinoa Risotto and again, if you can only order one dish at Waka, make it this one! It’s that good or let’s say fantastic because good is a weak word to describe it. This dish is simple but it left quite an impact on me. I’m dreaming about it until now.
And then to finish this unbelievably great dining experience, we had the salted caramel cheesecake. And I was so happy because even before the dessert came out, I already had this expectation in my head that this cheesecake should taste like this and I was so glad that it turned out exactly like what I had envisioned it to taste.
Overall, I am giving Waka not just a thumbs up, they can have my hands raised as well as I really adore the food, the ambiance, and everything about the place. I’m so glad I tried it finally and now, I’m already thinking of when to come back. With a meticulously curated menu, I am so excited for everyone to have a taste of their masterpieces. It was an unforgettable dining experience and definitely a “Waka” to remember!