If you don’t particularly enjoy waking up early on a Friday, but hate missing out on all the Instagram-worthy brunch pics, Waka, which was recently crowned “restaurant of the year” in the Zomato Users Choice Awards may have the answer. The Late Brunch is the evening incarnation of their fiesta Latina day brunch. A gastronomic experience featuring the best of Latin American cuisine, combined with fiery evening vibes that last long into the night.
As soon as you step through that vibrant blue door, you are greeted with the sound of drums and the wonderful aroma of wood smoke. Chef Roberto Segura, hailing from Lima himself gathers most of his inspiration from his homeland of Peru, as well as Columbia, Mexico and the rest of Latin America. He aims to show just why this type of cuisine has climbed to the top of the world with it’s rich flavours and diverse tastes.
Inspired by summer flavours and a playful spirit that you could hear bouncing from chef to chef from within kitchen, the evening brunch showcases contemporary techniques and new ideas that aim to confuse and excite the senses all at the same time. The dynamic regional cuisine and imaginative presentation is coupled with lively Latin American music, dim lighting and Brazilian carnival dancers.
The addition of the salad/ceviche station allows you to get up and experiment with a variety of flavours such as the Ceviche Del Mercado, the perfect combination of texture and flavour served in mini tasting dishes. The batter on the calamari and chunky seabass and sweet potato make it more filling than most Peruvian cebiches, though the leche de tigre and aji amarillo help it retain the bright and fresh flavours usually associated with the dish.
Dishes served to the table can be re-ordered multiple times, however we stuck to one of each for fear of getting full before the main, as well as not being the biggest fans of Maki in general. Some of the dishes of note included the signature smoke infused Wakamole and the tender spare ribs charred on the Josper grill with a spicy Cantonese marinade. The truffled quinoa risotto with wild mushrooms and aji amarillo (something that features heavily in most of the dishes on the menu) was slightly dense, although the Cauela de Lubina (Seabass with Peruvian dry potato, aji, cheese and black mint) a hearty casserole dish ensured the meal ended strong with an honest take on a dish from Chef’s childhood.
A dessert platter of cheesecake, coco loco, sorbet and fresh fruit ended the meal but by the time it came around, we were more in the mood to salsa than slurp on sorbet.
The evening brunch presents a standard house beverage, hops and grape package, a premium version including prosecco, and ofcourse the option to add Waka pisco Sours or Chilanco classico’s for an additional 200 AED. The espresso martinis we had at the bar while waiting for the brunch were sadly not included on the package, but are well worth a short detour either before or after brunch.
Inspired by the best flavours of Latin America with a Japanese twist (Nikkei fusion) the evening brunch offers a great balance between indulgence and atmosphere. The crowd is lively and the music is loud without being overly obtrusive, and the outstanding base of (authentically Latin) service staff know just as much about the origins, flavours and inspirations of each dish as the chefs themselves. A category (evening brunch) that is difficult to get right in terms of balancing “dinner” with the ensuing “night out,” but Waka seems to get the balance just right.
Every Friday from 8:30 pm to 11:30 pm
To Book, call +971 4 4441455 / +971 54 445 4792 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Food, Soft Drinks & Mocktails 275 AED
Food & House Beverages – House Spirits, Grape and Hops – 385 AED
Food & Premium drinks – House Spirits, Prosecco, Grape and Hops 528 AED
Waka Pisco package – Pisco Sour , Chilanco classico 209 AED
Waka Pisco – Pisco Punch served in a pitcher 209 AED