Desert Lotus Desert Lotus

Tasty sushi fusion dishes served in a quirky environment Reviews

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We walk into One to One Hotel – The Village and are charmed by the outdoor walkway that cuts through the little community. It does indeed feel like a village, hidden between Delma Street and Defence Road.

Guided to the restaurants by a helpful employee, we hop into an elevator from outside that opens two floors up into Wokcano. We enter the restaurant, which is decorated in faux newspaper clippings. The waitress seats us in a comfortable booth and we look through the lengthy menu, which is designed to look like a Filipino newspaper. Flipping through the many pages, we’re intrigued by the unusual combination of sushi and traditional Filipino dishes. We decide to try a mix.

We order the lumpia Shanghai to start, and wait a little bit longer than we would like. The little fried rolls eventually come out paired with a sweet dipping sauce, arranged carefully on a long black plate. The rolls are crispy and savoury and we munch on them hungrily, trying not to fill up before dinner.

As we’re eating the starter, one of our mains arrives. It is sizzling seafood – a Filipino dish that seems to be a highlight on the menu. The piping hot, cast iron plate is filled with tiny chopped up pieces of seafood and vegetables. We dig in, surprised at how tasty and flavourful the forkfuls are. The finely chopped pieces of fish seem to absorb the spices well, giving the whole dish a rich and addictive quality.

The sushi arrives next. We ordered an aloha roll, which combines salmon and avocado with a spicy mayo on top and an order of tuna sashimi. It arrives fresh and cold, artfully arranged on a plate with traditional wasabi and ginger garnishes.

As far as the food goes, there’s not much to criticise. It’s all freshly prepared, served appropriately hot or cold and reflects the originality of the restaurant. The atmosphere, however, leaves much to be desired. We arrived at 7pm, right as the place opened, but after lingering for more than two hours, we’re still the only customers. Perhaps it’s because this hotel and the restaurants themselves are a little hidden, or maybe it’s just a slow night. Regardless, we wouldn’t mind a bit more of a crowd.

Also, the restaurant is very bright. Too bright in fact, which is interesting considering a peek into the neighbouring steakhouse, 18 Oz, on the way to the bathroom, reveals relaxed, dim lighting.

At the end of the meal, however, the bill is reasonable, and paired with the good food and the friendly and accommodating service, this was an enjoyable meal. We wouldn’t rush back, but it was tasty nonetheless.

The bill (for two)
Lumpia Shanghai Dhs17
Sizzling seafood Dhs50
Aloha roll Dhs35
Tuna sashimi Dhs35
Total (excluding service) Dhs137

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: One to One Hotel-The Village, Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 495 2042
  • Travel: Al Salam Street
  • Website | Send mail

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User reviews

ValueAmbienceService
DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Romantic

User reviews:

Posted by: Aude on 27 Nov ' 12 at 11:06
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

We went to Wokcano after buying coupons for a "all you can eat sushis buffet"...
What a surprise ! We went a saturday for lunch and they had not tuna and only few pieces of salmon left. Such a disapointment for a sushi buffet. Sushis were untasty and choice so limited. Don't waste your money there... There are much nicer places available for sushis in Abu Dhabi.
However, waiters were very friendly and welcoming.

Posted by: Sue and Tim on 30 Oct ' 10 at 05:07
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

My husband and I have been regular customers of this restaurant since we discovered it back in early March. We find the service to be outstanding and are often totally spoilt by having on ocassions three waiters attending to our needs. The free appertizers which are quickly brought to your table on arrival are delightful and a nice touch to have at the beginning of a meal. As we enjoy certain dishes on the menu, we tend to have these each time we go. These being the crispy fried spring rolls and chicken satay as Entrees then for mains we thoroughly enjoy the Thai Green curry chicken, Beef in Kung Pao sauce, chop suey and Jasmine Rice. All of that plus a lovely bottle of good Australian Eaglehawk red, costs us around 350DHS. Amazing value for money. This restaurant has to be one of the best in Abu Dhabi - and believe me, we've tried a few!!!!

Posted by: Mohamed Ameen on 05 Oct ' 10 at 17:18
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Marhaba! Ayubowan! Vanakkum!!
Excellent Asian Fusion restaurant. Great food. Expedient service par excellence. Fantastic and friendly staff. Greet ambiance. The management is friendly, very knowledgeable about F&B and accommodating. I stayed at the hotel for almost three weeks and was a regular to Wokano. Highly recommend the Wokano over other in-house restaurants. The Wokano has a great Friday buffet incorporated with the restaurants down stairs. This place is a must for your dining experience. Three cheers to Manager Roshan Rowdin and his team.

Posted by: frazer thomson on 13 Apr ' 10 at 18:31
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

2 week stay at one to one village, ate four or five times at wockano mainly because its very good. the food is not chinese strictly more asian, although the chinese chef is probably more than capable of cooking any chinese dish you require,his food is really worth trying, ask for the specials menu as this is not always forthcoming and had a couple of gems on it, hot and sour lemongrass soup to die for and a remarkable duck salad, service not chaotic as stated above, instantanious from Gopaul friendly and helpfull, shame about the metal chopsticks!! If you order white wine make sure to ask for a wine bucket and get it nice and cold. only regret is that its not in london.

Posted by: joe on 12 Apr ' 10 at 21:17
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Wokcano is excellent if you want to have a romantic dinner, suitable for intimate conversations. We dined during my hubby;s birthday together with friends. The staff are friendly and the food was delicious if not perfect. I think the only complain was the kind of music they were playing, reminds us of the 60's WWII era. The price is just okay, for 6 persons, a thousand and more is not that bad and we definitely had a good time. a must try is the sehzwan shrimp. 4thumbs up!

Posted by: Paulo on 10 Apr ' 10 at 08:53
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Living on a long-term basis on the One to One Hotel I have been a regular customer of Wokcano in the evenings. I have tried almost all dishes of the menu and most of them are delicious and carefully cooked and displayed. Some asian meals are not suitable for my taste but all appetizers and main courses are great. Ambience is romantic style and staff is very friendly. Wokcano is in fact Asian and not Chinese.
The only remark is when ordering wine by the glass, it may be not as fresh as you'd like, but the staff promptly replaces it.

Posted by: nicola on 08 Apr ' 10 at 11:10
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Great service excellent food and service
Chop sticks are a little unwiedly and difficult to manage but replaced with wooden ones very swiftly by the attentive but not over attentive staff.
I do wonder why WOKCANO is categorised as Chinese when it should be with Asian
Enjoy a glass of wine at the bar in the evenings and love the open kitchen
will always go back :-)

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