Time Out Says
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 | 14 Jul 2014
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