Come to Wakame for feel-good contemporary Japanese food

Wakame from Jeddah has set up shop in Riyadh…

Do we need another Japanese joint in Riyadh? Wakame says yes.

With branches in Jeddah, the contemporary Japanese restaurant has grown to be a favourite amongst the city’s most discerning foodies, and now, it has expanded to Riyadh.

Step into Wakame’s newest venue, a laid-back spot wedged in the corner of Luxury Plaza in the Al Yasmin district, a new business park complex in Riyadh.

Set over two floors, the restaurant occupies a tall open space, where wood panelling, low lighting and upholstered chairs all contribute to a cosy atmosphere. There is a variety of table seating options scattered around. Diners can choose between four-tops, booths, the covered terrace area, or sit at the sushi counter.

The interiors are inspired by Japanese minimalism, reflecting the ‘less is more’ approach. The serene, light-filled space has a calming feel to it; it features floor-to-ceiling windows and a warm palette of green and brown tones, along with textured plaster and soft upholstery to create an intimate atmosphere.


What’s On the menu

Wakame boasts an extensive menu. The chicken katsu curry (SAR85) is an essential order but that’s not to say that the rest of Wakame’s menu isn’t just as appealing. It’s just that that its katsu curry – crisp, golden, juicy and just the right amount of gloopy – is right up there with some of the most comforting dishes you can eat in the city.

Wakame katsu curry

From the starters, don’t give the ika age (battered squid, SAR54) a miss. Go for double, triple dippings of the chilli mayo sauce. Have the shifudo seafood soup (SAR55) – there’s nothing better than a warm bowl of umami-filled seafood soup to weather you through a cold afternoon.

We also have the robata grilled tiger prawns (SAR180) for our mains. The briny juices of the fresh prawns, combined with the kimchi butter sauce, is given a pleasing punch.

Unagi (eel) lovers will enjoy the ‘Caterpillar’ (SAR58 for four pieces), one of the restaurant’s signature maki rolls. Despite the unagi lacking a smoky flavour, it remains silky and melts in the mouth, giving you an amazing bite.

Wakame dessert

Fans of fusion style sushi rolls will find much to delight at here, and the desserts are real knockouts. You’ll keep on thinking about the Sakura Haru (SAR90), a chocolate tree with cotton candy blossom planted in hazelnut streusel, complete with dried raspberries and raspberry sorbet.

From gyoza to picture-perfect karaage and robatayaki, Wakame’s selection has enough going for it that you really will have to become a regular if you ever want to try it all. Which we’d highly recommend doing. Coupled with its reasonable prices – which are all the more remarkable given this is Riyadh, Wakame has scored the winning formula of being a feel good Japanese place.

Wakame Riyadh, Luxury Plaza, 6850 Olaya Street, Riyadh 13325. Tel: 9200 05036. @wakameksa

Images: Social