Restaurant Review: Wavehouse
Unlike many of Atlantis the Palm's restaurants, Wavehouse is more casual and playful. Keith Pereña savours the food as well as the ambience
Unlike its other Atlantis' brethren, Wavehouse is a more casual take on things. Neon lights between Bread Street Kitchen and Ronda Locatelli give visitors a hint at the place's youth. Walking up its staircase, one is greeted to a gargantuan poolside chair - this place loves to play around. The walls are adorned with posters of The Beatles, Coca-Cola, and those from 1950s Americana and they are contrasted by surfboards and related iconography. Despite this jump from one design to another, they seem to gel well - especially for a place that is part arcade and part surf shack.
Let's begin with the positives. Most of the items on the menu are for sharing - even the main courses. At multiple times during the meal, my companion and I switched plates and tried out the grilled shrimp, deep-fried Babybels and buffalo wings. As far as main courses go, Wavehouse's fatty salmon fillet is countered by orange and lime slices along with a generous serving of veggies. Another start of the menu are the nachos, which are essentially a savoury layer and the toppings don't end at the top. Cheese and guacamole can still be discovered right at the bottom of the pile.
The food is nice, but what makes the experience memorable are the people. Mike, our server, is the epitome of hospitality and he's very comfortable with banter and storytelling. Even on a busy Tuesday night, he enjoyed sharing an anecdote as well as explaining what the superstars of the menu are. His way with words definitely made us take him up on his recommendations, all of it!
Taste: And the winners are. the salmon fillet with its perfect curation of elements and the Babybels. The buffalo wings are also good, though I wish the chicken used had more meat to them. Theirs is the classic Buffalo formula with blue cheese dressing and nobody can go wrong with that.
Ambience: I love the laidback appeal of the restaurant! My sole gripe is that the interiors could use a little bit light, so that their décor could shine! They are after all, quite Instagrammable. The combination of arcade and surf shack elements also blend well.
Service: Service could be summarised as akin to speaking to a friend. Our host, Mike was laidback and cracked a story or two. The staff explains the items, which is nice for those of us who face unfamiliar menu jargons. Food arrives at a considerable pace but not too fast to be overwhelmed.
Presentation: Classic. Each dish had no frills, bells and whistles or any flair. They are just good, sharing dishes served as expected. The sole exception is the chips served inside plastic plant pots, which are hilarious when you first see them. It's nothing fancy but carries the playful vibe of the restaurant well.
Value For Money: Many of the dishes are meant for sharing so the prices are not that intimidating. I'd say you're looking at around Dh400-800 for a meal with friends. They've got pizzas, nachos and wings. The portion sizes are quite massive, and you're still going to get the most out of your money. But save a bit to try out the bowling alley!