Experience: New Wave Kitchen Makes a Splash

Ocean State bounties get an Asian-inspired twist at Wakefield’s newest eatery

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A friend and I visited New Wave Kitchen on an autumn afternoon, but inside you can trick yourself into believing it’s still summer on the coast. The spacious ocean-inspired interior offers hints of surf life, like a tiny blue ukulele near the counter and a surfboard propped up by the windows. In the back, we caught a glimpse of the chef hard at work in the kitchen, likely preparing one of the creative seafood or ramen dishes the name has become synonymous with. 

Laying down roots in the Kingston Emporium, New Wave Kitchen recently upgraded to a new location on Wakefield’s central Main Street. Owner and chef Matt Reagan’s goal is to serve organic ingredients, meats, and fish sourced from our seas and pastures and prepared with Asian-inspired styles and flavors. The menu changes with the seasons to chase what’s fresh. Though there’s only non-alcoholic beverages available, guests are welcome to BYOB.

Catching one of the last few warm and sunny days of fall, we chose to eat outside to soak up the rays while people-watching on the bustling street. Once we had studied the menu and perused the specials board inside, we went to the counter to order an array of tantalizing seafood eats.

Part of what makes the New Wave experience so fun is the wide selection of scratch-made sauces. For instance, they use Thai chilis from Brandon Family Farm in West Kingston to create an unrivaled chili oil that also includes garlic and herbs. Cedar Valley Farm in Exeter supplies the eggs they use for their mayo. No matter the sauce you choose, it will deliver a delightful kick to the kitchen’s already expertly seasoned dishes.

We started with the Lobster Bun. Smaller than the classic Lobster Roll, this adorable treat is packed with as much flavor as its larger counterpart. Mayo seasoned with herbs, yuzu, and black pepper is slathered onto lobster meat and fluffy white bun. We also tried the equally dainty and flavorful Tuna Bun. Whereas the lobster version was satisfyingly savory, this dish was sweetened with eel sauce and garnished with seaweed. It’s difficult to choose a winner.

Next up was a round of Tuna Nachos, which were absolutely scrumptious. Crispy organic blue tortilla chips are topped with soft, fresh tuna and scallions, then drizzled with eel sauce and spicy mayo. It’s hard to stop snacking on this addicting appetizer – I gleefully finished the plate before our entrees arrived.

The Shoyu Salmon features a perfect harmony of spicy heat from the chili oil, coolness from the cucumber sauce, and the melt-in-your-mouth buttery goodness of salmon. It’s served over brown rice with avocado, spinach, micro-greens, and sesame seeds pulling the whole thing together.

Though a recent addition on the block, New Wave Kitchen is already a treasure on Main Street building a solid rep of showcasing the best of farm and sea that the Ocean State has to offer – and with a wonderful twist. 

New Wave Kitchen359 Main Street, Wakefield • 401-515-7628

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