Whaley's

4.3
550 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
This December Whaley’s will undergo a seasonal transformation and become Fuyu for the winter months, offering Chef Daniel Perron’s take on shabu shabu.

Shabu Shabu is literally a centerpiece of Japanese cuisine. Each table will feature a hot-pot of simmering broth – house-crafted dashi or red miso – so diners can create their own meal family-style. Given Whaley’s focus on pristine seafood, the Fuyu menu will showcase both fish and shellfish, along with premium meats.

All can be ordered as bundles or a la carte, and will be accompanied by seasonal vegetables and traditional Japanese condiments. Diners will be presented with house made udon noodles to eat with the seasoned broth at the conclusion of the meal.

Along with Whaley’s oysters-on-the-half-shell and seafood towers, the menu will include shareable binchotan charcoal grilled, tempura plates and other dishes including fluke Crudo, Sunchoke Okonomiyaki, and Monkfish Katsu Sando
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What 550 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Quiet
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DO
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best seafood tower in town, bar none.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic service and food. Thank you!

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SF
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a going away party at Whaley's. Whaley's accommodated our party of 8, and everyone had a blast. Brandon, our server, was the best. He made the experience enjoyable. The food was delicious and everyone enjoyed their course. It was a memorable dinner, and will definitely recommend and return.

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LJ
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great job Whaley's! You guys have really gotten good at delivering a good experience, tasty cocktails, and yummy food! Thanks!

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A
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The restaurant has a nice, clean ambience and it's close to the water which was nice. Our server, Alain was incredible! So knowledgeable, friendly and attentive! The food was very good, but a bit pricey.

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AH
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Whaley’s wonderful. Everything about it is wonderful from the ambience, the service, the
Food, the noise level (you can have a conversation without shouting). If I lived closer I
Would go there every day!!!

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LK
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Whaley's is hands down the freshest, most expertly prepared fish and raw bar in DC. The cocktails are inventive, the seafood towers are on point, and the servers are passionate about what they're bringing to the table. Don't miss: the seafood tower, the whole fish (April through Sept), the seafood risotto, the spicy cocktail #3, Scallops, and for the kids we always get the Whaley's kids meal (Off menu - 6 cooked clams in an adorable Le Creuset pot - Eat the clams and play with shells - Super creative.) The only thing not exciting is the cheese tray. Delicious, but only one piece of cheese.

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JK
1 review
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Whaley’s is our absolute favorite restaurant in DC, and our choice for every special occasion. The management is absolutely wonderful, as is clear from how well the restaurant runs, and how warm and welcoming the staff and atmosphere consistently are. You will truly feel like a guest, not just a customer.

But the star of the show is the food. The menu changes seasonally, which keeps it interesting and fresh. The sashimi boxes (which they only have sometimes, during winter I believe) are absolutely perfect in every way. If the sashimi isn’t on the menu when you visit, though, don’t fear. The crudo plates are also divine.

For happy hour, the nasturtium tacos are delightful and a perfect low-guilt snack after work. Speaking of which, the bartenders are also masterful. The cocktail menu is short and rotating, and the cocktails complement the menu perfectly, including frequent savory, spicy and tart offerings that I promise you will not have experienced elsewhere. Their old-fashioned, though, is a go-to for me, with its own seasonal variations and house-made spiced syrups.

I must also also mention how much I love the interior. The theme is nautical but not kitschy, and the 360 degree Charley Harper mural is stunning.

Whaley’s is, in my opinion, one of the most under-sung little gems in DC, but we’re so glad we found it.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday celebration. Excellent experience!

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DC
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As a seafood lover, this was one of the finest dining experiences I have had in DC. The winter menu is Japanese, including unusual Japanese whiskeys and other spirits. We were given a lovely complementary passion fruit cocktail as well. We started off with a box of 6 different types of Japanese sashimi, from live scallop to fresh Japanese oysters topped with precious roe and micro-greens. The fresh oyster selection was amazing, but so were the lightly fried oysters Japanese style. We finished with the shabu shabu cooked at table-side, with a great choice of fish and meats to add to the red miso-based stock, filled with fresh vegetables. When that was done, the server added house-made al dente udon noodles, which soaked up the now-powerful broth. Even the Japanese gelatos were amazing. And our server couldn't have been more attentive to our finicky birthday group.

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CT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

It seems to be a cool concept with a small, expensive menu.

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OT
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to Whaleys to get in on the last of the Shabu Shabu menu. We were warmly greeted at the door, immediately shown to our table, and promptly served. The food, as per usual at Whaleys, was outstanding. The presentation was lovely and the quality of the food extremely high, not to mention that everything tasted great. We had tempuraed veggies for a first course, which were very light and delicious. Our Shabu Shabu was cooked in the red miso broth, we chose beef, pork and scallops. At the end we were served noodles to slurp up with the broth, which were cooked perfectly al dente. I love Whaleys regular menu, but have thoroughly enjoyed the Japanese variation, and hope it comes back again someday.

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CT
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Went to FUYU, the Winter Japanese pop up for the Hotpot. Very nice experience all around. Will return in the spring for the Whaley's experience as well.

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my second experience with Fuyu, this time joined by family from out of town for a birthday dinner. From start to finish we were made to feel welcome and tended to, with excellent service starting with the host and general manager, to the bartender, and especially from our main server (who was phenomenal). Any and all questions were addressed thoroughly, with each staff member demonstrating a deep knowledge of the menu, relaying all information in a very accessible way, with a clear passion.

My mom, who does not drink alcohol, was made a beautiful mocktail based on her flavor preferences, and I tried a newly introduced mezcal cocktail which was superb. As for the food, the sashimi box was sensational as always, and the beet salad was an instant favorite for the table (and visually gorgeous). The poached shrimp were also a standout, along with the house-made dipping sauces.

But again, the star of the evening was the shabu-shabu. Aside from me, it was everyone else’s first experience with this style of dining and they loved it. The scallops and shrimp were excellent, but the beef and pork stood out in terms of their exceptional quality and the flavor they imparted on the broth. Watching it simmer and reduce into this darker, richer, and more concentrated stock to enjoy with the perfectly cooked hand-cut udon noodles was a treat for the whole table, and showcases the thoughtfulness of the chef in their design of the experience, also adding to the interactive component of the meal.

The dinner ended with two desserts, one a perfectly balanced, light, and bright Japanese cotton cheesecake topped with citrus, the other a truly unique and beautiful chocolate tart with a house made cinnamon meringue (highly recommended). We could not have asked for a better celebratory meal or experience, with hospitality woven through every component. We are all looking forward to coming back for future celebrations!

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ES
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

The cocktails, oysters, and tempura were out of this world. The shabu shabu was under seasoned, under whelming, and over priced.

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DL
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was stellar, truly phenomenal, and our server Brandon G took great care in helping us understand the shabu shabu menu. His recommendations were spot-on. He truly contributed to making this an exceptional meal and made sure we were well taken care of. While the meal (with amazing cocktails) was pricey, we fully feel that we got exceptional food & service that was well worth the extra money we spent. This is where I will go for special occasions from now on!

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L
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

The shabu shabu was not particularly good—nothing remotely like what I’ve had at other restaurants or in Japan—and much too salty. The restaurant itself was pleasant but extremely cold. It was helpful that they had blankets to offer against the cold, but they might want to think about how to deal with the cold wind blowing in through the door.

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DW
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my favorite place at Navy Yard. The service is exceptional and the food is outstanding! I've never had a bad experience at Whaley's!

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LV
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We didn't realize until the day of that Whaley's is doing a Fuyu Japanese cuisine thing, so were a bit caught off guard by that. The food was excellent, especially the oysters. But would have liked some more veggies to be provided with each of the small plate courses. The servers were excellent in their attentiveness and their enthusiasm for the food, explaining what was on each plate. We loved having happy hour drinks at the bar with oysters, before being seated at our table.
Would I go back? Since we came all the way into DC's Yards neighborhood from Bethesda for a late Valentine's Day celebration, the answer is probably not any time soon. But that's more because it's a bit far and we are working our way through the 100 best restaurants and have so many other restaurants on that list that we want to try. Whaley's definitely deserves to be on that list.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

We came for the Valentines pre-fixed menu and left hungry. We had even ordered the small seafood tower as an appetizer (which was an additional $70 on top of the $95 per person) The sashimi was delicious but very small portions, the second courses were tasty but the shabu shabu left something to be desired. Perhaps we picked the wrong broth but the overall experience took quite a while and we thought the price for the amount of food was a bit extreme.We understand seafood is expensive, but paying nearly $400 and leaving hungry was a disappointment. The service was good, the waiter was very kind and when my fiancé developed a migraine we were able to box up the dessert for home. We love Whaleys but wouldn’t recommend a pre fixed course of any kind. Just go there for a seafood tower and the risotto and some cocktails.

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u
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We ate here at the pop-up, Fuyu. We had 2 very good small plates first which were very good - the abalone mushrooms and the veggie tempura. Three of us shared Ta large shabu-shabu, which was fun to eat.

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OT
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

My friend and I came here because we are shabu shabu fanatics and wanted to try a local one. We go every week oneu in fairfax va. Unfortunately, we were very disappointed by the portions and broth flavors. We chose the dashi broth and were not sure if it’s because of the vegetables that we added that caused it to have a strange bitter taste or if the broth was already like that. The sashimi was very good. But We won’t be back to have shabu shabu again that is for sure.

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K
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

We had the shabu shabu. Very bland, no flavor. Also overpriced. Service was pleasant but extremely slow.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

Not as big of a fan of the pop up menu as I am of the normal. Also on cold nights seating near the door gets very cold.

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CD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great! Hands down a really enjoyable dinner and the staff was super friendly. Only complaint was that it was freeeeeezing cold every time new diners showed up as

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e
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

everything about the winter menu was great except the portions. Food was delicious, presentation good
and the service was wonderful.
But the portions of food were very scant. Shrimps were cut lengthwise to give the impression of more.....scallops sliced thin for the same reason.
The razor clams were barely there, even if the scant amount was delicious.
For the price, the portions could have been a bit larger.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

Truly horrendous service. Among the worse I’ve ever experienced. We waited an hour and a half for our food, which was particularly odd since the restaurant wasn’t especially busy and most of us ordered the shabu shabu (raw meat and broth they bring to heat at the table), so you wouldn’t expect it to take long unless they didn’t have the broth ready! Not a single apology for the delay or offer of something in the meantime. And we had a small child with us who was clearly struggling with the long wait. And to top it off the waiter kept forgetting drink orders. For the first time in my life I was considering leaving only a 10% tip to let our displeasure be known but gratuity was included since we were a group of 7. It left us with the impression that our table was intentionally being neglected in favor of others (including one that came after us and finished a meal plus dessert before we even got our entrees!) because the tip from our table was assured. Truly shocked we didn’t get even an apology particularly once we started asking about the reason for the delay and how much longer it would be. Never again fuyu or Whaley’s for that matter and will let friends know of our horrible experience. So disappointed.

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l
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 2

The Fuyu concept is a nice idea poorly executed. The scallop dish had a sun-choke purées that overwhelmed the scallop and black truffle though we found later that the black truffle was flavorless anyway. The Chawanmushi was horrible, broken custard that smelled funny and tasted metallic. The Shabu Shabu was good but not for the $$.

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TC
Washington DC
39 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We went based on reviews of the pop-up Fuyu Japanese restaurant here, and are glad we did. We went specifically for the shabu shabu, getting the combo version with pork, tuna, and shrimp. The quality of the ingredients was excellent, and service was very attentive and accurate. We were just a little disappointed in the quantity of the proteins, even with three of us sharing an order for four people. The portion for the cheese was also very small for the price. But, the shabu shabu is highly recommended.

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R
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

While we enjoyed trying the restaurant, the food was not great, especially give the price.

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JA
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Second time to visit and nothing less than perfect.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 4

Nice setting but the shabu shabu was mediocre and extremely overpriced. We ordered for 4, received enough food for about 1, and left starving after spending $40 per person without drinks.

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OT
Columbus
3 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food at Fuyu was outstanding. Each dish was unique and interesting. The selection was varied so that you could find something to suit your taste preference. From cocktails to coffee I was very happy with each item I ordered.

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K
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

We came here for restaurant week but actually decided to go with the shabu shabu instead. We opted for the three variety pot and while the taste and the overall experience was good, the amount of meat that we got between 4 people was very little which was disappointing. The hand cut noodles that followed after the protein were good and were a lifesaver in filling us up. Would like to see a more generous serving of protein for the shabu shabu and also a more generous pour of wine per glass to justify the cost. The reasons why I'm giving only 3 starts for food is that -besides the amount of protein that left us unsatisfied- none of the oysters we had (a dozen with different salinity from MA, VA and West Coast) were remarkable, again this might have just been a bad batch but I would've expected top notch oysters. The service was, however, outstanding and the drinks/cocktails/sake were all pretty good. Would recommend this place for people who want to try out Shabu Shabu, but would likely not return myself.

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JS
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Overall the food was good, but nothing outstanding. We went for restaurant week and had to go to a pizza place after because we stayed hungry.

I would suggest to serve more food and make plates bigger. That would had gave them an extra star.

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MP
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

My daughters and I loved this restaurant. Unfamiliar with Japanese cuisine, our server advised us and explained the menu to us extremely thoroughly. He was wonderful: attentive, polite and most of all, cheerful. All dishes were delicious and the table prepared meal was outstanding. Being an ice cream addict, I had the gelato for dessert. Please don't forget to order that when you visit. It's worth coming in for that only! We appreciated others pitching in to make our stay comfortable; even the chef dropped by. The room's temperature was a bit cold due to the opening and closing of the sliding door which had a drop curtain to help keep out the cold air. It just didn't work well enough for us where we sat. But,we came for the meal and were not disappointed. Parking was not a problem (valet) was available for that area. The portions were small, but completely adequate. The only "doggy"bag we took home was for the Sake! Delicious and will do again.

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HA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 5

i like the drinks, service and ambiance here, however i don't appreciate the restaurant menu... We came with such a big expectations on there "sashimi" and"OKONOMIYAKI " dishes that list on the restaurant week dinner menu, however when we came here they took off several most valuable dishes on the menu lists..Since there is nothing left on the restaurant week menu that we wanted to have, we had to switch to the restaurant next door which was pretty good..
The service and drinks are awesome!

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience!! Brandon, our waiter, really made it special with good advice and just the right level of attentiveness. Food was excellent and so were the cocktails!

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j
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Seafood is very fresh and beautifully prepared. Their oysters are great and drinks are strong!

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a
Chicago
107 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I was a little dismayed and somewhat suspicious that our neighborhood favorite Whaley's underwent a "seasonal transformation" to become "Fuyu for the winter months". We needn't have worried! Our sustainable raw bar is enhanced by the Japanese influence. Oysters are still available and expertly shelled and presented, and the restaurant week menu anyway was fabulous. The drinks cart featured some Japanese artisenal gin and vodka, which the bartender used to craft delicious cocktails. My husband started with a sashimi box, and I ordered 1/2 dozen Riverkeepers. We then each had an order of the tempura oysters followed by a cheese plate (neither of us have much of a sweet tooth). At this time of year there is no question of outdoor dining or even appreciating the river view much, but it was nice to see our "neighborhood gem" try something different in the off-season.

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