Get sushi, sashimi or the famous black cod …
Dubai’s Japanese kitchen scene is thriving. From take-away sushi spots to glamorous high-end restaurants, there are plenty of places to find your solution whether you’re looking for the budget or the bang.
For a glamorous dinner visit Aka. The restaurant, with its huge blooms made from deep fuchsia flower arrangements, is ultra-instagrammable. You’ll find theater sushi performances and delicious starters here, but we recommend saving space for the exquisitely prepared Wagyu tenderloin (Dhs350) served on a smoking charcoal platter with asparagus, plus two delicious dips in teriyaki and spicy beef. Find out what What’s going on thought of Aka here.
Aka, The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. daily. Tel: (0) 4 578 0555. @aka_dubai
This quirky restaurant and bar will make you feel like you’ve stepped straight into a Tokyo side street. With neon lights and a cool design, you can try lots of delicious street food such as wasabi prawns or Akira rock shrimp. They also offer Tokyo style Neapolitan pizza and it is one of the best pizzas we have eaten in Dubai.
Akiba Dori, Building 8, Dubai Design District, Sat to Wed 12 p.m. to midnight, Thu 12 p.m. to 1 a.m., Fri 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tel: (04) 7707949. akibadori.com
Named after the renowned Michelin star chef Akira Back, this sophisticated new restaurant lives in the equally sophisticated W the Palm. The professional snowboarder turned professional chef has created a menu that combines Asian flavors with Korean and American influences and tells Back’s personal adventure story.
Akira Back, W Dubai The Palm, West Crescent Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, 7:00 p.m. to 11:30 a.m. daily. Tel: (04) 245 5555. marriott.com
Benihana was one of the first teppanyaki experiences in town and hosted one of the first and most entertaining – theatrical teppanyaki nights in Dubai. Even today, you can still expect the chefs to put on a show as you eat, preparing your selection of seafood, tender meat, and fresh vegetables right in front of your eyes. The legendary restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating, although every time we would choose a seat in the teppanyaki.
Benihana, Amwaj Rotana, The Walk JBR, Sun, Tue, Wed, Thu 6pm to midnight, Fri & Sat 12pm to midnight, closed on Mondays. Tel: (04) 428 3089. rotana.com
One of the longest-serving Japanese restaurants in Dubai, Bentoya is known for its brilliant sushi in a no-frills setting. Here you will find authentic Japanese dishes and a selection of unique grilled dishes including yellowtail, scallops and mackerel.
Bentoya, Sheikh Zayed Rd, 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily. facebook.com/bentoyasheikhzayed
Foodies familiar with the DIFC scene will know about the new restaurant on the ninth floor called Clap Dubai. In case you missed it, the Japanese restaurant, originally from Beirut, is the latest on everyone’s lips for open air nightlife. As the highest point in DIFC, the windowless room looks out over the glitzy downtown Dubai, but if you prefer a seat further inside, the view is just as delightful. Find out what What’s going on thought of Clap DIFC here.
Clap Dubai, Gate Village 11, DIFC, 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily. Tel: (0) 4 569 3820. claprestaurant.com
This old school izakaya at the Millennium Aiport Hotel is something of a hidden gem. Founded by a former sumo wrestler, it serves classic izakaya bites that go perfectly with a beer. Think of: yakitori skewers, chicken wings, and fried karaage chicken.
Fujiya, Millennium Airport Hotel, daily 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. @ fujiya_dubai /
When the decor, menu, and design are in tune with the song, great restaurants have the ability to transport you. And so it is with Hanami, a seductive Japanese restaurant on Palm Jumeirah that takes you to the back streets of Tokyo. It is located on the 15th floor of Andaz Dubai The Palm with breathtaking views.
Hanami, 15th floor, Andaz Dubai The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Mon to Sat 5pm to 11pm, Fri 12.30pm to 11pm. instagram.com/hanamidxb/
Hoseki is a 9-seater (yes, really) restaurant on the fourth floor of the Bulgari Hotel that sets it apart from its competitors in a unique way. There’s no menu either – in two hours you’ll have the dishes chef Masahiro Sugiyama has selected for you Omakase Experience (which means “I leave it to you”). There are no walk-ins, so you’ll need to book in advance to secure your seat. It’s on the more expensive end of the spectrum, with either a Dhs900 menu or a Dhs1.400 menu to choose from.
Hōseki, Bulgari Resort Dubai, Jumeira Bay, Dubai, Lunch: Wednesday to Saturday 1pm, Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday 6pm and 8.30pm. Tel: (04) 777 5307. bulgarihotels.com
Hibachi is in a really cool, kitchen-like setting with large tables and an island style teppanyaki with twelve spots around it so you can be close to the action when your dishes are being prepared right in front of your eyes.
Hibachi, Roda Al Bustan Hotel, Dubai, Monday to Friday 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Tel: (04) 282 0000. facebook.com/HibachiDubai
The staff’s chorus of “irasshaimase” when you step into Izakaya will ring the bells for anyone who has visited Tokyo: the cool, casual atmosphere makes this place good for girls’ nights out or relaxed dinner dates, but the quirky details mean that it is also fun for families.
Izakaya, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Dubai, 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 p.m. Mon to Sat, closed on Sundays. Tel: (04) 414 3000. jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com
Ikigai, located in Millennium Place Dubai Marina, has just opened its doors and brings the flavors of Far East Asia to Dubai. The relaxed restaurant and bar concept aims to combine high-quality Japanese street food for lunch and dinner with an extensive cocktail menu for a relaxed after-work atmosphere. On the menu, guests can expect a varied selection from grilled tiger prawns with kombu butter to crispy tempura burgers. The mix-and-match sharing plates are ideally designed for partying and sharing.
Ikigai, Millennium Place Dubai Marina, noon to 1am daily. Tel: (0) 4 550 8114.ikigaidubai.ae
Foregoing an overly fancy experience, Kinoya welcomes you to a casual neighborhood restaurant that’s perfect for an after-work dinner. There is its own ramen counter, a chef’s table, two private dining rooms and a restaurant. The menu includes ramen bowls, chicken, meat, fish or vegetable yakitori, as well as izakaya snacks such as sushi, tempura, kobachi and sweet desserts.
Kinoya, The Onyx Tower 2, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, open daily from 12 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tel: (04) 548 6776. @ kinoya.ae
This famous Tokyo transplant is located in Oberoi, Business Bay. The Fudo Nippon campaign runs from January 18 to 31 in Kimura-Ya and presents special dishes such as the A5 Wagyu Shabushabu (a DIY stew with thinly sliced beef), the Fuji Sushi Set or the Premium Wagyu sirloin steak .
Kimura-Ya, The Oberoi Dubai, Business Bay, noon to midnight daily. Tel: (04) 444 1455. @kimurayadubai
With its luxurious location on the Dubai Opera, you can bet Kohantei is high on the upscale scale. The decor of the restaurant is simple but elegant and lets your palette be enchanted with the multi-course traditional Kaseiki menu.
Kohantei, Dubai Opera, Dubai, daily from 12 p.m. to 2.30 p.m., 6 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. Tel: (04) 243 4951. Facebook.com/kohanteidubai
The new Mimi Kakushi restaurant transports you to the Osaka of the 1920s, a glamorous homage to the avant-garde oriental era, with a sultry mix of large round leather cabins, a large mahogany-like bar with a cool jazz soundtrack in the background. Enjoy shared plates of typical dishes such as sashimi, sushi, tempura and gyoza. For the main course, try the wonderfully tender Kagoshima Wagyu Beef. Find out what What’s going on thought of Mimi Kakushi here.
Four Seasons Resort Restaurant Village. Daily 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tel: (0) 43794811. mimikakushi.ae
At Miyako at Hyatta Regency Dubai, culinary delights await you, prepared, prepared and served right in front of your eyes. It is divided into three different culinary experiences; a live teppanyaki room, an intimate titami room, and the main dining area which also has a sushi bar.
Miyako, Hyatt Regency Dubai, Al Khaleej Rd, Dubai, daily 12.30pm to 3pm, 6pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 209 6914. facebook.com/MiyakoDubai
This modern restaurant in Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai has the world’s most fiery grill in a restaurant with a huge warayaki grill right in the middle (because where else would you put it?) With flames that burn and shoot at 900 ° C two meters into the air. Try the Wagyu Short Rib for a standout dish.
Netsu, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, Tuesday to Saturday 6.30pm to 10pm Tel: (04) 7772232. mandarinoriental.com/dubai
Renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s celebrity hotspot, Nobu, is famous around the world for its finely prepared, elegant dishes that combine traditional Japanese cuisine with Peruvian ingredients. Nobu is known for its sushi and melt-in-the-mouth black cod.
Nobu, Atlantis the Palm, Dubai, Sat to Thu 6pm to 11pm, Fri 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 426 2626. atlantisthepalm.com/nobu
Sumo sushi & bento
Sumo Sushi & Bento is a family-friendly restaurant that has been in the UAE for 19 years and is the perfect stop if you get hungry while strolling the mall. It’s also great for takeout and you can find branches all over Dubai including JLT, Dubai Media City and Al Garhoud.
Sumo Sushi & Bento, Jumeirah Town Center, ground floor, Jumeirah Town Center Mall, Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 11 a.m. to midnight. sumosushibento.coI
TOMO, Raffles Dubai
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TOMO really needs no introduction as one of the most impressive and long-standing fine Japanese restaurants in town. From the roof terrace you have an incomparable view of the Dubai skyline day and night. Their menu celebrates the best of Japanese cuisine and even has a visit from HH Sheikh Hamdan.
TOMO, Raffles Hotel, WAFI, Dubai, Sat to Wed 12.30pm to 12pm, Thu & Fri 12pm to 12pm. (04) 357 7888. tomo.ae
More than a decade old and still arguably the most popular Japanese food spot in town, Zuma’s menu is as elegant and sophisticated as the decor. The two-level space fills up quickly for lunch and dinner and is also a popular spot for stylish drinks in the lounge. You should book several weeks in advance to get the best table.
Zuma, Al Sa’ada Street, Dubai, Sun to Wed 12 noon to midnight, Thu 12 noon to 1 a.m., Fri 12.30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tel: (04) 425 5660. zumarestaurant.com
Pictures: facebook / delivered