What’s it like: Even with numerous Japanese restaurants dotted around, whether it’s high-end, casual, or hole-in-the wall eateries, most people don’t tend to think beyond sushi or ramen – but look further and you will explore a whole different side to spices, textures and aromas in dishes. This contemporary Japanese and Asian restaurant at the newly refurbished Deira hotel is a spacious, no-frills venue with dark marble floors, wooden tables and chairs, with the main attraction being the live cooking stations and open kitchen. On the night we visited, there was a buffet on offer, but my partner and I chose the à la carte option and began with a flavourful marinated slow poached salmon mixed with peppered mango salsa, bean sprouts and pomegranate seeds. The crunchiness of the sprouts and bursts of sweetness from the fruits complemented each soft bite of salmon. We also had the tender confit duck leg daikon roll, beautifully presented with shiso cress and a sweet fruit-based sauce. I ordered the saucy and succulent 48-hour slow cooked short rib – which needed no effort tearing apart – on a bed of parsnip purée, crisp fried onions and water spinach, for mains. My dining partner chose the grilled prawns with wasabi mayonnaise and flying fish roe – we wished there was more mayonnaise added in though as we clearly like our condiments! Both dishes were eaten with a tasty side of mixed stir fry noodles (Bakmeegoreng). A lemongrass panna cotta with kumquat salsa was our dessert of choice, and it immediately refreshed our palates with the aroma and slightly citrus-y flavours. Overall, the service was great, even though the restaurant was packed, and the food was better than we expected – making it a great new casual dining destination in Dubai.
If you want to go: Approximately Dhs350 for two without drinks. Call 04-2071750.
Best for: A family dinner