Dinner review: Akira Back, W Dubai – The Palm


What’s it like?

Recently-opened on Palm Jumeirah, Akira Back is a welcome addition to the brand-new W Dubai – The Palm hotel. Led by celebrity chef Akira Back, who is known for his playful Japanese fare infused with Korean essence, chef Back trained under some of the world’s most celebrated Japanese chefs, including Nobu Matsuhisa and Masaharu Morimoto (both of which have Dubai-based restaurants – Nobu and Morimoto).

Located on the hotel’s fifth floor, Akira Back makes an impression from the get-go with its striking, brightly lit vortex entrance, which leads into the bar & lounge area – a great spot for pre- or post-dinner drinks, much like the sweeping outdoor terrace that offers glittering city skyline views.

The venue boasts a very dramatic feel with dark, metal interiors, upbeat music that’s played at just the right volume, abstract lighting and modern, plush seating – all of which is topped off by gorgeous views over the Palm through floor-to-ceiling windows. Images of clouds are also projected on to steel plates on the ceiling to create an illusion of sky-high dining.

The open-plan dining room is neighboured by a counter-top robata grill area, see-in kitchen and sushi bar.

What are the food highlights?

The menu at Akira Back is plentiful and best tackled sharing-style. To begin, the famed Akira Back raw tuna pizza lives up to the hype and packs a tasty punch. The tender grilled octopus with chipotle miso and salsa verde is also a winning option with a bit of a spicy kick.

There’s wide-ranging maki, sushi and sashimi on offer to order individually, but we’d recommend opting for one of the combo platters if you’re visiting as a group – or if you’re hungry!

From the robata grill, we shared two pieces of beautifully prepared lamb chops, marinated in smoked jalapeno, plus charred baby corn with black garlic butter and a heavy sprinkling of smoked Parmesan, which were cooked with a nice crunch left to them and oozing buttery flavours.

We shared two dishes for mains, which weren’t overly big in size, so you may need an extra dish or a side if you’re feeling peckish by this point. The wagyu rib cap don was bursting with flavour from the truffle jus, topped with foie gras and the rice was cooked just right –definitely a hearty dish offering strong, well-rounded flavours. For a lighter option, the Josper grilled salmon was moist and served with perfectly crisp skin, accompanied by garlic spinach and nori rice cracker for texture.

For dessert, if you’re a chocolate lover the chocolate in a cup is a must – it’s an incredibly comforting option offering no-frills, but heaps of deliciousness created with melted Nutella chocolate, banana foam and vanilla bean ice cream.

How was the service?

The team at Akira Back is attentive and well versed on the menu. During our visit, they were always on hand to ensure our table was catered to.

The bottom line:

Akira Back is an up-beat spot serving skillfully prepared, fresh and delicious food. Ideal for visiting for dinner and drinks with as small group of friends. Friday brunch is also new to its culinary line-up. Taking place every Friday from 12.30pm to 4pm, the Akira Back brunch will allow visitors to enjoy dishes like hirame carpaccio, grilled octopus and tuna tataki, or sample a myriad of sushi options, all of which are unlimited. There’s also a selection of mains to choose from including the likes of wagyu don, black cod and jidori chicken.

Packages start from Dhs445 for a non-alcoholic package, while kids between 6-12 years of age get 50% off and kids below 6 years dine for free.

Details: For more information or reservations, call +971 4 245 5555 or e-mail akirabackdubai@whotels.com. If you enjoyed this article, you may be interested in reading more of our restaurant reviews here.