Top Ten Japanese Restaurants in Dubai
Japanese food is quite popular with expats living in Dubai. It is a perfect blend of balance and taste. Their cooking is based on the principle of five. This is attained by using the following:
- Foods comprising of five colors, namely black, white, yellow green and red
- The five cooking techniques like using raw food, grilling, steaming, boiling and frying
- The five flavors, sweet, salty, spicy, sour and bitter
The above mentioned help make the food truly delicious and aesthetically appealing as well. It’s no wonder that so many people prefer Japanese cuisine over any other type of cooking.
Interesting facts about Japanese Cuisine
- Becoming a sushi chef is attained after years of practice and experience. Sushi is considered an art and it takes many years to perfect this technique.
- The best restaurants are found in Tokyo.
- When you have finished eating its good manners to rearrange the table and clear away the mess.
- They make use of the simplest ingredients like rice, fish and seaweed to come up with delicious cuisine.
- Sashimi is not always fish. It could be thinly sliced pieces of beef, chicken or even horse meat.
- Avoid dipping the sushi rice in soy sauce. This would over power the dish and you could disappoint your chef
- Miso soup is supposed to be drunk straight out of the bowl. Bits and pieces of vegetables and tofu should be eaten using chopsticks
- You can eat rice multiple times with all meals.
The following are few of the best known Japanese dishes to try out in Dubai.
If you visit a Japanese restaurant ordering sushi is a must. It’s a traditional dish which has an interesting historical origin. It was originally a technique through which fish meat could be preserved in fermented rice. These days it’s a popular dish which is prepared with rice, vinegar and fresh fish. There is a whole lot of variety when it comes to sushi. People order different kind based on what they prefer.
Think melt in the mouth, bite sized pieces of tender chicken grilled to perfection. It just doesn’t comprise of boneless chicken but also organ meat like heart and liver. The basic idea is to make use of the whole chicken and avoid any kind of waste. Least waste is one of the principles of Japanese cooking and they make sure they adhere to it when preparing their food.
Tempura comprises of succulent pieces of sea food dipped in batter and deep fried to crispiness. This dish is prepared using a whole lot of attention. The temperature of everything, from the batter (extremely cold) to the oil (piping hot) is kept in mind. Tempura can be dipped in sauce or seasoned salt, all based on what people prefer.
Delectable Tsukemono pickles
Pickles in Japan date back to the prehistoric time. These are prepared using a whole variety of ingredients which comprise of several vegetables like radishes and egg plants. The colorful pickled vegetables give it an interesting aesthetic appeal which makes it palatable as well. These are quite healthy because the freshness of the vegetables is preserved with the help of vinegar and other ingredients.
These are noodles which are made from dense wheat flour. These are quite versatile and a budget friendly option. You have the option of having these served either hot or old. It all comes down to your personal preferences. It can also be customized using different flavors.
If you are a connoisseur of fine dining then Kaiseki is something which you should definitely indulge your taste buds. It is made up of a variety of small, tastefully prepared dishes which are crafted skillfully and a whole lot of precision. It dates back to the time of the popular Japanese tea houses, where small amounts of food was served with bitter sweet green tea which later on evolved into a cuisine with its own class and patrons.
Another noodles dish which has been popular in Japan for ages. It is made from buck wheat flour which makes it a very healthy option. If you are keen on healthy food which is delicious at the same time, make sure you try out the tasty soba dish. It can be served either hot or cold with different sauces for added taste. The noodles are first boiled in hot water and later dunked into cold soup.
Sashimi refers to anything which is eaten thinly sliced and raw. Like its fish counterpart sushi, the meat is seasoned using a different number of flavors but it not actually served with rice. You have the option of choosing from beef, chicken or even horsemeat. However beef and chicken are more popular options. This dish comprises of a whole lot of soya sauce to give it a tangy flavor which burst upon the tongue on first bite.
While it may seem like one of the simplest forms of Japanese cooking there is a great deal which goes into cooking miso soup. It is not served alone but usually accompanies other forms of Japanese cooking. It is prepared using fish stock and a mixture of miso beans grinded into paste. Different ingredients like tofu, clam meat or fish are added to give it an umami flavor.
What may seem like plain balls of rice is actually a savory which is filled with delicious seasoning and wrapped inside the nori sea weed. However this is one food item which can be categorized as Japanese street food. It’s delicious yet easy on the pocket too.
The Japanese hot pot
A one pot dish which is cooked in an iron pan. It is enjoyed throughout the year. It is made from beef, green chilies, noodles and tofu. You can have it sprinkled with a healthy dose of mushrooms. All the ingredients are boiled in the pot. Once cooked the soup is served piping hot.
Japanese food can beaten using chop sticks but if you prefer using your hands, you can do so by all means. Don’t let the fear of not being able to use chopsticks deter you from trying out the flavorful Japanese cuisine.
Now that you know what things you should be ordering on your next visit to a Japanese restaurant, let’s take a look at some of the most popular Japanese restaurants in Dubai.
Looking for authentic Japanese cuisine? Look no further, you are going to find everything you are looking for at Kiku. All the food you get is made from ingredients imported from Japan, so you don’t have to miss the familiar taste of Japanese cuisine. Their award winning team of chefs make sure that you sample their signature dishes. Their head chef has an experience of more than 35 years. If you are looking for a high end restaurant which serves the best Japanese food, Kiku is your go to place.
Le Meridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre,
Airport road, Dubai
+971 4 702 2455
Looking for contemporary Japanese Cuisine in a sophisticated setting? Get a breath taking view of the iconic Dubai Fountain and you feast on the scrumptious offerings by the chefs at Hashi. The menu comprises of the freshest morsels of meat especially flown in on a daily basis. Indulge in the artfully decorated Sushi or Sashimi. You can choose to dine in the alfresco splendor or enjoy the fresh air on the terrace.
Armani Hotel Dubai
+971 4 888 3666
The Zuma is a chic Japanese restaurant with an innovative granite and steel décor. Its wheelchair friendly, a major plus. Also you have the option of late night dining which is not available in many Japanese restaurant. Also if you are a vegetarian you would be delighted with their offerings. The whole place has a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. Just make sure you book a table in advance to avoid disappointment because it can get pretty busy during peak lunch or dining hours. If you are new to Japanese food, make sure to ask your server for their suggestions. They are also very accommodating when it comes to allergies and all. They make sure they avoid using food which you shouldn’t be eating.
Gate Village 6, Podium level
Al Mustaqbal St Dubai
+971 4 4255660
This restaurant has a loyal fan base. Previously it had closed down in the Dubai mall but has reopened again with a fresh and innovative interior. It can be quite busy so make you reservation beforehand. If you walk in you would be surprised to see more than 90% of the tables are occupied. It is well suited for the American palate but it’s just as popular with the local Emirati crowd too. Make sure you go for their fresh sea weed salad and mushroom hop. Food is delicious. What’s more they even have an alcohol license now so you can enjoy some fine wining and dining at your leisure.
Katsuya Jumeirah Al Naseem Hotel
+971 4 419 0069
Miyako, Hyatt Regency Dubai
Looking for a fresh ambiance which serves authentic Japanese food, look no further. At Miyako you find all this and a great deal more. You can experience their food which is divided into three kinds of dining experiences. You can choose from the Teppanyaki room, the main dining area were sushi is offered to sushi lovers and the Tatami room. In the latter you can find a selection of sake and shochu. You can also avail about 50% off on certain beverages during social hours. They have the best tasting soups and hot pot for you to choose from. Looking for healthy options, make sure they check out their menu filed with tofu specialties.
Al khaleej road- Dubai
Located at the Hyatt Regency
+971 4 209 6912
Tomo is translated from Japanese and literally means a long-time friend. If you are looking for a fun and adventurous place to enjoy with friends, look no further. The great ambiance and the delicious food is enough to keep you and your loved ones entertained. Plus the atmosphere is such that you would definitely come back for more. Their Japanese chefs have had years of experience refining their cooking skills. They offer mouthwatering food, one which would make up for an unforgettable culinary experience.
Exit 56-Dubai- UAE
At Hotel Raffles Dubai
+971 4 357 7888
Sakura Japanese Restaurant
If you are a fan of authentic Japanese cuisine, Sakura is a wonderful place to be. They have separate tables for teppanyaki lovers, a sushi bar and two private rooms offering Tatami. The atmosphere is cozy and casual. If you are in the mood for delicious food minus all the pretense then make sure you walk in to Sakura. Their servers are attentive and the food is great. What more could you ask for?
Crown Plaza Hotel, Dubai
Sheikh Zayed Rd, 4th floor
+971 4 331 1111
Fujiya Japanese Restaurant
Looking for simple yet savory Japanese food, you would have a great time at Fujiya restaurant. There is a feel of izakaya style of dining which appeals to a great many people. There are traditional as well a modern dishes to choose from, which makes it a firm favorite with just about everyone. There is something for one and all. You can enjoy your food with traditional beverages like sake, yuzu and shiso.
Airport Rd, Casablanca St, Al Garhoud
+971 4 702 8846
Motomachi Japanese Restaurant
The Motomachi aims to bring the authentic taste of Japan to Dubai. They have an outdoor as well as an indoor sitting area. If you want to experience the quaint charm of Japan, make sure you pay a visit at least once. Their friendly staff would make you feel at ease immediately. The mouthwatering food is another story. Looking for comfort and warmth? This is your go to place.
Dubai Festival City Mall, Bay area
+971 4 288 1881
The above mentioned are the most popular Japanese restaurants in Dubai. However before you visit one, do keep the following things in mind. Doing so would help make the experience more pleasant and fun filled:
Tip for dining at a Japanese restaurant
There are certain important aspects you need to keep in mind before you visit a Japanese restaurant. While it’s not actually an absolute necessity at restaurants which offer a casual dining experience but if you are visiting one of the high end restaurants, these etiquettes are going to come in pretty handy.
Respect your food
The Japanese cuisine is closely associated with nature and it’s important for them to respect their food. They expect the same from their guests as well. Before the meal begins they offer thanks for the food. They do so by saying itadakimasu. Make sure to compliment the delicious food if you loved its taste, your chef is going to be quite happy about it.
Despite the fact that the Japanese are the most well-mannered and polite people you would come across, slurping down the noodles is not frowned upon at all. In fact the chefs consider it as a compliment. At Japanese restaurants you would be surprised to hear lots of slurping sounds.
It’s not considered good manners to pour your own drink. Rather you may have to wait for someone to refill your glass. If you actually want someone to pour you a drink you would have to do the same for someone else. Until someone notices it’s a good idea to keep your drinking in check.
The wet towel
It’s common for people to receive a wet towel or an Oshibori when they dine at a Japanese restaurant. In winters it is pleasantly warm while in summers it’s surprisingly cool. You can use the cloth to clean your fingers and your mouth. However, refrain from wiping your face with the towel.
The right etiquette for using chopsticks
If it’s possible do learn to use the chopsticks properly. While it’s certainly not disapproved of if you don’t use chopsticks but there are certain etiquettes you got to keep in mind when you use chop sticks:
- Make sure that the chopsticks are not placed upright in the rice bowl. It is associated with death and certainly something which would make your server pretty uncomfortable.
- When not in use during the meal, place the chop sticks neatly alongside each other. Do not keep the crossed.
- Also do not use your chopsticks for playing around with friends. While you may feel it’s just simple fun but it’s considered a bad manners. Refrain from using the chopsticks for pointing out something or someone. They are only to be used while eating and not for any other purpose.
- Wen picking food from communal dishes its best to use the unused part of the chopsticks to lift the food.
Keeping the above mentioned tips in mind would help make your dining experience at a Japanese restaurant quite interesting.