The Shortlist

TOMO, Raffles Dubai
Highly Commended for Best Japanese
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Winner of our Best Newcomer award in 2013, we still rate Tomo very highly. It’s Japanese – high-end traditional Japanese – through and through, despite being at the top of an Egyptian-style pyramid. All elements have been carefully considered, from the beautiful tableware and crockery complementing each individual dish, and the delicate shaved wood lampshades above the dark stone floor, to the simple piano music reminiscent of a nostalgic Hayao Miyazaki animation. It’s such a shame, then, that the service lets the side down, with staff overly fussy and intrusive. The menu is vast – you will need at least ten minutes to take it all in – and features all the classics as well as more unusual dishes for Dubai. Everything we’ve tried is delicious, authentic and delightfully presented, whisking diners east with every bite. We feel the need, though, to heap special praise on the more creative maki rolls, which are nothing short of divine. If Tomo could fine tune the service, and give its slanting windows a regular clean to really show off the splendid views, it would undoubtedly be a winner once more.
Open daily 12.30pm-2.45pm, 6.30pm-11pm. Raffles Dubai, Wafi, Oud Metha (04 357 7888).

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