The Shortlist

Kiku
Highly Commended Best Japanese
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Welcoming staff, cosy corners and an army of Japanese diners – first impressions earn Kiku major kudos. Get a table near the bustling kitchen and watch as chefs send out huge bowls of steaming, fragrant ramen, huge, crisp tempura and lean basted meats bursting with umami flavour. Lunch time is a noticeably busy period for the restaurant, which sits just across the road from Dubai’s incredibly busy airport. But back to that ramen, which, it must be noted, boast the absolute tastiest broths we’ve encounter anywhere in the emirate – it’s the sort of dish that will have you going back, and then again and again. A rich chorus of prawn, garlic and salty soy, but with more complexity than we’ve come across in any other restaurant. Also not to be missed is the tenderloin steak set – a riot of flavours – with tender meat served alongside crunchy beansprouts, and heavenly soft squares of tuna sashimi. But really, it’s all good, and not-at-all unreasonably priced. Go now.
Open daily 12.30pm-2.30pm, 6.30pm-11pm. Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Airport Road, Garhoud (04 217 0000).


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