Time Out Dubai is the definitive voice on Dubai's best restaurants, including Japanese restaurants. Here's a guide to where to get the best sushi.
Sushi lovers, noodle slurpers and miso soup sippers unite, there’s plenty of Japanese food to go around in this city. So it’s a good thing Time Out has visited each and every restaurant to put them through their paces, assessing factors including quality of food, ambience and service. Popular or relatively unknown, we’ve gone undercover to find out what you’re getting for your money at each venue.
A multiple award-winner and established force in Dubai, Zuma hardly needs introduction. Located in the city's financial district, it's a classy, contemporary and enormously popular hangout for the UAE's most affluent residents and visitors. While its much-loved brunch may have been off the cards since summer 2014, Zuma is still pulling in a regular lunchtime crowd, but it's in the evenings (weekend and indeed midweek) where this place really comes into its own as the bustling heart of the neighbourhood. Each and every dish on the menu is consistently impeccable, from starters such as beef tataki and prawn and black cod gyoza to mains including yuzu pepper jumbo tiger prawns and spicy tenderloin, right through to green tea desserts, everything that comes out of the kitchen is so faultless it's almost fantasy. But have your date pinch you '“ because this is the real deal.
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.
Named after its famous founder and head chef, Nobu may have been open for a couple of years now in Dubai, but even with this city's typically fickle crowd, it still feels like the place to be on any given Thursday night. Packed to the rafters with a moneyed crowd, the restaurant ditches austere Japanese minimalism in favour of cosy sofa-style seating and large, almost rustic wood tables, while the kitchen fires out chef Nobu's best-known and loved dishes, from miso black cod to a yellow tail sashimi and jalapenos, through to soft shell crab tempura, served atop squares of sweet watermelon and dressed with a tangy amazuponzu sauce. If you're a fan of Japanese and fusion cuisine, a meal at Nobu's has to be done at least once.