TOMO

Raffles’ new Japanese venue provokes surprise and delight 12 Reviews

Meal Deal
Saturday Brunch

An unlimited buffet selection of Japanese delicacies and signature dishes from the restaurant’s menu. Dhs200 per person (including tea and dessert). Dhs70 (children under seven) Timings: 12.30pm-3pm (Saturday)

2012_tomo_3
© ITP Images
View slideshow
  • Picture 1 of 2

The second my dining companion and I arrived at TOMO, both of us were instantly impressed. After noticing the gentle twang of traditional music, the zen-like shrine at the entrance to the restaurant and the welcome of ‘irasshaimase!’, I was immediately struck by a feeling of being in Japan.

We were guided through the restaurant, a large, long space laid out in separate dining spaces, arranged in an arch around the kitchen in the centre. It felt vast and modern, yet elegant, with plenty of understated Japanese character – like the sort of Japanese restaurant in New York that’s worthy of a cinematic setting.

I was already impressed – then I opened the menu. In the taxi on the way to the restaurant, my date – who has never been convinced by sushi-mania – asked me repeatedly whether TOMO would serve only sushi. Luckily, the menu was comprehensive. Within it lay every note I could wish a Japanese venue to strike: single meal ‘don’ bowls, sushi and sashimi, yakitori, cold and hot noodles, tempura and so much more. The list included classics and popular favourites, as well as dishes that Japanese people love (and foreigners tend to hate) such as nato.

Incidentally, the restaurant was fairly busy that evening, and amid the westerners and locals were several tables of Japanese diners – a promising sign of authenticity.

Our food soon arrived: the miso soup was good, the wakame salad was decent, the tempura texture was slightly greasy and not quite crispy enough, and the shiokura (raw cuttlefish marinated in salty cuttlefish liver) was, as our waitress had predicted, a mistake. In my excitement I’d overestimated my love of fish, liver and oddities: once combined, I wouldn’t recommend it to the western palate.

Those were the so-so elements of the evening: now it’s time to get down to the business of pure delight. The shimesaba kikka (cured mackerel with vinegar and chrysanthemum flower) was an elegant little dish, with tender flesh and a pleasantly subtle sourness.

The flowers added a wonderful extra dimension to its flavour and texture. The hiyashi nasu agedashi (deep-fried eggplant with dashi) was exceptional. The bluish-purple colour had seeped through the entire flesh of the aubergine, giving it a delightful appearance, and served cold the sweetness of the aubergine and mouth-filling dashi seemed intensified.

The agedashi tofu was equally incredible. The inside of the tofu was creamy and sloppy, while the outer fried layer was broth-soaked, drippy and amazingly gooey. The fatty tuna nigiri and scallop sashimi were also both excellent.

At this stage my date told me he was beginning to rethink his take on sushi, and Japanese cooking in general. After I’d tasted the scallop sashimi, and exclaimed in excitement over the particular attention to detail in the presentation, my outbursts of ecstasy over the dishes provoked a few comments from my companion.

‘It seems as though you’re on the best date of your life – only not with me, with this restaurant,’ he pointed out. ‘But do you think TOMO will call you tomorrow?’

With TOMO’s help, I’d successfully converted someone to the cause of Japanese cooking. And there’s no shame in calling TOMO tomorrow – this restaurant and I will be seeing each other again, and regularly.

The bill (for two)
2x miso soup Dhs24
1x wakame salad Dhs35
1x shimesaba kikka Dhs40
1x shiokara Dhs35
1x hiyashi agedashi Dhs45
1x agedashi tofu Dhs40
1x sashimi Dhs80
2x fatty tuna nigiri Dhs80
2x sea urchin gunkan Dhs110
1x seafood tempura Dhs80
1x yaki soba Dhs55
2x large water Dhs56
1x coffee Dhs24
Total (including service) Dhs704

By Penelope Walsh
Time Out Dubai,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: Raffles Dubai, Oud Metha, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 357 7888
  • Travel: Sheikh Rashid Road
  • Website | Send mail

Is this your establishment? Want to update any details? Please send your updates here.

TOMO On The Map

User reviews

ValueAmbienceService
DecorFoodOverall

User reviews:

Posted by: Saif Mohd on 12 Jan ' 14 at 21:04
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Tomo is the best Japanese restaurant in Dubai ! I visit TOMO every week , it is the REAL Japanese food not commercial Japanese .. I just love TOMO

Posted by: Very disappointed Dubai Girl on 02 Jun ' 13 at 07:28
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

We got all excited to try this place out since it won best newcomer restaurant and it was hands down the worst japanese restaurant I have ever been to and I love japanese food. We were celebrating a birthday as well so our big group left very disappointed after having tried many disheson the menu....the so called cheesecake that was ordered as the birthday cake had the weirdest texture and no taste at all and looked like a loaf of bread. My brother summed up our experience with the remark that we should rename the restaurant to NO'MO

Posted by: rhocs on 22 Feb ' 13 at 18:49
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

tomo restaurant is the best restaurant in dubai.where i experience good service, nicely treat on guest and most of all good sushi and wagyu japanese beef it was so amazing and fantastic , this is the first time ive ever had in my life and experience in dubai........i will comeback again to your restaurant to experience the real authentic japanesse food ....see you there again and more power ...

Posted by: basil kuriakose on 08 Feb ' 13 at 15:53
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

the is the best japanese restaurant in dubai i wii come bacck again to this restaurent

Posted by: Dinesh Pagarani on 02 Feb ' 13 at 18:07
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Food was mediocre, very conventional japanese good lacking the modern day fusion jazz.

black cod tasted plasticy, piece of hair in my salad.

A couple of dishes were decent but not justifying some of the 5 star reviews given before me. Was expecting much better, the sushi place near my house has better food.

Posted by: Jhonson on 02 Feb ' 13 at 08:50
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

This is my fisrt time to eat here in dubai in tomo restaurant. I hope I come back again for my 2nd vacation.

Posted by: gel on 02 Feb ' 13 at 08:38
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Tomo restaurant is one of the best japanese restaurant in dubai and also the food has a good taste and the quality of the their food is really excellent.. The staff are friendly the manager really care about the guest needs and the ambience is really nice..everybody talk about this restaurant now a days....

Posted by: anelka on 28 Jan ' 13 at 08:15

outstanding experience

Posted by: Sunny on 26 Jan ' 13 at 17:59
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

This is the best Japanese restaurtant I've ever been outside of Japan.
Service, food, atmospher,,, everything is perfect. I also satisfied for price.
I highly recomend Mochi Ice Cream, which is thier home made. It was amazing.
I am very sure, that this is the only one proper Japanese restaurant in Dubai.

Posted by: Sarah K on 16 Jan ' 13 at 11:53
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

What a fantastic addition to the Dubai restaurant scene. The food was more traditional than other Japanese eateries here- and that is what distinguishes it. The menu was extensive (with lots of options for people who are not fans of sushi/sashimi and other Japanese fare) and the ambiance and layout of the restaurant was fantastic; enough space between tables to guarantee privacy and spectacular views across Dubai. Price-wise it was also very reasonable as Japanese food seems to give restaurants a carte-blanche to charge extortionate prices. Highly recommended!

Posted by: Local Dubai Girl on 05 Jan ' 13 at 20:39
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

One of the best Japanese restaurants I have ever been to; and by far the best Japanese restaurant in Dubai. The service is excellent and you can tell they take pride in every dish they prepare. The ambience of the restaurant is amazing where you feel you are in Japan.

Seeing Japanese eating there is a good sign that the restaurant is severing home-style Japanese food.

Posted by: Local Dubai Girl on 30 Dec ' 12 at 18:35

This place should be the best Japanese Restaurant in Dubai. Great authentic food, ambiance and service. The chefs can really give you some attention and take proper care of you. You can tell a good japanese restaurant when you actually see japanese chefs/waiters and many japanese people eating at the restaurant. It simply feel like you are in Japan. Really feels like you're in a restaurant in Tokyo.

Add your review/feedback

Your Rating (Min. 1 star, zero stars will be treated as unrated)
Yes No

Subscribe to Restaurants newsletter

Prove you're not a robot:

Submit

Search

Explore by

Our favourite features