Restaurant awards japanese

Japanese 04 425 5660 DIFC

When dining at Zuma expectations are always high. This is a multiple award-winner, and is therefore always packed out. It’s also very expensive, but don’t let that put you off – save up and go. We mean it, if you dine at one Japanese restaurant in the city, let it be this one.

Book in advance, as it could take weeks before you get a table, it’s that popular. But happily, it ticks all the boxes once you’re in.
Winner of this category – as well as Best Brunch – for the second year in a row, the Japanese juggernaut that is Zuma shows no signs of slowing. It’s unfailingly popular and always busy.

Launched in Knightsbridge, London, in 2002, German-born chef Rainer Becker’s brand has gone from strength to strength, with branches from New York to Miami and Rome.

It’s not the prettiest of locations, set in DIFC with views over the main road, but you’ll hardly notice when your attention is fully focused on what’s on your plate.

Don’t miss the beef and green chilli robata skewers, they’re perfectly charred. The sweet potato with teriyaki and sesame is also a hit.

Main courses are sublime. The black cod is an obvious choice, although an excellent one, but we’d suggest the roasted Boston lobster, with shiso ponzu butter. It’s rich, tender, garlicky and moreish, with every bite a complete delight. And that’s what Zuma is, a complete culinary delight.

The bottom line
Award-winning Japanese. Book it, now.

04 357 7888 Oud Metha

This established Japanese restaurant at Raffles Dubai is still performing to top levels. Firstly, the views from its vantage point are amazing. With panoramic vistas stretching out from Oud Metha across to Downtown Dubai and the Burj Khalifa, dining here is a treat before you even try the food. It’s an excellent place for a special occasion, or to take visitors to.

In even better news? Dishes are superb, and good value to boot. Compared to some of the other be-hemoths in this category, which you’ll need to prepare your wallet for ahead of time, this one isn’t eye-wateringly pricey.

And it’s with all that in mind that we’re surprised that TOMO isn’t a much more celebrated venue.

We heartily recommend the sushi, which is clearly prepared by a real master, but to get an overview of the menu, try the set versions, which cover a range of prices and options.

Ingredients are imported from Japan weekly, meaning you know you’re getting the freshest produce, too.

The word TOMO is literally translated as longtime friend, and that’s exactly what you’d call this restau-rant. Unfailingly loyal, always welcoming and the perfect place to relax with your nearest and dearest.

The bottom line
Relaxed venue with authentic food.

Afghani 04 426 2626 Palm Jumeirah

Nobu needs no introduction. This globally renowned brand from Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa is consistently excellent the world over, especially here in Dubai, and you simply must visit. The restaurant at Atlantis the Palm is a hotspot for tourists and residents, and there’s a great bar for a pre-dinner drink, too.

Famous for its black cod, this is one menu item not to be missed. Nobu can be credited for the surge in popularity of the dish, after Hollywood star Robert De Niro tried it, loved it and told the world about it. And you’ll agree with De Niro. The buttery, flaky fish is a pure joy to eat. It’s rich, decadent and every bit as good as the hype.

The jalapeño yellowtail is also another stunner. The citrusy, delicate fish is tangy and light, and the chilli gives a warming kick. All the sushi is worthy of a try and for mains the grilled lobster is meaty and perfectly charred. Shrimp fan? Order up the prawn tempura, which are huge, juicy and not at all greasy – some of the best we’ve tried.

Dishes are also really healthy, as Nobu uses minimal sugar in his cooking, preferring to use the Chinese monk fruit – a zero calorie natural sweetener, so there’s no excuse not try them.

Nobu may be on the expensive end of the scale, but its popular for a reason and you shouldn’t miss it.

The bottom line
World-class Japanese dishes that are a must-try.

Japanese +971 4 4143000 Business Bay

Dark lighting, neon colours, pun-tastic signage and a wasabi server with bright green hair. It’s not your regular introduction to a restaurant, but it’s definitely fun.

Housed in the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, there are certainly restaurants within the hotel boasting better (or, frankly any) views, but despite the dark and cavernous feel to the room, Izakaya is bold and funky, and we love the nightclub-esque vibe to the place.

From the tables you can admire the knifework of the skilled sushi chefs in the live kitchen or sit at teppanyaki bar if you prefer.

And there’s a decent-sized menu on offer, with an interesting range of dishes. Dynamite rolls are (unusually) hot and crispy, while salmon avocado maki is smooth and cooling. Both are a hit.

We also love the tasty chicken yakatori, while a sizeable chunk of buttery black cod is rich, decadent and delicious. When it comes to Japanese fare, everything is excellent.

Service, though, is haphazard at best, and for a restaurant of this ilk, we’re expecting better – or at least not having to wait 15 minutes for a menu.

With a few tweaks in that area, this could be a top date-night option thanks to a fun vibe and some super sushi.

The bottom line
Cracking sushi and a wacky vibe.

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