Reif Japanese Kushiyaki
Time Out Says
That at Reif Japanese Kushiyaki, the new restaurant from chef Reif Othman is like none other you’ll find in Dubai. One sip of this rich, savoury, umami-packed broth and it’s a tough call whether to demolish it or bathe in it.
Othman started his culinary journey in Dubai with six years at Zuma, before moving on to be the launch chef at PLAY, followed by a brief stint at Flavio Briatore’s Billionaire Mansion.
It’s been a while coming, but he’s now finally in his own digs, albeit in the curious location of Dar Wasl Mall. It’s the sort of place where store staff seem to bear a sort of glazed expression, unexpectant of shoppers – possibly because day or night, they’re all queuing noisily out the door for Reif Japanese Kushiyaki.
It’s a tiny place with only a handful of tables and an impossibly small kitchen – which only heightens the impact of the food.
Diners are handed menu cards to place marks against the dishes they’d like to order, and it’s a towering exercise in self-restraint. But we’re lovers, not fighters – particularly when we’re in the ring with a list of dishes that looks this good.
Raw sea bass with a yuzu soy dressing ping-pongs around the palate and springy, homemade ramen noodles slap juices down our chin while we watch plate after plate of Othman’s Sanchoku wagyu sando (pictured bottom right) fly out of the kitchen. In the unending era of the gourmet sandwich, it’s the dish that’s making RJK Insta-famous. At Dhs145, this is a $40 sandwich – and the price is no doubt in that Stanbroke cattle provenance.
The steak is encased in a charcoal panko and topped with marinated sliced wagyu. It’s a great dish but, for our taste, the beef’s savouriness gets a touch overwhelmed an extremely sweet puddle of tonkatsu sauce.
But everything that touches the table here is an eye-widener. A head-nodder. A chopsticker-jabber. This, your pupil-dilated eye-balling of your dining companion says, is absolutely stonking cooking.
Reif Japanese Kushiyaki is the cat’s silky PJs. Go join the line now.
WHAT IS IT...
New restaurant from Dubai’s celebrated chef Reif Othman
To eat food that excites on every level
By Time Out Dubai staff | 20 Oct 2019
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