Izakaya Dubai: Say “Kon’nichiwa” to your new fave Japanese restaurant in the heart of Business Bay

Kon’nichiwa Izakaya Dubai and 戻ってきます – because you are aces. Find out why with The Huntr’s special review here…

A new addition to the tallest hotel in the world’s dining scene, Izakaya Dubai has made it to the top of our favourite Japanese restaurants in the UAE. Open from 6 pm daily, this stunning gem serves up delicious food, in a super cool, romantic (#dimmedlightsvibes) setting.

Fun quotes like “Lets Sushilize” and “You are maki-ng me hungry” pepper the entrance to this impressive new restaurant. The interiors are super chic and very snappable: think colourful lights, Japanese umbrellas and big, gorgeous paintings of glamorous Geishas. What we love about this space especially is that there are a few different dining experiences on offer – for a special occasion you can book one of the two, pretty private dining rooms and sit on the floor Japanese style, or pull up a pew at the sushi and grill bars. There’s also a lively teppanyaki experience available. The bar area is very inviting, and the speakers trickle out the sounds of soothing, upbeat lounge music.

The resident ‘Wasabi Girl’ and ‘Sake Man’ are another fun aspect to the dining experience – Wasabi Girl prepares fresh wasabi at your table, will happily recommend the best dishes from the menu and if you’re lucky even reads your fortune as you eat. Sake Man is there to teach you all about Japanese rice wine and will provide you will Sake samples to try. It makes for a fun theatrical experience and also – if you’re foodies like us – it’s also super interesting because this passionate duo is really knowledgeable about the fascinating world of Japanese cuisine.

The food here easily competes with some of Dubai’s award-winning Japanese concepts. To start, we were offered a complimentary sharing bowl of spicy edamame beans and traditional Japanese Sake. After perusing the menu, we opted for the ‘Crispy Salmon Skin Salad’ (50 AED) (quinoa, mizuna lettuce and ponzu dressing), and the ‘King Crab Tacos’ (50 AED) – both were a delight. For maki rolls, we ordered the mouthwatering crowd favourite ‘Dynamite Roll’ (55 AED), and the ‘Izakaya Explosion’ (60 AED) (prawn tempura, maki, Sriracha sauce and garlic chips). We also couldn’t resist ordering one of our favourite Japanese dishes – ‘Houbi Yaki Black Cod’ (155 AED) (grilled miso marinated black cod, “den miso” sauce, yamamomo, hajikami) and we weren’t disappointed: It was melt-in-your-mouth perfection. The sashimi is also fantastic here and beautifully presented in a mini aquarium bowl. To end an incredibly satisfying meal on a sweet note, we shared the Chocolate and Matcha Lava Cake (45 AED), which is served with a mixed forest fruit compote, almond milk ice cream and sesame crunch – we definitely recommend you do the same. A delicious end to an absolutely fantastic meal.

We’ll be back Wasabi Girl and Sake Man – save us a seat at the sushi counter onegaishimasu.

Insider tip: For a special occasion, book one of the private dining rooms and dine whilst sitting cross-legged on the floor for a truly authentic experience. 

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