When one thinks about sushi, usually we are transported to Japan. But for those who like to sample something a little different, meet Origami Dubai… The Emirati-owned restaurant offering up its own take on sushi tucked away inside Umm Suqeim…
The Huntr had the pleasure of passing by Origami Dubai for dinner. During our visit, we were told that there was a conscious effort to move away from the typical sushi restaurant vibes here, and instead to infuse the rich Emirati culture with Japanese cuisine and create something that’s really unique and tasty. And boy has it nailed it…
Upon entering the restaurant, you can immediately see the clever mix of cultures — contemporary minimalist interior design detailed with Arabic calligraphy, Islamic wall murals, and majlis-style floor seating. The general ambience of the restaurant was intimate and reminds you of someone’s home. There is also outdoor seating on offer, although we think it would be best enjoyed during the daylight hours – when the Arabian Sea and Burj Al Arab are visible.
The intimate mood that Origami had set was, at some point, disrupted by the growing loudness of the music and the buzz of the people coming in. From the Majlis, we sat down and watched – transfixed – by the chef creating magic in the open kitchen with his team. The staff were accommodating and attentive and while waiting for the food to arrive, we were served legit matcha tea.
Straight out of the kitchen, we were presented with Origami’s best-selling starter: The Kunafa Prawns (51 AED), which confirmed the effective infusion of Japanese and Emirati cuisines — the breading was crunchy, the taste was savoury, and there was a punchy sweetness lingering on the palette. Then came the Japanese Tuna Pizza (61 AED), which didn’t disappoint as the tortilla bread was not too crispy and the tuna was fresh. We are sad to say that we probably wouldn’t order the Wagyu in Potato Chips (43 AED) again – although perfectly fine, it didn’t blow us away. However, when it was time for the Crab Salad (51AED), our high expectations were met and then some – as the spicy mayo perfectly complimented the crab stick and was balanced by the shredded lettuce and sprinkled by tempura flakes — amazing, amazing. When they brought the board of sushi rolls to our table, our happy hearts and excited tongues couldn’t be contained. Featuring three Origami favourites — Volcano Roll (61 AED), Tempura Tiger Roll (59 AED), and Rainbow Roll (75 AED) — the explosion-free, simple, mountainous structured Volcano Roll stole the show with the glorious taste of its crab meat, cucumber, and avocado. And just as we thought we had sampled all of the finest dishes on Origami Dubai’s menu, we were presented with the U.S. Prime Tenderloin with chilli teriyaki (95 AED). Wow. The meat was tender and easy to eat but it was the teriyaki flavour that gave us life.
Naturally, there’s always room for dessert for The Huntr. Mochi (67 AED for 6) time! Origami Dubai’s mochi ice cream features a delicious soft outer layer and flavorful ice cream filling – our favourites were the mango and blueberry flavours.
Sure, infusion and a combination of cultures is nothing new in F&B industry – but what’s so good about Origami Dubai is that this is a successful infusion, with soul. You can see it on the walls, the furnishings, and most importantly: You can taste it in the food. And it has you addicted. With Origami Dubai, you no longer have to wonder what it might be like to visit a home built by an Emirati and a Japanese because you just need to visit and you will know.
Insider tip: Origami Dubai isn’t licensed (great for those who prefer to dodge places serving alcohol). It’s open Sat-Weds 12noon until 1pm and on Thur and Fri 12-12midnight. View the menu here.