Tomo - can this new Japanese compete with the big boys?
Noble House, Raffles’ excellent Chinese, closed for ‘renovation’ back in July last year – and it never reopened. Taking its place is Tomo, a new Japanese restaurant. And we have to say, we will miss Noble House. Dubai is short of good Chinese restaurants, while we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to outstanding Japanese restaurants.
What Tomo does have, however, is chef-owner Chitoshi Takahashi, who has worked in the UAE for 30 years, making it home-grown.
Its menu boasts 300 plus items, which makes it very difficult to navigate. But in the end, we opted for a single piece of tuna nigiri, featuring a beautiful, almost plum coloured sliver of lean tuna, which was superb.
Then came a mediocre selection of maki – half a dozen bland California rolls, plus a couple of serviceable tuna and crab maki – a pleasantly sweet bacon, potato and carrot broth – not for everyone but certainly for us – an oddly European but nice enough bowl of clams in garlic butter, a good but not great miso glazed cod and, last and least, a dozen pale, tepid cubes of beef, which would have benefited from being seared at a much higher temperature, in a flavourless broth.
You would never be served a dish that weak at Zuma. Dessert was vanilla ice cream rolled in a green tea infused sponge (a nice touch), and it was perfectly nice.
With a prime spot in the glass pinnacle of Raffles’ pyramid, Tomo looks the part, and the staff are extremely welcoming and happy to be working at an exciting new restaurant, but if chef Takahashi and his team want to compete with Okku, Zuma and Nobu – and with a meal for two edging towards to Dhs1,000 mark, it seems they do – they have a lot of work still to do. We would suggest starting with that beef dish.
Raffles Dubai, Wafi, Oud Metha, Dubai, daily 12.30pm to 3.30pm and 6.30pm to 11.30pm, bar 6.30pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 3577888. Taxi: Wafi. tomo.ae