Review: Namu, the new Korean restaurant at W Dubai
Can the new Korean restaurant at W Dubai match the delights of the homeland?
While Japanese food is everywhere – barely a week goes by without us ordering sushi at least once – Korean food is much harder to come by in Dubai, and tends to be more casual. We’re hoping Namu will help change that.
The brand new fine dining restaurant in the W Dubai Al Habtoor City offers a mix of Japanese and Korean fusion cuisine, but it’s the latter whose flavours dominate the menu.
We enjoyed the sashimi; a plate of wonderfully fresh chu totoro (fatty tuna, Dhs80) and hamachi (Japanese yellow tail Dhs50) plus a spicy maguro maki roll (Dhs70), which combined tuna with jalapeno, cilantro and yuzu pearls for a modern Californian edge.
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That followed a chopsticks fight over the bulgogi mandu (Dhs75), steamed dumplings stuffed with shitaki mushrooms and beef braised in a tasty, sweet Korean marinade. Dip your bun in the spicy mayo and down it in one bite so you don’t lose any of the broth inside (or dribble it down your chin).
Also worth ordering is the delicious seafood gyoza (Dhs80), which was pan-fried to a crisp and stuffed with prawn and lobster.
For mains we tried one of the Japanese dishes – black cod marinated in saikyo miso (Dhs185). The cod was firm and silky, drenched in a generous helping of truffle dressing. The star of the menu though was definitely the namu galbi (Dhs220), 24-hour braised off-the-bone Wagyu ribs. These were wonderfully tender and the Korean flavours were spot on, with a side of gingko nuts and Asian pear.
The futuristic chic of the restaurant, which offers great city views from the W’s 31st floor, makes it the ideal place to linger over dessert. Skip the underwhelming mochi and order the ‘chocolate decadence’ (Dhs65) – a rich chocolate tart so good that Namu won’t charge you for it if you don’t love it.
W Hotel, Al Habtoor City, Business Bay, Dubai, daily noon to 3pm, 6pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 4366677. Taxi: W Hotel, Al Habtoor City. namudubai.com