17 of the best Japanese restaurants in Dubai
Get your fix of sushi, sashimi, or famous black cod…
Dubai’s Japanese cuisine scene is thriving, from take-out sushi spots to the high-end steakhouses, there are plenty of places to get your fix whether you’re looking for budget or blowout.
So from a 9-seater restaurant to a sushi chain, we’ve rounded up Dubai’s best Japanese restaurants.
With it’s luxe location at Dubai Opera, you’d expect nothing less than this Japanese restaurant being high on the sophistication scale. With a dramatic entrance juxtaposed by a simple yet chic interior, your palette will be wowed with their multi-course traditional menu.
Kohantei, Dubai Opera, Dubai, daily 12pm to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10.30pm. Tel: (04) 243 4951. Facebook.com/kohanteidubai
Celebrity hotspot Nobu by acclaimed chef Nobu Matsuhisa is famous across the globe for its delicately crafted, elegant dishes that blending traditional Japanese cuisine with Peruvian ingredients. It opens for dinner each evening from 6pm, and is also home to an upscale Friday brunch.
Nobu, Atlantis the Palm, Dubai, Sat to Wed 6pm to 11pm, Thurs 6pm to 12am, Fri 12pm to 3pm, 7pm to 12am. Tel: (04) 426 2626. atlantisthepalm.com/nobu
Few people haven’t heard of Zuma. A decade old and still arguably the most popular spot in the city for Japanese cuisine, the menu is sleek and sophisticated, as is the decor. The split level space quickly packs out for lunch and dinner and those wishing to enjoy drinks in the lounge, and you’ll want to book ahead several weeks in advance to bag the best table.
Zuma, Al Sa’ada Street, Dubai, Sun to Wed 12pm to 2am, Thurs & Fri 12pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 425 5660. zumarestaurant.com
The second you walk into Ramusake, you’re swept up in the buzz of the place. Yes, the décor is eye-catching, as is the Marina view from the terrace – but the food more than matches the surroundings. There are delicate maki rolls, smoky barbecue plates, perfectly plump gyoza and a very well stocked bar. Head down for their award-winning ladies’ night where girls can enjoy free flowing wine.
Ramusake, Doubletree by Hilton, JBR Dubai, Sat to Thurs, 7pm to 1am, Fri 1pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 559 5300 ramusake.ae
TOMO, Raffles Dubai
TOMO really needs no introduction, as one of the city’s most wow-worthy, and longest standing upscale Japanese restaurants. From its rooftop terrace, you’re privvy to unparalleled views of the Dubai skyline, day or night. Their menu celebrates the very best of Japanese food, and it’s even had a visit from H.H. Sheikh Hamdan.
TOMO, Raffles Hotel, WAFI, Dubai, daily 12.30pm to 2.45pm, 6.30pm to 11pm. (04) 357 7888. tomo.ae
Hoseki is a 9-seater (yes, really) restaurant, on the fourth floor of the Bulgari Hotel, which sets it apart from its competitors in an entirely unique way. There’s no menu either – you’ll have dishes selected for you by Chef Masahiro Sugiyama in a two hour omakase experience (meaning ‘I’ll leave it up to you’). There’s no walk ins, so you’ll need to book in advance to ensure your seat. It’s on the pricier end of the spectrum, with either a Dhs900 menu or Dhs1,400 menu to choose from.
Hōseki, Bulgari Resort Dubai, Jumeira Bay. Tuesday to Saturday, 12.30pm to 3.30pm, 6.30pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 777 5307. bulgarihotels.com
Masaharu Morimoto is best known as the star of the Japanese cooking show Iron Chef, as well as its spinoff, Iron Chef America. His super-sized Dubai outpost, which occupies the 23rd and 24th floor of the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai, features traditional sushi served from a 24-seat sushi counter, and a live teppanyaki counter headed by one of Morimoto’s best teppan chefs from the Michelin-starred Tokyo restaurant.
Morimoto Dubai, Level 23 and 24, Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Downtown Dubai, daily 6pm to 2am, till 3am on weekends. Tel: (04) 512 5577. morimotodubai.com
Benihana was one of the first Teppanyaki experiences in the city, and hosted one of the first- and most fun – theatrical Teppanyaki nights in Dubai. You can still expect the chefs to put on a show when you dine in these days, and they’ll prepare your choice of seafood, tender meat and fresh vegetables right there in front of you. The legendary restaurant boasts both indoor and outdoor seating, though we’d pick a seat at the Teppanyaki everytime.
Benihana, Amwaj Rotana, The Walk JBR, Sun to Wed 6pm to 12.30am, Thurs & Fri 6pm to 1am, Sat 12.30pm to 3.30pm, 6pm to 12.30pm. Tel: (04) 428 3089. rotana.com
The chorus of “irasshaimase” from the staff as you walk in to Izakaya will ring bells with anyone who has visited Tokyo: the cool, casual vibe makes this spot good for girls’ nights out or for laid back dinner dates, but the quirky touches mean it;s fun for families too.
Izakaya, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Dubai, 6pm to 12am. Tel: (04) 414 3000. jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com
Expect to have culinary delights prepared, cooked and served right infront of you at Miyakoat Hyatta Regency Dubai. It’s divided into three different dining experiences; a live Teppanyaki room, intimate Titami room and the main dining area, which also has a sushi bar too.
Miyako, Hyatt Regency Dubai, Al Khaleej Rd, Dubai, daily 12.30 to 3pm, 6.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 209 6914. facebook.com/MiyakoDubai
Sumo Sushi & Bento
A family-friendly restaurant that has been in the UAE for 19 years, Sumo Sushi & Bento is the perfect pit-stop for when you’ve worked up a hunger wandering around the mall. It’s great for takeaways too, and you’ll find outlets across Dubai including in JLT, Dubai Media City and Al Garhoud.
Sumo Sushi & Bento, Jumeirah Town Centre, Ground Floor, Jumeirah Town Centre Mall, Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 11am to 12am. sumosushibento.com
Hibachi is set out in a really cool, home kitchen-esque environment with large tables, and an island-style Teppanyaki set up with 12 spots around it so you can be close to the action when your dishes are being created right before your eyes.
Hibachi, Roda Al Bustan Hotel, Dubai, daily 6.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 282 0000. facebook.com/HibachiDubai
Named after the renowned Michelin Star Chef, Akira Back, this swanky new restaurant lives at the equally-swanky W the Palm. The pro snowboarder turned professional chef has devised a menu that fuses together Asian flavours with Korean and American influences, telling Back’s personal story of adventure.
Akira Back, W Dubai The Palm, West Crescent Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 7pm to 12am. Tel: (04) 245 5555. marriott.com
With an idyllic rooftop setting at Caesars Palace at up-and-coming spot, Bluewaters, you’ll have views right over Arabian Gulf and the Jumeriah Beach skyline at Paru. With a contemporary Japanese menu, you can sample flavoursome dishes like sushi or seabass. It’s the second Akira Back restaurant in Dubai
Paru, Caesars Resort, Bluewaters Island, Dubai, Sat to Wed 5pm to 1am, Thurs to Fri 5pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 556 6666. caesars.com
This contemporary restaurant at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, holds the worlds fieriest grill in a restaurant ,with a huge Warayaki grill right in the centre (because, where else would you put it?), with flames that burn at 900°C and shoot two metres into the air. Try the Wagyu short rib for a standout dish.
Netsu, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, Tel: (04) 7772232. mandarinoriental.com/dubai
Can’t decide between succulent steak and mouth-watering Asian cuisine? Well, at Matagi you don’t have to choose. Although centrally Japanese, with premium cuts of steak and Asian twists throughout the menu, you’re sure to find something to suit.
Matagi, Crescent West, Emerald Palace Kempinski Hotel Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 6pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 248 8850. facebook.com/MatagiDXB
This quirky restaurant and bar will have you feeling like you’ve stepped straight into a backstreet in Tokyo. With neon lights and a cool design, you’ll get to try loads of tasty street food like the Wasabi Prawns or Akira Rock Shrimps. They also offer their take on Neapolitan pizza, Tokyo style, and it’s one of the best pizza’s we’ve eaten in Dubai.
Akiba Dori, Building 8, Dubai Design District, Sat to Wed 12pm to 12am, Thurs & Fri 12pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 7707949. akibadori.com
Images: Facebook/ supplied