The long-awaited concept will open in The Opus on Wednesday March 18…

Now that ME Dubai has finally opened inside the striking architectural marvel, The Opus by Zaha Hadid, we’ve been waiting with anticipation to discover the exciting restaurants launching with it. First to open was Central, the hotel’s all-day dining concept, and next will be Roka.

Roka Dubai is the first international export of the famed London-based restaurant by the same name. It’s the brainchild of Zuma-owner Rainer Becker, and aims to emulate the success of its sister restaurant from the new Business Bay hotel.

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What’s On was invited to test out Roka Dubai’s upcoming menu, presented by the group executive chef, Hamish Brown. We were treated to a selection of beautifully presented dishes, which we can confirm taste just as good as they look.

“We like to throw the rule book out a little bit, it’s what makes us stand out from the rest,” chef Hamish tells us. The Japanese menu has elements of familiar flavours to accommodate the demand for intensity in the Western palate.

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A robata kitchen gives a welcome insight into the artistry of the meals. Expertly trained chefs dance around each other, working seamlessly to prepare delicious handcrafted meals with ultimate precision. On the other side, a well-stocked bar is home to the team of equally skilled beverage specialists.

The restaurant itself is open and airy, with reams of natural light pouring in from the floor to ceiling windows. For now, Roka Dubai will remain an evening venue with the view to open for lunch later in the year. Natural elements are used with leafy walls and overflowing plant pots next to wooden tables – without a white cloth in sight.

Stepping outside you’ll find a cosy terrace with mixed-material sofa seating and high bar table to encourage social activity. The view hits the mark, with the all-important Burj Khalifa box well and truly ticked.

You won’t have long to wait before trying the exciting hotspot for yourself, as Roka Dubai is set to open its doors on Wednesday March 18. You can find it either by making your way through ME Dubai’s futuristic lobby, or the private elevator which leads straight to the hostess desk.

Roka Dubai, ME Dubai, The Opus, Business Bay, opening March 18, Sat to Wed 6.30pm to midnight, Thur & Fri 6.30pm to 12.30am. Tel: (04) 439 7171. rokarestaurant.com

Images: Jade Wills Photography