Chef Akmal Anuar is back at the pans…

Fans of 3 Fils restaurant in Jumeirah Fishing Harbour have been patiently waiting to see where chef Akmal Anuar popped up next. Not too far away, as it turns out. The modern Asian master has stepped up to the pass at Goldfish Sushi & Yakitori, a sleek new eatery on Al Wasl Road, Al Safa.

And it seems like half of Dubai was awaiting his next move. Within a week of opening at the Galeria Mall, queues are milling around the entrance, jockeying for a table within the chic timber and polished concrete space.

Goldfish Sushi & Yakitori

As the name suggests, Goldfish is a paean to Japanese sushi and yakitori. The menu doesn’t give much away, with a handful of appetisers, sushi, yakitori and carbs, and dishes generally referenced by just one or two words. Fortunately, the attentive waitstaff are only too happy to talk you through the combinations.

To start, we order a sashimi dish simply labelled ‘salmon – orange’ (Dhs55). It arrives as thin slices of impeccably fresh salmon dressed in a light citrus-soy, garnished with orange wedges, torn shiso leaves, shichimi pepper, and curls of fried salmon skin.

In proper Japanese fashion, Goldfish has eschewed bottles of soy sauce on the tables, instead entrusting the kitchen to apply the right amount of seasoning. Chef Akmal does just that to a pair of chutoro nigiri (Dhs70), with a delicate swipe of soy across the rose-pink tuna. The unagi roll (Dhs60) is similarly well balanced, with the smokiness of the eel complemented by the creaminess of the avocado.

Goldfish sushi yakitori tsukune

From the yakitori grill, we’re steered towards the tsukune (Dhs20), a plump, smoky chicken meatball that we swipe through a soupy onsen-style egg on the side. For a final savoury course, we order the spicy noodles with shrimp (Dhs4o), which deliver all the umami buzz you love from Indomie, with none of the MSG hangover.

For those who follow Chef Akmal on Instagram, you’ll have seen him perfecting his chocolate-peanut tart during lockdown. That quest for perfection is evident here, with a rich chocolatey base and salty-sweet filling offset by a quenelle of choc-orange ice cream.

Gauging by the quality of this meal, the tart isn’t the only thing Akmal was perfecting during his downtime… And if that’s the only silver lining to the madness of 2020, we’ll take it.

Goldfish Sushi & Yakitori, Galeria Mall, 403 Al Wasl Rd, Al Safa, daily noon to midnight. Tel: (04) 886 4966. @goldfishdubai