Review: Is Japanese restaurant Aka Dubai the city's newest hidden gem?
Japanese cuisine with a side of Palm Fountain views…
Being massive foodies, of course, we’ve tried our fair share of Dubai restaurants with cuisine hailing from The Orient. When we were invited to fairly new restaurant AKA Dubai at The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, it was the incredible images of the restaurant that first piqued our interest.
Secondly, the restaurant offers prime views of the Palm Fountains – the world’s largest fountain, no less – and the iconic Atlantis, The Palm hotel. Thirdly, well, we really do love Japanese food. We find the first-floor restaurant on the West Crescent of The Pointe.
The interiors of the restaurant are certainly glamorous. What strikes us immediately is the huge blooms of deep fuchsia floral arrangements that are suspended from the ceiling. Seating includes plush booths of the same intoxicating colour as well as two-seater tables and a central table for larger groups.
Wanting to make the most of the excellent view of the Palm Fountain show, we opt for a seat out on the terrace. We do feel that the main restaurant is a little let down by the plainness of the terrace – we think that more of Aka’s signature style could be brought out here, especially to draw in passers by.
A chef’s selection of maki rolls (starts from Dhs60) and sashimi are brought out on a dramatic dry ice platter which sets off the theatrics of the Aka perfectly. The ambassador and spicy salmon maki are clear winners. Throw in rock shrimp tempura with spicy mayo (Dhs65), indulgent confit duck leg baos (Dhs55) and an incredible tossed Asian salad (Dhs55) and we are happy people.
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Saving room for mains is well worth the sacrifice of leaving more of the starters than we’d have liked. Continuing the theatrics, the exquisitely cooked Wagyu tenderloin (Dhs350) is served on a smoking charcoal platter with asparagus, plus two mouthwatering dips in teriyaki and spicy beef.
We couldn’t go to a Japanese restaurant and not order the miso black cod (Dhs250) and it does not disappoint. It is perfectly cooked and melts in the mouth, served with punchy miso wasabi sauce, sakura, lime and yuzu daikon. Enjoy delicate Aka signature cocktails to wash it all down.
Aka Dubai brings you that sultry chic dining and cocktail experience that we’ve missed recently in the city and it’s certainly a hidden gem that will have you coming back for more. Immersive live performances are set to add to the cyber-punk Japanese scene when entertainment is once again allowed.
Aka, The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, daily 4pm to 1am. Tel: (0)4 578 0555. @aka_dubai