Comforting cuisine with an authentic flair…

It can be difficult to navigate through the maze of restaurants at Expo 2020 Dubai, with so many cuisines to choose from. When we heard the D-ream, the group behind concepts such as Coya, Amazonico and Zuma had opened a restaurant at Expo, Kojaki jumped to the top of our list.

The restaurant describes itself as Korean with Japanese essence, as the Head Chef is a native Korean who has spent decades cooking Japanese cuisine. You might expect to find the venue near the Korean pavilion, but its actually further into the Opportunity district.

A standalone structure, Kojaki is on the ground floor, and features an open kitchen, facing a central bench seating area, and several singular tables. The walls highlight Korean culture through painted fabrics hung in synchrony, and large overhanging lamps give an authentic street-feel.

The one-page menu features a number of hot and cold starters, plus grilled mains and street food plates. We start off with yukhoe (Dhs70), which consists of finely chopped marinated beef tartare with Korean pear and slow cooked egg yolk. We break up the egg and mix the beef to incorporate all the delicious flavours.

Flavour clearly plays an important role in this kitchen, as the next dish packs plenty of it. Chamchi hye muchim (Dhs80) features small chunks of tuna sashmi with a texture reminiscent of watermelon and bursting with cho-jang chilli sauce.

When it comes to sides, the lobster mac and cheese (Dhs190) is a must. Served in a pot, the bubbling pasta is topped with a crispy coating and chives. Under the exterior layer are perfectly cooked pasta shells in a rich cheesy sauce.

Service is swift and friendly, and our server is quick to recommend his personal favourites when prompted. Kojaki also has a range of unusual cocktails on offer for those with a curious palette.

Kojaki, Opportunity District, Expo 2020 Dubai. Tel: (0)52 500 9299. @kojakidubai