Review: Is Clay Dubai the hottest new spot on Bluewaters Island?
Head here for high-end Japanese-Peruvian cuisine…
There is no abating Dubai’s discerning foodie crowd when it comes to Japanese cuisine. New player on the scene, to challenge the likes of longstanding restaurants Zuma and Netsu, is Clay Dubai. This slick Japanese-Peruvian hotspot just opened on Bluewaters Island, and it’s been cropping up on our Instagram feed ever since.
You’ll find Clay Dubai nestled under the popular new Ain Dubai attraction, with a gorgeous terrace and beautifully-designed restaurant. Sleek marble table tops juxtapose with rich fabrics, from orange velvet to plush mahogany leather. The restaurant is fairly quiet when we arrive – a little early for dinner at 6.30pm – but soon every table is full with the buzz of hungry diners.
The staff are attentive, friendly and knowledgeable about everything on the menus, from the dishes to the wine, and are more than happy to give recommendations. The cuisine served at Clay Dubai is called ‘Nikkei’, which is the name of the group of Japanese people who settled in Peru over one hundred years ago. The dishes combine flavours and inspiration from both cultures.
@whatsondubai Clay Dubai offers beautiful views from day to night and a brilliant menu to match #whatsondubai #foryoudubai #bluewatersisland #bluewatersdubai ♬ NDA – favsoundds
The menu definitely encompasses the best of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine, including a sashimi served ‘new style’; a highlight of which – and the best dish of the day – is the hotate (Dhs85); lightly seared scallops with truffle eel sauce and topped with cubes of melt-in-the-mouth foie gras which are blowtorched at the table.
The edamame (Dhs32) is dusted off with moreish maldon salt, closely followed by our chosen starters of lightly crispy tempura prawns (Dhs95) served with a delightfully contrasting spicy mayo. The Tori Goma (Dhs65) salad is a standout – and we love the presentation – with chicken, pomegranate, Savoy cabbage and rice crisps, finished off with a delicate sesame sauce.
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The Wagyu Teri truffle skewers (Dhs220) are tender and melt-in-the-mouth, however we’d like them to have a bigger hit of truffle. The ‘new-style’ tuna magura sashimi (Dhs78) is beautifully flavored with yuzu sauce, la yu oil, tsuma daikon, served with a mango salad, and it’s a gorgeous combination of crunchy and sweet.
Feeling like we’ve had our fill of meat, we opt for two fish dishes from the main menu. It’s hard to choose which is our favourite: the black cod quinoa (Dhs215) is fabulous, with perfectly flaky fish and a punchy quinoa creation, however, it is pipped to the post as our favoured dish by the Chilean seabass (Dhs190), which is served with nikkei rice, dashi and chill – and we can’t get enough of it.
Clay Dubai is a brilliant addition to Dubai’s thriving culinary scene, and it definitely deserves a return visit, or three.
Clay Dubai, Bluewaters Island, Dubai, Sun to Thurs 12pm to 12am, Fri and Sat 12pm to 2am. @clay_dubai