A unique take on a Japanese dining experience…
While we’re not short of Japanese restaurants in this city, none are delivering an experience quite like the one you’ll find at Tabu. This sky-high restaurant can be found atop St. Regis Downtown Dubai, taking the spot formerly held by Morimoto. What was once a huge open plan space, has been redesigned to feel more intimate, and to make way for a large stage for a selection of live entertainment. A roster of immersive acts in full costume are what makes Tabu unique, including a sumo wrestler that never breaks character, a gothic samurai, a geisha, and a Kill Bill style character that takes on the samurai in a nail-biting performance.
Sushi is a key focus of the menu, and we opt to try a little of everything with the Tabū platter (Dhs790). With 30 pieces, it can easily feed four to five people, and features the restaurant’s signature maki, nigiri and sashimi. The nigiri stood out as a highlight, especially the piece with Wagyu beef, truffle dust, uni, caviar, as it was delicious and indulgent in the best possible way. The raw dishes really shine, and another worth seeking out is the salmon usuzukuri-style, with avo-yuzu, passion fruit and nama shichimi (Dhs95) for its refreshing and citrusy flavours. A sweet burst from the passion fruit balances the dish and cleanses the palate.
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Over to mains, the black cod (Dhs265) is not to be missed. Described as ‘Black’ black cod, with black miso-gomae sauce, quinoa, and caviar, the fish is buttery, flaky and oh so tasty. Be sure to order it alongside the chili-garlic broccolini (Dhs50) and flavourful truffle fries (Dhs50).
The entertainment feels less like a dinner and a show, and more of a continuous show, where at any moment you can see a straight-faced sumo staring into your soul, or a real life manga character flitting between the tables.
What’s On Verdict: A lively spot with authentic entertainment and faultless food.
Tabu, St. Regis Downtown Dubai, Downtown Dubai, Sunday to Friday 6pm to 2am, Saturdays 7pm to 2am. Tel: (0)4 456 9455. tabudubai.com