Restaurant review: Uchi, DIFC
A tiny homegrown Japanese spot in Dubai’s huge foodie capital, DIFC…
Dubai-based restaurateur Carole Moawad, who is also the founder of popular Japanese dessert shop M’OISHI, saw her childhood dream come true when she opened Uchi in DIFC a few months ago.
The new spot, set just behind from Le Petit Beefbar, is a homegrown sushi and whisky bar in the heart of DIFC’s Gate Village. It’s easy to lose yourself in DIFC’s ever-expanding array of culinary offerings, still, there are some standout gems worth seeking out.
Uchi, which means ‘home’ in Japanese, is a cosy and modern dining space with a large central bar surrounded by small dark wooden tables, a sleek sushi counter, and an intimate outdoor terrace.
Foodies will most likely want to sit up at the sushi counter while the restaurant and terrace are ideal for couples and larger groups. In true izakaya style, dishes are brought out in succession throughout the evening.
The service is knowledgeable, attentive, and upscale while still being personal and friendly. We’re told to enjoy the meal with a carafe of sake which has been perfectly paired to complement the majority of the dishes. We’re happy to oblige.
We start out with broccolini tempura (Dhs49) and the Uchi garden salad (Dhs76). The broccolini, although served slightly cold, is crispy and moreish while the salad wows us with its artistic presentation served on a fragrant vegetable biscuit and balanced with a sweet sesame dressing. We’d order both again in a heartbeat.
The delicious array of sushi cannot be overlooked. We order the spicy tuna (Dhs129), served in a kimchi granita and elegantly rolled with confit ginger, dry miso, offering a symphony of flavours and texture in our mouths. Sure to be a crowd favourite.
However, for us, the avocado saykio miso (Dhs60) steals the show. Four large and intricate pieces are served with crispy avocado, arare, and confit cucumber for an impressive combination of creaminess, crunchiness, saltiness, and well, deliciousness.
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The super sweet Hokkaido scallops (Dhs180) come seared and live up to their meaty reputation. An initial crunch is immediately followed by a melt-in-the-mouth sensation with the rich balance of flavours from the Wagyu crumbs, cauliflower foam, and cocoa butter.
The best dish on the menu though might be the mushroom bibimbap (Dhs129), taken from the lunch menu, this comforting plate of rice, mushrooms, and fresh truffle is a thing of beauty and sure to keep the stomach full but the heart even fuller.
After dinner, linger longer at the bar, a stylish space that’s been designed for socialising.
Verdict: If you’re looking to impress with innovative creations, an intimate atmosphere, and a fun late-night vibe, Uchi should be your rendezvous of choice.
Uchi, Gate Village, DIFC, 12pm to 1am Sun to Weds, 12pm to 2am Thurs to Sat. Tel: (0)4 298 5044. uchihospitality.com