My Dubai Guide Part One – Asian Restaurants
My friends and people I know in my network are always asking me about where to go in Dubai, so that’s why I am making My Dubai Guides, which are lists of MY favorite places in Dubai.
I love Asian food so I figured I would start with this category and my favorite high-end restaurants and further down the cheaper options for a casual dinner.
OKKU is probably my favorite, maybe I am biased because I know the owner and I am often there with him, but I think it’s just because he orders all the best things on the menu for us. One thing I also love about OKKU is that the menu is not just all the classic Japanese dishes, but they have very creative Asian fusion dishes, with a twist and the presentation is always remarkable as well. We always have the Black Cod, which is amazing and the Wagyu beef, which is thinly sliced and served with volcanic black salt, absolutely mouthwatering and perfect. The last time I was there we tried a new thing which is the volcanic like burning avocado, both presentation and taste are incredible and definitely a must when going to OKKU.
OKKU is great any day of the week, but on Sundays it’s a party, after dinner the lounge-like restaurant turns in to a nightclub. Unfortunately the pictures I took got deleted, so these are from their website.
ZUMA is the next one, but it hardly needs and introduction as it is very famous and renowned for it’s excellent food. They are also good at getting creative with their dishes, but I like the simple things at ZUMA, the sashimi is always so fresh, the salmon will melt on your tongue and I love their watermelon martinis, when sitting at the bar you can watch them make them and it’s quite an art-form.
TOKO is another great Asian fusion place, with excellent food. The restaurant has been a success in Sydney for 7 years and last year opened in Dubai. I love the décor of the place, inside there is a lounge bar area, with booths and a more relaxed seating, there is also a restaurant seating area and an outside area, with the loveliest décor, using Japanese umbrellas as a roof and outside you can smoke shisha, which I also love, so I prefer sitting outside in the months where the weather is nice and warm.
Talking about the food it is very well crafted and yummy, but what really caught my eye, or rather my taste buds, was the chocolate fondant. I have such a sweet tooth, but I am more in to fruity, vanilla or custard desserts rather than chocolate, but this one was just incredible, it had a caramel-like cream inside and it was just mouth-watering-wonderful, so that is definitely one to order when at Toko.
Other great places are Hakkasan, which serves high-end Cantonese dining and Buddha Bar, which is a great place to chill out, their restaurant layout has an outdoor seating area with different levels, so everyone has a view of the entry to the marina and the beach. Both places are great for drinks and a light meal as well. Also Nobu must be mentioned, its renowned reputation from other places does not disappoint in Dubai, but there is something about the layout/décor that bugs me.
One more place that is definitely worth a visit is Zengo, if not for their mouth-watering dishes, which are a fusion between Asian and Latin-american food and let me tell you it totally works, then for their incredibly creative cocktails, like “La Jaula” which means cage in Spanish and the drink comes inside the cage, it is a reinvention of the typical Pisco Sour. The atmosphere at Zengo’s is very relaxing and soothing and they also have outdoor seating with a breath-taking view of the Marina.
If you are looking for a more casual lunch or dinner I would suggest P.F.Chang’s which is a good chinese restaurant with good prices, a famous dish here is the Dynamite Shrimp and it really is the bomb.
If you are looking to have a simple California roll and some miso soup you can go to or get delivery from Bentoya, my former roommates in Dubai were Japanese and they recommended this place and I can only agree with them, it is simple but good and the price as well.
I will be working on my next blogposts about other restaurant types, clubs and which days to go where and also a post about what to do during the day. Let me know by commenting below if there is something in particular you would like to know about, also other recommendations are more than welcome.