There are always new restaurants popping up in Dubai, a lot of them world-wide known brands carried over to continue their success. It can make things a little easier when choosing where to dine when you know what to expect, however, the foodie in me craves something more. The all new concepts, the brands I’ve never heard of and the food I’ve never tried. I am constantly looking for the new best thing; the dishes that takes your breath away and make you sit back in your chair and the menu that gives you butterflies! I am not over-exaggerating in the slightest when I tell you I have been known to ‘eek!’ on a fair few occasions – If I’m on my own there then that’s just me!
Based on all the above, it would be an understatement to say I was excited about visiting a new concept rising quickly in the ever popular Japanese fine-dining brands such as Zuma and Nobu. OKKU is an authentic and modern luxury Japanese restaurant in the heart of Dubai, which in my opinion offers something very different. The lounge plays host to the most fabulous and award winning barman, who greeted us with some very special cocktails. Jack and I were asked to list off some our favourite ingredients; “lemon grass, lime, chilli, ginger, lychee” (mine being the sour) from which he created two little masterpieces! Everything from the atmosphere, the layout and service from the moment you walk into OKKU distinguishes it from every other ‘alike’ restaurant. There is no facade, just pure welcoming hospitality from the team and surrounded by people who are there for the very same reason – good food and a great night.
The menu devised for us that night was something truly unique, fully loaded with all the healthiest and most popular dishes from OKKU’s selection. For starters: classic edamame, seaweed salad and lobster salad. For those who are sceptical about a seaweed salad, don’t be…it’s a sweet and delicious thing! The lobster salad was something I’ve never tried before and honestly not something I would usually have as first choice amongst starters. Only reason for that being if lobster isn’t cooked well, it can be a little lacking in flavour. However, at OKKU that’s a different story – It must have been poaching the lobster (something I will most certainly try!) that made it taste the way it did. So deliciously tender and fresh and coupled with the wafu-soy vinaigrette it was the perfect combination…certainly a first choice for my next visit!
Out of the ‘small bites’ we had, the Hamachi Truffle grilled rice and Beef Tacos were sensational! Truffle and steak tartar are probably two of my favourite things to eat so having beef tacos that were filled with fresh, raw beef instead of strip loin that’s been cooked in a bucket of oil was divine! I’ve also never had avocado the way it was prepared at OKKU, it’s good enough on it’s own but flaming and filled with the freshest ingredients is a new level!
”˜O’ Style Avocado Kazan (V)
Avocado, enoki and button mushroom, asparagus, in flaming half-shell baked with spicy mayonnaise
”˜O’ Style Ginger Salmon Sashimi
Norwegian salmon, chopped red & yellow pepper, benitade, spring onion in ginger citrus-soy vinaigrette
Hamachi Truffle Grilled Rice
Yellowtail tartar, spicy mayonnaise, masago, spring onion, soy, black truffles on a grilled rice cake
When I was planning my visit to OKKU, I couldn’t decide whether to go for a date night with the man or broaden our horizons! I think both kind of evenings can be perfect but with a sharing concept like OKKU, I’m definitely glad we went with the former. Mainly because everything is so damn good, I needed to try each and every dish! Before devoting all my time to food, travel and personal training, I was working in PR with a great little team. It’s funny how relationships get formed but my now ex-boss has become a very close friend and it was herself and partner who joined us for the evening. (The four of us soon to take on the Desert Warrior challenge dubbed ‘The Wolf Pack…don’t ask!) Anyway I digress, but point being if you get the chance to visit this outstanding restaurant – bring friends!
For mains? Spicy Seabass, Black Cod and the crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me of the evening – Wagyu Himalayan Shioyaki. This is world class Wagyu beef cooked in-front of you at the table on a hot Himalayan salt stone. I’ve done the whole fondue thing and it’s great fun but I have never had my beef cooked on salt stone – and my word does it give it flavour like nothing else! The black cod was a close second and although the seabass alone would’ve stood out from the crowd, compared to these completely new and inventive ways of cooking it probably took a close 3rd, still exceptional to say the least.
Wagyu Himalayan Shioyaki
M9 Wagyu steak cooked table side on a hot Himalayan salt stone, with roquette, spring onion, garlic scape and garlic-soy & oroshi ponzu.
Chilean seabass, spring onion, coriander, red chilli, in spicy-sweet chili soy
After a truly impressive show (and devouring!) of dishes, dessert couldn’t be more perfect with something light and sweet. I’m not usually a dessert person but the sorbets and green tea souffle hit the spot and didn’t bring on one iota of guilt! A wonderful evening with exquisite food and stand-out service.
For Bookings and Enquiries:
The H Hotel Dubai, 1st Floor, One Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, PO Box: 211905
Contact: +971 (0)4 501 8777
Hello and welcome! I'm Carly, originally from London but currently enjoying a little adventure in Dubai. A travel and wellness blogger exploring the world one step at a time. Think fabulous food at undiscovered gems, unique destinations, skin care obsessions and so much more. This is my life, I hope you enjoy the ride!