Dubai’s thriving restaurant scene is known for its high-end, glamorous offerings, so it should come as no surprise that the city is home to a plethora of excellent Japanese restaurants. In Japanese culture, fresh produce and luxury ingredients reign supreme, meaning the cuisine of Japan is a perfect match for the stunning landscapes and upmarket hotels of Dubai. In recent years, hordes of highly-skilled Japanese chefs have made their way to Dubai to bring their delicious cuisine to the city’s clutch of holidaymakers and business people, delighting them at every turn with exciting and innovative dishes.
Packed full of flavour and often beautifully presented, Japanese cuisine is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the taste buds, so it is not a shock that this is a foodie trend which has taken off in Dubai. There are plenty of Japanese restaurants in Dubai to choose from, stocked up with all of the traditional favourites, such as sashimi, tempura, teriyaki, yakitori and sushi. There are also more contemporary takes on Japanese dining on hand too such as luxury steak sandos or Asian-style takes on classic desserts, with each dish containing a unique blend of flavours and textures.
Dubai has truly embraced the food of Japan with a whole host of Japanese-themed restaurants and sushi bars opening their doors across the city. With so many Japanese restaurants to choose from in Dubai, it can be tricky to know where to head to find the best sparkling fresh sashimi or the most perfectly formed rolls of sushi. Luckily for you, we have rounded up the best Japanese restaurants in Dubai so that you can find the perfect venue for your next brunch, lunch, dinner or business meeting.
Take a look at our top picks below and set yourself the challenge of dining out at each and every one of Dubai’s epic Japanese restaurants.
Why: You’ll have undoubtedly seen the famous Atlantis hotel in Dubai pop up on your Instagram feed before, but did you know that the hotel is also home to the Dubai outpost of world-famous Japanese restaurant Nobu? Loved by celebrities and serious foodies alike, Nobu’s Japanese-Peruvian menu is the key to its success, with the most celebrated dishes including the miso black cod. Pop by on a Friday for one of Dubai’s best brunches too.
Why: High-end restaurant Zuma, which has outposts around the world, is among the most celebrated Japanese restaurants in Dubai. On the menu, you can expect to find Zuma signatures such as the miso marinated black cod wrapped in a Hoba leaf, alongside luxury takes on sushi, with fillings including lobster tempura and Wagyu beef. The restaurant is right in the heart of Dubai’s financial district, so it’s a perfect lunchtime spot if you’re looking to impress clients.
Why: Fashionistas holidaying in Dubai would be foolish not to visit this contemporary Japanese restaurant at the chic Armani hotel. You will find all of the classics at Hashi, alongside some more luxurious options such as Wagyu rib-eye steak topped with a truffle teriyaki sauce. The outdoor terrace is home to the best seats in the house, where you can watch the iconic Dubai Fountain, which ‘dances’ to synchronised music.
Why: ‘Tomo’ roughly translates from Japanese as the term used to describe a long-time friend, and we don’t have any problem making acquaintance with a Japanese restaurant this good. Tomo serves up fish and vegetables which are imported from Japan on a weekly basis, resulting in tempting dishes such as salmon sashimi and fatty tuna, as well as an assortment of sushi and nifty bento boxes at lunchtime for when you’re in a rush.
Why: You’ll find a branch of flashy Benihana in most glamorous cities, so it’s no surprise that Dubai has its very own outpost. Benihana’s hallmark is theatrical chefs serving up dishes cooked on a hibachi grill and it’s no different here, where the skilled team cook the likes of Rocky’s Choice: a combination of Wagyu tenderloin, corn-fed chicken and teppanyaki vegetables. There’s also a pretty impressive selection of sake available, too.
Why: Part of the Mandarin Oriental hotel, Netsu is a Japanese take on a classic steakhouse, which utilises the long-standing Japanese technique of Warayaki (cooking over straw fire). There are plenty of smaller dishes available, such as beef gyozas and Korean fried chicken, but the stand-out here is the selection of steaks, which ranges from USDA prime beef to Japanese Wagyu and which can be paired with a glass of wine from the 70-strong list.
Why: Restaurant names don’t come much more on-brand for Dubai than Billionaire Mansion, an outpost of the Billionaire Life hospitality group (also responsible for Sumosan Twiga in London). Here, guests can mix and match between a menu of Italian and Japanese classics. If you stick to the Orient, you can tuck into the likes of king crab tacos, wasabi prawns drizzled with a mango and passion fruit sauce, or the show-stopping T&T Maki rolls, topped with tuna and truffled tartare.
Why: Housed at the top of luxury hotel W Dubai - The Palm, Akira Back’s pared-back dining room allows the sweeping views of Dubai to do the talking. The beauty of the views is matched only by the pretty plates which come out of the kitchen, piled high with the likes of miso cod and salmon cooked on a Josper grill. Stick around for dessert too, when you can try the intriguing likes of black and white sesame matcha cake or a yuzu citrus tart.
Why: Casual and Dubai are not two words that often go together, but lunch or dinner at Zeta is probably as close to casual as you’ll get when it comes to Japanese restaurants in Dubai. Perched on the outdoor pool terrace of the Address Downtown hotel, Zeta’s menu consists of light bites such as crispy fried squid, as well as more substantial options including stir-fried noodles topped with chicken. It’s family friendly too, with children under the age of five dining for free.
Why: Found at the Hyatt Regency hotel, Miyako will transport you to the back streets of Tokyo, with its authentic minimalist interiors and theatrical chef’s table. If you are visiting for lunch, keep things simple with a bento box, while diners with a bit more time can really make the most of exploring Miyako’s menu - a Japanese egg omelette perhaps, or maybe a portion of fresh tuna dressed with grated yam potato.
If you like Japanese cuisine, then you know how good fresh fish can taste. Get your fix with our pick of the best seafood restaurants in Dubai.