Is Japanese restaurant Aka Dubai the city’s newest hidden gem?


Japanese cuisine with a view of the palm tree fountain …

Being big foodies, of course, we’ve tried our fair share of Dubai restaurants with cuisine native to the Orient. When we were invited to the new AKA Dubai restaurant at The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, it was the incredible images of the restaurant that first sparked our interest.

Second, the restaurant offers breathtaking views of the Palm Fountains – the world’s largest fountain, nothing less – and the iconic Atlantis, The Palm hotel. Third, well, we really love Japanese food. We find the restaurant on the first floor on the Western Crescent of La Pointe.

The interiors of the restaurant are certainly glamorous. What immediately strikes us are the huge blooms of deep fuchsia floral arrangements that hang from the ceiling. Seating includes plush cabins in the same intoxicating color as well as two-seater tables and a center table for larger groups.

Wanting to enjoy the excellent view of the Palm Fountain show, we opt for a place on the terrace. We think the main restaurant is a bit disappointed with the soberness of the terrace – we think more of Aka’s signature style could be highlighted here, especially to draw in passers-by.

A selection of a chef’s maki rolls (from 60 Dhs) and sashimi are presented on a dramatic dry ice platter that perfectly showcases the theatricality of the Aka. The ambassador and the spicy salmon maki are the clear winners. Add prawn tempura with spicy mayo (Dhs65), indulgent candied duck leg baos (Dhs55) and an amazing mixed Asian salad (Dhs55) and we are happy people.

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Saving room for the main course is well worth the sacrifice of leaving more appetizers than we would have liked. Continuing the staging, the deliciously cooked Wagyu filet (350 Dhs) is served on a steaming charcoal platter with asparagus, along with two tantalizing dips in teriyaki and spicy beef.

We couldn’t go to a Japanese restaurant and not order the black cod with miso (250 Dhs) and it didn’t disappoint. It is perfectly cooked and melts in the mouth, served with a wasabi punchy miso sauce, sakura, lime and yuzu daikon. Sip delicate Aka signature cocktails to wash it all away.

Aka Dubai brings you that chic and sultry dinner and cocktail experience that we recently missed in the city and it is certainly a hidden gem that will keep you coming back for more. Immersive live performances are expected to be added to the Japanese cyber-punk scene when entertainment is permitted again.

Aka, La Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, every day from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Phone: (0) 4 578 0555. @aka_dubai

Pictures: provided

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