Sushi has always been the only delicacy that can lure me out of my home to dine elsewhere, this means I’ve been to a lot of sushi spots in Dubai throughout my time here and these are five of my favourite ones.
Nobu is situated deep inside the grand Dubai Atlantis, The Palm after a 5-10 minute walk from the main entrance you are greeted with the staff shouting “Yōkoso” which translates directly into Japanese as “Welcome” warrants an instant smile before being consumed by the ambience of the interior. The lighting to the spacious arrangement of the seating tables, the open kitchen, the very jovial staff and the great tasting sushi and great selection of Sake, you’ll be in for a treat. It’s no mystery why world-renowned rapper Drake referenced the restaurant in a song saying “Eatin’ crab out in Malibu at Nobu.” or on his collaboration with Future who mumbles “Nobu Nobu Nobu” on their hit “Jumpman”.
Zuma, unlike Nobu is more straightforward in what it has to offer. Located in DIFC, the downtown district of the city, tall skyscrapers surround it as well as a number of art galleries giving it a metropolitan feel reminiscent of Manhattan. Once you walk through the big wooden door of the entrance you almost feel like you’ve been submerged into a different world. The area is normally lively with a number of people, mostly business professionals who work in that area and the open kitchen provides a lively atmosphere with the chefs hustling to meet orders and the music which is audible but low enough for conversations to take place. The lights are dimmed low creating an inviting ambience but with their lively environment creates an atmosphere that you cannot quite put a finger on, making it almost resemble a lounge rather than a restaurant. A wide variety of sake bottles decorate the walls, so you are spoiled for choice when it comes to the liquor selection as well. The sushi itself is very impressive, making one feel as if it was fast track mailed straight from Tokyo. Zuma is sure to leave you with all smiles when walking out of the doors, that’s if you weren’t already smiling when you walked in.
Toko situated in Downtown Dubai truly embodies the feel of a modern Izakaya from the moment you walk through the doors. You immediately notice a life sized Japanese style figurine and a picture next to it of a monkey in a geisha outfit, providing an eccentric touch. Toko offers the perfect ambience, ideal for relaxation after a long workday as the music is audible. The service is very impressive as the staffs are quick to take your order and even get into some chatter with you; the menu is very concisely put together and has tons of variety. The order is quick to be delivered to your table and it does not disappoint, the sushi, sashimi and maki taste so fresh and the dessert will entice anyone with a sweet tooth.
Catch NYC is personally one of my favourite sushi spots in the city. Not necessarily just a sushi spot by a glance at the menu they happen to serve sushi and they do it very well. From the presentation to the taste, Catch is a place you will definitely find yourself coming back to again and again. The vintage industrial New York feel to the interior and the huge ventilation fan in the wall adds to the alluring character of Catch NYC and gives it a modern New York style feel. Catch NYC keeps the brand true to its roots as most of the staff are American, are ready to have a lengthy conversation with you and try to make you feel right at home. One of my favourite features about Catch NYC is their dessert menu; their presentation of the dessert is very amazing and quirky at the same time. They have a wide variety on the menu, I ordered a chocolate covered desert of some sort, which the waiter pours chocolate sauce over and uses a spoon to break the solid chocolate covering for the sauce to penetrate and this is captivating no matter which customer is being served. Presentation aside the desert tastes as good as it looks and you walk out of Catch feeling that you have just been to downtown Manhattan.
Novikov is one of the premier spots in Dubai to get sushi. From its brand name, to it’s luxury clientele Novikov screams affluence and that reflects on it’s menu, it’s a tad bit more expensive than the other restaurants on the list, but Novikov makes up for it with its impressive selection. The interior looks amazing, like a scene from the Godfather with the various foods frozen on ice in plain view. It provides a more serious but ambient feel, with mostly red interior features reflecting throughout the restaurant. There are a wide variety of drinks as well, further complementing the food selection, As the above photo suggests, the sashimi tastes very fresh, you might think right after your order, the fish or salmon was caught and cooked between those 20-30 minutes between your order and delivery to your table. It has a busier vibe as most of the customers around can be heard chattering away while the stimulating music plays in the background making you very reluctant to end your night after you leave. This might also be the reason why it shares a street with some of Dubai’s most exclusive clubs.