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Tastes of Japan: TOMO

Dubai boasts an overwhelming number of Japanese restaurants offering delicious food. So, we went ahead and tried two of the most buzzing go-to destinations for Japanese cuisine: Okku and TOMO. It had been a year since

Dubai boasts an overwhelming number of Japanese restaurants offering delicious food. So, we went ahead and tried two of the most buzzing go-to destinations for Japanese cuisine: Okku and TOMO.

It had been a year since we last visited the award-winning restaurant atop the Raffles Dubai. A personal favourite, TOMO provides a long list of reasons for one to visit, but we definitely come back in this Japanese restaurant for two things: its authentic delicious food and its breathtaking views.

Seated at the 17th floor of the hotel, the restaurant gives an immense bird’s eye view of the city’s densely populated skyline. Though during summer, the outdoor rooftop terrace seating was not open, still we stepped out and reminisced the days we spent barefoot at the restaurant’s low tables that were set up with tatami mats.

Indeed traditionally Japanese, TOMO has that vibe that takes its guests to Tokyo, may it be for its beautifully authentic interior and kimono-clad staff, or for the Japanese guests who seemed to return to the restaurant for special occasions, business meetings or when they want to get a taste of home.

From the moment we were led to our table, we could almost taste the wonderful time we would spent in choosing from its more than ten pages of big menu to capping our night by drinking our favourite green tea. The menu at TOMO would seem overwhelming for first time diners so we would suggest taking time in going through the long list before making the decision.


We were offered a refreshing hand towel before we started with our usual TOMO orders: a bowl of addicting boiled young soy beans called Edamame, a bowl of mouth-watering deep fried bean curd on sweet soy sauce topped with spring onion otherwise known as Agedashi Tofu, and a plateful of crunchy pieces of Asparagus Tempura.

After munching on the delectable appetisers, and testing the impeccable service, we were surprised with an off-the-menu specialty: A fried Japanese cured mackerel that the chef mentioned to be a native dish from his locale in Japan. The surprise furthered on when we welcomed a stunningly presented wide selection of Sushi, Sahimi and Nigiri platter. The Instagram-worthy plate of divinely delectable Chef’s selection of Japanese delicacies provided us with our eyes and tummies indescribable satisfaction.

As the dinner progressed to the main course, we felt giving up in satiating the next dishes but then again forgot our control upon seeing the fashionable styling by which the 200 grams of wagyu beef was presented. Cooked in medium well, the Wagyu Houbayaki greeted us with delicate pieces of Halal wagyu beef steak that were drenched with miso paste, and exquisitely wrapped on houba leaf, sitting atop the adorable-looking miniature charcoal grill.

Capping our long dinner was a round of tempting sweet sensations that included a selection of ice cream in vanilla, green tea and red bean flavours, an array of Maccha roll cake (vanilla ice cream rolled in green tea cake) that was imported from Japan, and two bowls of our favourite and must-have authentic tasting Mochi ice cream (ice cream wrapped in rice cake).

As always, we had experienced the same decadent and sweet finish to a long night of sumptuous Japanese feast.  Overall, we knew that we’d come back again to this restaurant with a view, and hopefully that won’t take a year.

Read Tastes of Japan: Okku

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