Interview

FACT Chats: Moon Kyung Soo, Culinary Director at SUSHISAMBA Dubai

Moon Kyung Soo discusses the appeal of Palm Jumeirah’s tallest restaurant, his culinary inspirations and ‘fun-dining’ rather than ‘fine dining.’

Tell us a little bit about your new role as Culinary Director at SUSHISAMBA Dubai and how it came to be?

When I was approached by Sunset Hospitality Group for its’ new project a few years back, I knew it was meant to be. I specialise in traditional Japanese cooking, therefore SUSHISAMBA Dubai was a perfect fit for me. Being a Culinary Director of SUSHISAMBA is a lot of responsibility, while it is also very dynamic and rewarding. We operate two open kitchens and a huge back-end kitchen with many sections, so my days are always busy ensuring a smooth operation and happy guests.

Moon Kyung Soo

What can diners expect when dining at SUSHISAMBA Dubai? 

SUSHISAMBA is a lifestyle venue where food, drinks, ambience and music are equally important and complement one another. We want to create an ever-lasting experience that brings people back. And of course the view! The view from SUSHISAMBA is truly spectacular, stretching from Burj Khalifa to Burj Al Arab, Atlantis The Palm and Ain Dubai.

Moon Kyung Soo

What are the restaurants signature dishes and which is your favourite to prepare for guests?

Without a doubt, sushi is our signature! We have a wide selection of sushi ranging from classic rolls to SUSHISAMBA signature rolls with highlights such as Asevichado and SAMBA Dubai roll. The SAMBA Dubai roll is exclusive to the Dubai location, hence it is very popular among our guests. Other signature dishes include Seviches, Black Cod Antichucos, and Taquitos. I am specialised in Traditional Japanese cooking, therefore I love preparing sushi while using traditional Japanese cooking techniques.

SUSHISAMBA Dubai Review

As such a well-recognised brand, how does the culinary offering at SUSHISAMBA Dubai differ from London and Las Vegas?

The core of the menu is the same, but of course, we had to adapt to the local market slightly, ensuring the freshest produce and best quality. 

SUSHISAMBA Dubai Review

Can you please describe your creative process for creating new dishes? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Whenever I create new dishes, I always want to include some ingredients and flavours from the country I am working in. This is like paying respect to the country I am in and incorporating its flavours into my new creations. I also get inspired while scrolling through social media as there is so much great content from all around the globe.

Moon Kyung Soo

Is it difficult to source all of the required ingredients here in Dubai and how much do you rely on locally sourced produce?

Most of our fish and seafood is flown in from Japan and other ingredients are sourced from around the globe. When it comes to local produce, we source local vegetables and greens.

SUSHISAMBA Dubai Review

With a waiting list for reservations, what do you think it is about SUSHISAMBA that has resonated with diners in Dubai?

SUSHISAMBA is a lifestyle and we are fun-dining rather than fine dining. Our mission is to cater to all of the senses with a journey through food, drinks, music, vibrant interiors and ambience. In addition to this, I must mention the view and our unique location!

Valentine's Day 2022

What can we expect from SUSHISAMBA in the coming months? Perhaps a brunch?

We have recently launched lunch and it is super busy; we even have a waitlist for lunch bookings as well. We will have a one-off Brunch on Saturday 26 February to celebrate the Rio Carnaval, which is a part of our brand DNA and is celebrated in all SUSHISAMBA’s around the globe.

SHISAMBA Dubai Palm Jumeirah

When eating out in Dubai, which restaurants are your favourites and why?

I am always looking for local and authentic restaurants. My go-to place is Streetery Food Hall in JLT and Singaporean street food restaurant in Karama.

Moon Kyung Soo

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David Tapley - Editor-in-Chief
Dubai-based Editor-in-Chief for one of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publications. Lover of all things, food, travel, street art and hip-hop.

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