When it comes to Japanese cuisine, there is certainly no shortage of excellent options for sushi and robatayaki in Dubai. Yet, relative newcomer Clap has made its mark on the city’s dining scene in just a matter of months since throwing open its doors in DIFC.
Beirut born Clap is a place to see and be seen. From the moment we enter the trendy restaurant, we’re enamoured by the vibrant interiors, proficient service and a pulsating and somewhat contagious atmosphere.
It appears no expense has been spared when it comes to the design of DIFC’s largest rooftop restaurant, bar and lounge. The expansive respace flows freely, from bar to restaurant, past an open kitchen buzzing with culinary activity. A show-stopping chandelier made from action figures immediately captures our attention, while the central bar features a conveyer belt of beloved video game and anime characters. However, the juxtaposition of these bold design elements against the natural woods and solid stone of the dining room ensures Clap is a vibrant place to eat, drink, and socialise.
There’s an inescapable charm to dining at Clap, further enhanced by a menu of beguiling beverages and top-notch Japanese food. With premium ingredients at the forefront of this particular dining experience, guests are encouraged to indulge in a selection of small plates, sushi and heartier mains. For those feeling adventurous, an Omakase menu is also available, in which the dishes will be left entirely up to Clap’s culinary maestros.
Our advice is to arrive hungry because the Clap menu features such an abundance of dishes that repeat visits are required to appreciate the culinary prowess on display. We begin with King Crab Crispy Rice (AED 82), a brilliant introduction to the Clap menu and a textural marvel, juxtaposing cool crab pieces with a cube of fried rice that is utterly moreish. The signature Wagyu Beef and Foie Gras Gyoza (AED 120) represent another must-order dish, encasing tender Wagyu and foie gras inside a thin gyoza wrapper to ensure a mouthful of utter decadence.
Clap’s ability to elevate premium ingredients with the simplest of embellishments ensures a memorable dining experience. The Oven Roasted King Crab Leg (AED 230) is a perfect example, de-shelling the delicate crab meat before adorning it with a chilli amazu apple salsa and mango gazpacho that enlivens the palate without overpowering the subtleties of the crab. Likewise, the Seaweed Salad (AED 68) with black and white sesame seeds and white truffle goma dressing redefines the notions of what a salad can be and transpires to be one of our favourite dishes on Clap’s eclectic menu.
An Insta-worthy sushi platter complete with billowing smoke draws our attention to the Surf & Turf Roll (AED 210) and Crazy California (AED 98), both impeccably stuffed and visually impressive. The former presents the best of land and sea with a clever combination of complementing flavours.
Main courses involve an exciting mix of stone bowls, Shrimps in Hoba Leaf, Sea Bass Amapeño and Black Cod Miso Provençal (AED 190). The latter is beautifully tender and imbued with an alluring sweetness from the accompanying citrus miso sauce.
An impressive dessert selection rounds out the Clap dining experience, featuring a White Chocolate, Passion Fruit and Basil Ball melted with a warm caramel sauce (AED 65), the delightful Clap Hot Chocolate Cake (AED 55) and our personal favourite, the Vanilla Semifreddo with strawberry and rhubarb compote (AED 48).
Clap may be a newcomer to Dubai’s competitive dining scene, but the Japanese hotspot makes quite the impression. With strong service, exciting decor, palate-pleasing food and undeniable energy, Clap deserves more than a round of applause, but a standing ovation.