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FACT Review: Sumosan Dubai

Sushi, saké and sultry sophistication converge at The Dubai EDITION’s new Japanese restaurant.

FACT’s first introduction to Sumosan was during a dinner with chef Reif Othman in the summer of 2018. Sitting in the upmarket Knightsbridge location in London, we were suitably impressed by the modern Japanese cuisine and the crowd of high-net-worth individuals the restaurant attracted. 

Fast-forward five years, and we’ve survived a pandemic, chef Reif has built his own restaurant empire, and Sumosan has expanded its reach into the Middle East with openings in Doha, Riyadh and Dubai. The Japanese restaurant, founded in Moscow by Alexander Wolkow and his daughter, Janina, has been in operation for over 25 years. Regarded for its contemporary twist on traditional flavours, Sumosan is the perfect fit for the lifestyle-focused The Dubai EDITION.

Sumosan Dubai Review

Accessible via a private elevator beside the sweeping spiral staircase that greets guests at the hotel’s entranceway, Sumosan Dubai is housed on the hotel’s mezzanine level. We’re instantly impressed by the continuity between the hotel and restaurant that fully embraces the sultry and sophisticated stylings of the EDITION brand. 

The restaurant is intimate and inviting, offering small pockets of privacy for those looking to dine uninterrupted. A central bar concocts a range of speciality cocktails, mocktails, and offers an extensive sake selection, while a slate sushi bar features premium seating close to the heart of the kitchen. The adjacent J Bar provides a terrace-style environment for drinking and dining with a colourful ceiling mural adorned with Japanese motifs designed by a tattoo artist. Encapsulating warm tones and brass accents, Sumosan Dubai is one of the city’s most seductive dining rooms. 

Sumosan Dubai Review

Here, the chefs draw inspiration from traditional Japanese culinary techniques. The menu features the restaurant’s signature dishes, including the Classic Sumosan Suprise Lobster salad (AED 190) and the Salmon Crispy Sushi Rice Pizza (AED 85). Sumosan does well to stand out in a city brimming with Japanese restaurants, focusing on its culinary offering and stellar service rather than gimmicky theatrics and showmanship.

Soups, starters, salads and sushi are available across the three-page menu. We begin with the Wasabi Prawns (AED 110). Lightly battered and tossed in a wasabi mayo, the dish excels with its balance between fiery wasabi and cooling golden mango and passion fruit salsa. This interplay of flavour and texture anchors the Sumosan dining experience, and it’s easy to see why dishes such as the aforementioned sushi rice pizza have garnered such a reputation. We tirelessly work our way through the Homemade Tacos (AED 110), stuffed with piquant wagyu beef, the alluring Seared Wagyu Beef Tataki with Sesame Creme Sauce (AED 140), and the utterly fantastic Yellowtail with Truffle Yuzu (AED 120), generously adorned with truffle shavings for good measure. 

Sumosan Dubai Review

For something a little different, the Toro Tartare with Oscietra Caviar (AED 320) is a winning yet subtle combination when slathered across a tapioca cracker. Elsewhere, familiarity can be found in the sweet and flakey 24-hour Miso Marinated Black Cod (AED 220). Having grown tired of Dubai’s “copy-paste” approach to Japanese dining in recent months, Sumosan successfully excites and excels with its culinary offering. FACT tip: don’t miss the Aromatic Tuna and Truffle Maki (AED 100) or the Pineapple with Melted White Chocolate that began as a secret menu item. 

Sumosan Dubai Review

Across the world, Sumosan is recognised as a celebrity hangout, with the likes of Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Cheryl Cole and Tamara Ecclestone all having dined. Just two weeks after opening, Sumosan Dubai has replicated the winning formula that draws A-listers from across the globe.

GO: Visit for reservations and more information.

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David Tapley - Editor-in-Chief
As editor-in-chief of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publication, David is a self-proclaimed hip-hop aficionado, championing all things food, travel, street art, and streetwear across the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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