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Japanese cuisine by way of Beirut – meet Mitsu-Ya

The izakaya’s first international outpost is located at The Ritz-Carlton in DIFC.

With Gemmayze hailed as the hub of Beirut’s best dining outlets, any import from this trendy district gets our attention – Mitsu-Ya included. The izakaya and sushi bar has arrived in Dubai, taking up residence at The Ritz-Carlton in DIFC and offering an exclusive dining experience of Japanese cuisine. The name Mitsu-Ya is derived from the founder’s first name (Mitsu Arai) and the word ‘Ya’, which translates to ‘house’ in Japanese. Translation: you are dining at the chef’s house, the omakase way.

Mitsu Ya

Between staff dressed in traditional geisha uniforms and a venue adorned with wooden and bamboo elements, the mood is set for an evening of authenticity. Above all, the minimalism of Mitsu-Ya means there are only a few seats at the chef’s bar, where guests can enjoy a tailored omakase experience. For the uninitiated, the term ‘omakase’ translates to ‘respectfully leaving another to decide what is best’. The chef confidently prepares each course based on the preferences of those seated at the counter, sculpting each with care before presenting it while offering his knowledge and vision of his craft. All the meticulously prepared dishes are to be eaten straight away – as a Japanese chef would say, “Let it stand, and the taste changes.”

Mitsu Ya

The omakase experience at Mitsu-Ya features the likes of Otoro Tuna, light-as-butter Hamachi, as well as the quintessential grilled or marinated fish and vegetables in the form of nigiri and sashimi. And for those who prefer to experience Mitsu-Ya the à la carte way? The izakaya menu is a seamless curation with niche ingredients and delicacies. Here, the choices are endless – think: Green Tea Noodle Crab (a refreshing dish of green tea noodles with mesclun topped with crab meat), Popcorn Shrimp (served with Mitsu-Ya sauce), and Kinoke Saute (a mix of earthy mushrooms with a butter soy glaze).

The journey continues with hearty bowls of ramen, like the Shoyu Ramen, a bowl of goodness with chicken cha-shu, bamboo shoot, spinach, marinated boiled egg, naruto and nori. The Beef Tantanmen, meanwhile, comes highly recommended by the chef, pairing minced beef and marinated boiled egg with bok choy, sesame paste, and la-yu chili oil. Come main courses, diners can choose from a variety of fish, seafood and meat options (like Grilled Octopus and Wagyu Tenderloin) that can be paired with house speciality high-quality sakes, Japanese hops and refreshing mocktails. Finally, a decadent selection of ice creams and sorbets is also on offer, but we suggest you make a beeline for the signature Mitsu-Ya Chocolat Parfait to end your Japanese culinary journey on a mood-boosting note.

GO: Call 04 591 6397 or follow @mitsuyadubai on Instagram for reservations and more information.

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Samia Qaiyum
A textbook third culture kid with a perpetual thirst for adventure, Samia Qaiyum specialises in travel and culture, having lived in five countries and travelled to 34 others – just don't ask her to define the word 'home'.

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