FACT First Look: Reif Japanese Kushiyaki Dubai Hills

FACT’s Chef of the Year 2022 has done it again.

Acclaimed chef and restaurateur Reif Othman has opened a new branch of Reif Japanese Kushiyaki in Dubai Hills Estate Business Park, and (spoiler alert) it’s licensed. 

The new restaurant offers a more elevated take on the original Reif Japanese Kushiyaki in Dar Wasl. Designed by Govind Shepley, the restaurant adds a bar lounge, booth seating, two private dining rooms and an outdoor terrace.

Reif Japanese Kushiyaki Dubai Hills

Entering through colourful Astro Boy curtains, diners find themselves in a U-shaped space that wraps around the fully licensed bar and central show kitchen, where steaming pots and fiery woks take centre stage. Seating is split into comfortable booths, more formal arrangements and two high-tops offering direct views into the kitchen. The charming decor features bold murals, an abundance of natural wood and shelves laden with anime trinkets and vases.

Reif Japanese Kushiyaki Dubai Hills

Offering an expanded menu, diners can still tuck into all of their unconventional Japanese street food favourites such as Chicken Gyoza (AED 55), Wagyu Katsu Sando (AED 218), 18 Hours Ramen (AED 76) and Truffle Udon (AED 126). The menu also sees the return of some old favourites, including the Wagyu Steamed Bun (AED 56) and Escargot Takeyaki (AED 78), both firm fixtures on Reif’s TERO private dining menu.

Several exciting new dishes have been introduced specifically for the Dubai Hills location. These include the delicate Aburi Scallop (AED 89) with gooseberry sauce and crispy arare, Duck Gyoza (AED 58) with miso and chilli ponzu, and Prawn Toast (AED 79). The latter has become an instant FACT favourite thanks to its bold spicing and exciting textures.

Reif Japanese Kushiyaki Dubai Hills

Despite offering a more elevated dining experience than the FACT Award-winning Dar Was flagship, the pricing at Dubai Hills remains the same, allowing the first licensed Reif Japanese Kushiyaki to continue the brand’s reputation for offering value-for-money dining experiences. 

The new Reif Japanese Kushiyaki is one of many additions to Reif Othman’s burgeoning restaurant Empire. May will also see the opening of Hoe Lee Kow, an unconventional Korean BBQ restaurant and The Experience by Reif Othman in Dubai Hills Estate Business Park. Dubai old-timers may remember The Experience from its days on the upper level of The H Hotel, where a private dining experience for up to 12 guests offered a genuinely intimate and interactive culinary experience.

Reif Japanese Kushiyaki Dubai Hills

Reif sat with FACT to explain: “This second quarter of 2023 will be interesting. I will open several new restaurants in Dubai Hills. First up, the fully licensed Reif Japanese Kushiyaki. Then there will be Hoe Lee Kow, an unconventional Korean barbecue restaurant. It’s going to be a new thing for me. It will be very fun, very K-pop and very licensed.”

There’s no denying this local talent has helped shape Dubai into the global dining destination it is today. His unconventional Japanese street food has seen recognition from the Michelin Guide and MENA’s 50 Best, earning him the title of FACT’s first-ever Chef Of The Year in the process. 

Reif Japanese Kushiyaki Dubai Hills is opening very soon.

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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