FACT Review: An exceptional omakase at TakaHisa Dubai
It may be expensive, but it’s worth every dirham.
The Dubai dining scene reads like an A to Z of upmarket Japanese restaurants, from Armani/Hashi to the juggernaut that is Zuma, so we were ashamed to admit that one of the city’s best had passed us by. Located on the lobby level of Caesars Palace Dubai, TakaHisa is an ode to authentic sushi and the very best wagyu beef in the world.
Since opening at the end of 2021, the discreet restaurant has seen little fanfare, despite proving popular with hotel guests and royals. Even His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has succumbed to the charms of this high-end eatery. It’s easy to see the appeal, as TakaHisa’s interiors boast a sleek aesthetic anchored around a central omakase counter. The decor includes plenty of hanging lights, a grand piano and an expansive terrace where smoke wafts from the nostrils of dragon-shaped shishas.
TakaHisa is a joint venture between sushi master chef Takashi and wagyu master chef Hisao. This portmanteau results in the restaurant’s name. Although an appealing à la carte menu offers everything from Kobe Beef Tataki (AED 380) to Wagyu Sashimi (AED 580), the omakase menu draws most guests out to Bluewaters Island for dinner. Directly translated as “I leave it up to you”, diners can expect a curated meal from the chefs that is full of surprises and involves sushi (AED 2,000), wagyu (AED 2,000) or a combination of sushi and wagyu (AED 2,500). We select the latter and are immediately impressed by the quality and rarity of TakaHisa’s premium ingredients.
With TakaHisa’s seafood flown in from Tokyo’s Toyosu Market throughout the week, diners can expect a real treat. We begin with Shiromi Truffle, masterfully prepared by chef Takashi, who tops the thinly sliced white fish with a more than generous shaving of fresh Italian truffle. Surprisingly, the pungent truffle elevates rather than overpowers the fish. Moments later, we’re tucking into a Kobe Beef Shabu Shabu, a lightly boiled hot pot in which tender slices of premium Kobe are served in a moreish sesame sauce.
The ten-course omakase menu leads us through course after excellent course, where the Kobe Beef Carpaccio with caviar and chopped wasabi results in a decadent choice and our favourite course of the night. This is followed by Awabi Kimo Sauce, a likely divisive dish of Japanese abalone. Diners not used to eating these meaty molluscs may struggle with the texture, but the rarity of such ingredients and the supply chain to bring them to Dubai is fascinating and sure to impress avid foodies.
It’s this reliance on top-notch ingredients that allows TikaHisa to excel. Expect beautiful pieces of fatty tuna in the Autumn Toro Caviar to the highest grade of wagyu beef (A5 with a quality score of 12), generous dollops of caviar and the most exquisite Kobe beef katsu sando you will ever devour. Each course satisfies without leaving us full and we’re especially impressed by the sushi, which presents piece after piece of hand-rolled sushi, from the sea eel nigiri to the undeniable umami of the hard-to-source uni.
The style and sophistication of the TakaHisa dining experience translate to more than just the menu. Chefs are dressed in Louis Vuitton jackets, truffles are presented in Louis Vuitton boxes, and the LV logo is even found on the crockery housing our Matcha Tiramisu.
Offering more than a mere meal, TakaHisa presents a dining experience that will impress even the most jaded of gastronomes. Some ingredients are available exclusively to TakaHisa, making it the only restaurant in Dubai where you can sample certain delicacies.
With a second grill-focused restaurant, Robata, currently in soft opening at Caesars Palace Dubai, TakaHisa and its culinary masters are well worth a visit.
The experience may veer on the expensive side, but as the old adage goes, “You get what you pay for.”
GO: Visit https://takahisa.ae for reservations and more information.