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FACT Review: Japanese cuisine with an elevated twist at Uchi

DIFC’s newest dining destination offers an elaborate drinks menu, perfect for evening escapades.

Uchi has just opened its doors in the heart of DIFC. This swanky Japanese-inspired restobar promises culinary artistry and an elegant dining experience that will captivate your senses.

As you step inside, your eyes are immediately drawn to the Omakase bar, an inviting sight for those seeking an authentic Japanese experience at the hands of Chef Ciprian Porumbacean. However, what truly steals the spotlight is the square-shaped bar in the centre of the venue, featuring elevated shelves and a noteworthy selection of Japanese whiskey.

Uchi Dubai

The seating arrangement is well thought out, with teal cushioned bar stools offering a cosy perch to sip your favourite drinks and indulge in small plates. Diners are not forgotten, as wooden tables and patterned sofas fan out across the venue, while the velvet-accented walls and pelted ceiling promote an intimate and sultry atmosphere. We’ve been told that after midnight, Uchi transforms into a lively party spot with a DJ, perfect for those looking to dance the night away while exploring the elaborate drinks menu.

The extensive beverage list covers Japanese whiskeys, malts and crowd-pleasing cocktails. There’s even a guide for beginners, helping them to navigate their drink preferences. For non-drinkers, Uchi has a fantastic selection of Sparkling Teas and Mocktails. We beat the Dubai heat with a Sparkling Yuzu Sencha (AED 45). Served with lime zest in a long, pipe-like glassware, this mocktail is a refreshing palate cleanser, striking a harmonious balance between sour and sweet.

Uchi review

Our Japanese dining experience began with the Asparagus Truffle (AED 60) served in a deep dish with creamy truffle-soaked rice pressed into wafer-like squares. The crunch factor elevated this dish, making it an absolute delight. We’d recommend ditching the cutlery and digging in with your fingers.

The Avocado Saykio Miso (AED 60) took freshness to the next level. This little roll, with seaweed on the outside, vegetables on the inside, and sliced avocado on top, offered a flavour explosion with its sweet and tangy notes. Next up, the Botan Ebi Tempura (AED 89), while visually appealing, had a mixed reception. The first taste didn’t quite hit the mark, but the flavour improved with subsequent bites. It might be an acquired taste and is not for everyone.

Uchi review

The surprise came with the Salmon Maki (AED 79), beautifully rolled like candy with seaweed enveloping the rice. It retained its traditional flavours but also had a welcome hint of spiciness, making it a must-order for future visits. The Gyoza (AED 130) is presented beautifully, soft on the bottom and crisp on top. The wagyu inside was delicious but could have used a touch more flavour. The rice crisp on top, intended for crunch, had become slightly soggy. Nevertheless, it showed promise.

The star of the show was the Poached Black Cod with Sweet Potato (AED 178). The cod was incredibly tender, almost melting like fresh butter, and the sweet potato puree on the side elevated the dish significantly. It was seasoned well, albeit with a minor hiccup of bones in the first bite, which the chef quickly addressed.

Uchi review

The Mushroom Bibimbap (AED 129), infused with miso seasoning and truffle, was packed with flavour and presented with an artistic attention to detail, featuring leafy creations made using a needle and roasted garlic for a visually appealing touch.

To end on a sweet note, the Strawberry Cheesecake (AED 75) offered a memorable farewell. Served on a tempered glass elevated dish, it required a bit of effort to indulge in, but it was worth it. Layers of crunchy chocolate, cream cheese, and hazelnut coating delivered a perfect balance of sweetness. The paper-thin slices of strawberries added a breathtaking visual and flavour element.

Our experience at Uchi was delightful, with most dishes bursting with flavour. While some had room for improvement, they showed plenty of potential potential. But Uchi truly stands out for its drinks, elaborate bar setup, and extensive menu. 

Uchi Dubai

Located near Bombay Borough and Le Petit Beefbar, Uchi is in good culinary company. The quaint spot is ideal for those seeking a sophisticated after-work dining experience in the heart of DIFC.

GO: Visit for more information.

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Shaheera Anwar - Staff Writer
From a beautiful childhood in Riyadh to a calm and collected life in Dubai. When she's not busy penning her latest masterpiece, you can catch Shaheera lounging with her family or binging on the latest movies. And as a millennial, she's got her sights set on TikTok - hoping to go viral someday (fingers crossed).

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