Reviewed: ONI Dubai
Japanese cuisine is a tricky one to cover, because it’s not as if the only dish worth discussing is sushi. There’s everything from bowls of ramen to kushiyaki skewers, and savoury wagyu meats to sweet matcha desserts. With such a vast selection it wouldn’t be a shocker if one was significantly more satisfying than another. Which is why it’s a nice surprise to see ONI Dubai get them all right. Top marks.
The recently opened chic Japanese bar and lounge excels at giving you that upscale authentic experience, from its polished interior complete with cherry blossoms to its cutlery, ramen spoons and all. It’s not a place to peer out to that stunning Dubai skyline, but who needs that when there are Japanese art pieces adorning the walls, an open kitchen and even live entertainment, including a saxophonist? This is more of a night restaurant and lounge, after all.
It’s open-plan venue makes it easy to go from enjoying a refreshing drink, to dining in style. Waiters happily explain how our orders have been made and are quick on their feet to get us off and running with our order.
We start off with the wasabi tuna pizza, placed on crispy flatbread and topped along with wasabi cream and truffle pickle ginger. Oh, and a generous helping of delicious fresh tuna. We know it’s more sashimi on flatbread than pizza, but it’s still one of the best slices out there. We can’t get enough of it, but then the ONI ramen with beef broth and a chunk of beef bone marrow comes along.
Brimming with noodles, seaweed and ginger, each slurp is delightful. More of an appetiser than actual main as there isn’t too much meat to munch on, but ONI’s signature 48-hour miso marinated black cod more than makes up for that. Soft and bursting with flavour, we can see why it’s the signature dish. This is quality over quantity, but your appetite will certainly be satisfied.
Regardless of whether it’s a birthday, anniversary or another celebration, if you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine, make an excuse to dine here. You certainly won’t be disappointed, take it from us.
Three to try
Miso black cod
A gourmet dish with sautéed mushrooms, each bite is rich with flavour. You won’t forget it in a hurry.
A hearty bowl of steaming beef ramen always goes down well, but it’s the roast beef bone marrow that makes this bowl’s broth hard to put down.
Wasabi tuna pizza
Can we really call it pizza if there’s no cheese? Who cares, as each tuna-filled slice is de-lish.
When: Open daily 6pm-3am
Where: Shangri-la Hotel Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road
Contact: +971 4 343 8888