Dubai Diaries: Power Lunch at Okku

“Love food. Love Life. Love Okku”… The hint’s in the wifi password at one of Dubai’s most buzzy Japanese restaurants.


It’s a favourite among the city’s bon vivants for its trendy vibes with dinners that famously turn into late night/ early morning parties, not to mention the hedonistic brunches here on Fridays… And as mother and I found, Okku proved to be a pretty good shout for a quick-fix Japanese lunch too!

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Tucked inside the H Hotel, there’s something very up-beat yet laid-back about the ambience at lunch-time, with the restaurant drawing in an eclectic mix of nearby office goers, conducting meetings, and ladies who lunch.

Almost everyone was there for the generous “Tezukuri” weekday set-menu lunch, which includes miso soup, salted edamame, a small and large plate from the extensive selection (featuring all of Okku’s classics from ginger salmon sashimi to black cod) and a chocolate fondant. The only tough part of course, was choosing between the enticing options.

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Although our lunch started off on a slightly bland note with steamed edamame and tofu pancakes (we found it to be lacking in any depth of flavour), it picked up soon thereafter with Miso Nasu Shigiyaki – a tender sliver of baked Japanese aubergine capped with a sweet miso glaze and a sprinkling of sesame seeds, an extra miso dip presented on the side. We loved the silky smoothness of the dish, which struck a perfect chord between savoury and sweet.

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From the small plates, we also called for Horenso No Gom-ae – steamed spinach on a bed of sesame seed dressing. Fresh and wholesome, with a lovely nutty texture, there are few more delicious (or beautiful) ways to get in those daily dose of greens than with this Japanese classic!

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Head Chef Kiichi took the time to speak with us during our meal, explaining his balanced approach to cooking, driven by a desire to bring a nutritional difference to the way that people perceive food.

Under his direction, the menu also reflects a broader set of Asian influences, particularly with the Korean-inspired Yasai BiBimBap and Chap Chae, both presented in bento boxes.

The bibimbap featured a hearty and incredibly filling mix of flavoursome veggies from bean sprouts to carrots to and courgettes, with rice and a poached egg on top. While Chap chae saw rice noodles stir-fried with shiitake mushrooms and bell peppers in a garlic-sesame soy dressing. Both were altogether quite a substantial affair…

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… So it’s a wonder that we had room for dessert! Okku’s signature chocolate fondant, encasing a rich gush of chocolate, did not disappoint in this regard. I couldn’t resist a scoop of the sharp yet wondrously delicate matcha ice cream either, as well as springing for a refreshingly minty basil sorbet!

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It was quite the power lunch. Safe to say that mother and I left suitably refuelled, ready to take on Dubai Mall with gusto.


Okku, 1st Floor, The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Trade Centre Area, Dubai

Okku - The H Dubai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I was hosted by Okku, but as always hog full credit for my opinions.

Author: The Foodie Diaries

A food travel & lifestyle journal, chronicling my culinary and other adventures around town.

5 thoughts

  1. What is it about miso aubergine that gets me every time?! I absolutely love it! And I love the combination of chocolate fondant and matcha ice cream too!

    Liked by 1 person

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