Japanese food is incredible, and Dubai has no shortage of authentic Japanese restaurants. As one of the hottest tourist hotspots on the planet, Dubai naturally has some of the best new Japanese restaurants out there.
With so many Japanese restaurants in Dubai to choose from, follow this list to satiate your cravings and create unforgettable memories of authentic Japanese experiences.
Tomo is practically the face of Japanese cuisine in Dubai. There is almost no definitive list of top Japanese restaurants in the city that will not have Tomo topping the list or making the top ten.
The restaurant offers fantastic Japanese dishes, breathtaking views, and exceptional service, checking all the boxes for an authentic, tasty, and enjoyable Japanese dining experience in Dubai.
All the dishes served in Tomo are made using ingredients shipped directly from Japan, so the food is no different from what you’d find on the streets of Tokyo. My recommendation? Try the Tempura—it’s an exciting experience on its own!
You can check out the rest of their meals and make a reservation on the official Tomo website. Don’t forget to wear something comfortable when you go—you don’t want a tight shirt getting in the way of a full belly.
The restaurant, located at the Raffles Hotel, offers a variety of seating options, including dining tables and classic floor-level dining, all with a spectacular view of the Dubai skyline and the iconic Burj Khalifa.
Tomo is Japanese for “longtime friend,” and the restaurant is where you’d want to hang out with your best friends, enjoying delicious sushi while sipping one of the best sake in the Middle East.
There’s no wonder Tomo received the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence six times, winning the Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award in 2018.
Tomo is open for lunch every day from 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM and for dinner between 6:30 PM and 12:00 AM every day.
- Address: Exit 56 – Umm Hurair 2 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
- Phone number: +971 4 357 7888
Most Dubai locals and frequent visitors would recommend Zuma if you ask for a nice Japanese restaurant. However, Zuma is more than just a nice restaurant—it is an incredible culinary experience! Zuma is a part of my list because of the food, but the overall experience is fantastic too.
Let me start with the food. The meals at Zuma are extensive and appealing, with rich, robust flavors and a focus on an organic experience through high-quality ingredients. It is unsurprising then that the dishes are authentic yet not typical.
The restaurant is izakaya-style, and the foods are meant to be shared with the table. The meaty delicacies served from the restaurant’s enormous robata grill are complemented by the delicious sushi and sashimi dishes. Regular visitors usually opt for Zuma’s famed black cod. However, I urge you to try as much of the food as possible! It’s worth every bite.
Zuma’s service is also typically excellent, the atmosphere is welcoming, and the brand is well-known worldwide. However, you’ll need to book many weeks ahead of time to get the best table.
Zuma Dubai is located at Gate Village 06, Podium Level, Al Mustaqbal Street in Dubai. The opening times are 12:00 PM to 3:30 PM Monday through Friday, 1:30 PM to 6:00 PM on Saturdays, 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM on Sundays, 7:00 PM to midnight Sunday through Wednesday, and 7:00 PM to 1:00 AM Thursday through Saturday. Make sure you don’t forget to have a drink (or two) at the bar!
- Address: Gate Village 06, Podium Level – Al Mustaqbal St – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
- Phone number: +971 4 425 5660
3. Akira Back
Akira Back is a high-end Japanese restaurant with one of the most extraordinary skyline views of any Japanese restaurant in Dubai. The somber interiors make for a perfect date night venue with low lighting, high banquettes, and crisp, simple architecture. Even the floor-to-ceiling windows are ideal, providing breathtaking views of the Dubai Marina and beyond.
Akira Back’s menu tells an adrenaline-fueled story of its edgy chef and founder, fusing Japanese cuisine with Korean meals and an American touch. The result is a dining experience that is Asian at heart, unmistakably international, but still Japanese enough to make this list.
Akira Back is not as much a restaurant as it is a guided experience into Michelin Star Chef Akira Back’s take on the fine art of Japanese dining. The restaurant’s meals are creative and have a bit of modern touch, which fits the restaurant’s cool, sophisticated, and polished vibe.
The menu is divided into salads, hot and cold plates, and sushi rolls. It also features a robata grill, sharing choices, and includes Chef Akira Back’s well-known signature dishes like the tuna pizza, which you should definitely try!
All the meals at Akira Back are made with seasonal ingredients and traditionally-sourced products, so you can experience the diverse Japanese flavors while seeing the Dubai cityscape. The menu also has vegan and gluten-free sections, and you can enjoy that signature Chef Back experience regardless of your dietary requirements.
You can join the Chef Back experience on the Fifth Floor of W Dubai, The Palm West Crescent in Palm Jumeirah. However, I’d advise that you book a table beforehand, as demand for tables can get pretty high.
One more thing to keep in mind is that Akira Back has a 2-hour maximum table seating policy. The policy is because of high demand, but they recommend you continue your experience at the bar or lounge.
Akira Back is open for dinner every day between 7:00 PM and 11:30 PM and for lunch on the weekends between 1:00 PM and 4:30 PM.
- Address: Palm Jumeirah – The Palm Jumeirah – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
- Phone number: +971 4 245 5570
Nobu is where to go if you yearn for great sushi or true melt-in-your-mouth black cod. The restaurant, created by celebrated chef Nobu Matsuhisa, is well-known among celebrities, tourists, and locals for its beautifully prepared, exquisite meals that combine traditional Japanese delicacies with Peruvian ingredients.
Nobu is still the standard for sushi, both in Dubai and worldwide. Unsurprisingly, Nobu Dubai does not disappoint with a broad, imaginative, and continually growing menu while keeping faithful to the hallmarks that made it such a famous brand.
As I said, Nobu takes sushi seriously, and there are 22 different varieties of sushi on their menu, including chu toro, shrimp tempura, otoro, and tuna. The hand and cut meals even have an entire section on the menu!
You can begin a fantastic night in the lovely sake lounge of Nobu Dubai with drinks and Japanese tapas. Afterward, dine in the dreamy Japanese garden on an outstanding à-la-carte or omakase menu. If you still have room, try chef Nobu’s signature black cod miso, one of the most sumptuous sushi in Dubai, or Japanese-style Wagyu beef tacos.
Nobu also serves one of Dubai’s best brunches, complete with sushi, sashimi, trademark hot dishes, and desserts, all coupled with sake and various beverages. The restaurant is open for brunch between noon and 3:00 PM every Saturday, but you can dine every day between 6:00 PM and 11:00 PM.
Nobu Dubai is the place to go if you’re seeking Japanese cuisine and experiences in Dubai, intending to have a good time with great people. You can visit Nobu at Ground Level, The Avenues, in Atlantis Dubai. Don’t forget to reserve a space to get a lovely table.
- Address: Ground Level, The Avenues, Atlantis – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
- Phone number: +971 4 426 2626
The Armani/Hashi experience is ideal for guests searching for a more complex, upmarket version of Japanese cuisine. In short, the restaurant is a world-class establishment where the chef creates imaginative twists on both classic and contemporary Japanese meals using the freshest fish flown in daily.
The restaurant is primarily known for putting a contemporary spin on popular Japanese foods and its fine selection of drinks. Aside from the sashimi and sushi, the coconut cake, maki rolls, and oysters are all worth trying. Although the menu is a bit edgy, it still respects traditional Japanese dining customs.
The restaurant features meals expertly made with great precision, spotting a menu that changes according to the seasons and producing a delightful mix of specialties from Japan’s regions. The overall experience is a series of multi-course dinners based on the micro seasons of Japan and featuring a bit of a pop.
You can dine at the Armani/Hashi at the Concourse Floor of the Armani Hotel Dubai in the Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai. It’s worth a visit for the view alone.
The Armani/Hashi restaurant in Dubai is the prime spot for alternative sushi and sashimi experience. Locals and visitors alike recognize the Armani/Hashi for providing some of the most excellent Japanese meals in the city, alongside spectacular views of the Dubai Fountain, Downtown Dubai, and the Burj Khalifa.
Dining here will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Although I recommend you make reservations in advance and dress pretty. The Armani/Hashi restaurant has a sharp, classy dress code called “smart elegant.”
Armani/Hashi is open Tuesday through Sunday between 6:30 PM and 11:30 PM.
- Address: Burj Khalifa – Concourse Level, Armani Hotel Dubai – Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
- Phone number: +971 4 888 3666
This list would be incomplete without mentioning Netsu. The restaurant makes this list because of the peculiarity of the establishment. Chef Ross Shonhan’s Netsu is a steakhouse specializing in meals prepared with the traditional Japanese cooking method of straw fire cooking, known as Warayaki.
As a result, the restaurant is known as the world’s most fiery grill in a restaurant, and the centerpiece of the Netsu is a massive Warayaki grill with flames that reach 900 °C (1,652 °F) and fly 2 meters (up to 6 feet!) into the air.
On warm nights, you may relax on Netsu’s spacious terrace or go inside the building to enjoy the signature Netsu atmosphere created by flames leaping off the kitchen counter. Either way, I recommend you order a well-sizzled Warayaki steak, a Beef Gyoza, and Prawn Toast Okonomiyaki.
The sushi is also excellent, and the restaurant is the epitome of fine Japanese dining. This is definitely one of those restaurants that require a big appetite. Fortunately, the restaurant has recently begun offering weekend lunch, so you can now visit for a snack or a full meal during the day.
The Netsu is located in the Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah, a sleek, contemporary, high-end hotel with a nice bar on the upper floor for pre-dinner beverages. You know it comes with a heck of a view! Netsu opens between 6:30 PM and 11:30 PM Sunday through Thursday and between 6:30 PM and 12:30 PM Fridays and Saturdays.
- Address: Jumeirah Beach Rd – Jumeirah – Jumeirah 1 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
- Phone number: +971 4 777 2232
Last but not least is Aka Dubai. Of all the restaurants I’ve mentioned in this article, Aka is the most peculiar. The restaurant is a must-see—not just because of its location or the fact that it’s a lounge.
Aka is a Cyberpunk-inspired Japanese-styled lounge that gives the entire dining scene an edgy but exciting feel. The cuisine at Aka Dubai revolutionizes the typical show experience with creative foods and beverages that you have to try to understand.
Still not sure what I mean? Check out their website to get a sense of what to expect during your visit!
The restaurant is also highly Instagrammable, thanks to its massive and genre-defying blooms of beautiful fuchsia flower arrangements. So, come for the selfies and stay for the unique dishes and great shows!
The Aka scene is generally mingled with Japanese ladies’ seductive art and electric vibe, and you’re sure to experience the whole Cyberpunk spirit if you visit. And if you do visit, you should take a moment to relax on the deep crimson velvet-cushioned chairs and take it all in before you start eating.
Fortunately, I know just where to go to have a prime view of everything. The best seat at Aka is in the back, right in the cherry blossom-lined booth.
Aka has spectacular sushi displays and delectable appetizers, but I recommend saving space for the superbly cooked Wagyu tenderloin. This headline dish is typically presented on a burning charcoal tray with asparagus and two tantalizing teriyaki and spicy beef sauces.
You can check out the menu or visit the restaurant at West Side, The Pointe in Palm Jumeirah. You won’t regret it!
Aka Dubai opens every day from 6:00 PM to midnight.
- Address: West Side, The Pointe, Palm – Jumeirah – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
- Phone number: +971 4 578 0555