Posted on Friday, 13th December 2013
Tomo Japanese Restaurant is a stylishly elegant restaurant located on the 17th floor of the sumptuous Raffles Hotel Dubai. It has an outdoor terrace that offers wonderful views of downtown Dubai which is perfect for pre-dinner drinks. Tomo only opened earlier in 2013 and in that time it has managed to sweep Time Out Dubai’s Best Newcomer of The Year Award.
But while Tomo may be less than a year old, Executive Chef Chitoshi Takahashi has long been recognised as one of the best Japanese chefs in the Middle East having worked in the region for about 30 years. He has an established following, and was recently flown to Qatar to cook for the Prime Minister of Japan when he was there on a state visit. Recognition indeed.
We started with a summer roll salad with tuna and avocado (AED70 – about £11.70) which was fresh and tasty. The combination of the avocado and the tuna was a great match and the tuna was excellent. To complete the plate was a mixture of miso sauce and a balsamic vinegar dressing, both of which were nicely done. However less sauce was needed on the plate.
We tried an assortment of sushi, rolls and sashimi. The sushi included salmon belly, yellowtail, grilled tuna toro and crab. All were wonderfully tasty and fresh although some of the sushi rice crumbled on contact. The most stunning of the lot was the seared fatty tuna which was divinely scrumptious and just melted in your mouth. Makimono rolls such as a California roll and a spider roll with crab, avocado and mayonnaise were both sound and boasted lots of varying flavours and textures. Sashimi including toro from Spain and salmon from Norway were delicious. The accompanying pickled ginger was homemade and delicately zingy.
Seafood plates such as ebi toubanyaki (AED75 – about £12.50), prawns grilled on a traditional Japanese ceramic plate, were sweet and firm, well seasoned and finished with delicate buttery notes. Japanese goby fish tempura (5 pieces, AED45 – about £7.50) proved to be a delicate and subtle fish. The tempura batter was nicely done and superbly light, but needed a touch more seasoning.
Grilled wagyu beef tsukune (1 skewer, AED30 – about £5), minced wagyu beef skewers was yummy with lots of flavour. We also found the Japanese wagyu houbayaki (200g, AED535 – about £90), wagyu with miso paste and charcoal grilled on a houba leaf, heavenly. The wagyu was amazing, being decadent, fatty and perfectly cooked. The miso dressing also proved to be a great match for the beef.
A ‘Tomo special parfait’ (AED55 – about £9.20), a combination of vanilla ice cream, red bean, delicate mochi rice cakes and fresh fruit was a nice mix of flavours and contrasts. The sweet red bean was particularly well done and was not too sweet, and the mochi had a nice amount of chewiness to it and was soft and tasty.
There was a good grean tea flavour in a maccha rolled cake which was vanilla ice cream rolled in a tasty green tea sponge cake (AED50 – about £8.30). This dessert also went down a treat.
There was some wonderful Japanese food to be had at Tomo. Particularly delightful was the wonderfully fresh sushi and sashimi and the incredible Japanese wagyu beef. The service was also incredibly attentive and accommodating. Furthermore, Tomo has an impressive authentic sake list. Tomo should certainly warrant a visit for Japanese food lovers who are visiting Dubai.
Note: When I was last in Dubai, I also visited Fire & Ice at The Raffles Dubai.
Food rating: 4/5
Service rating: 4/5
It all depends on what you order especially as the menu is designed for sharing. But as an indication:
Appetisers are: AED30 to AED60 (about £5 to £10)
Makimono are: AED28 to AED65 (about £4.70 to £11)
Nigiri are: AED12 to AED65 (about £2 to £11)
Most dishes (excluding the wagyu) are: AED40 to AED100 (about £7 to £17)
Prices are inclusive of service and taxes, but exclude drinks.