Get a taste for Tokyo at this impressive restaurant

While there’s no doubt that Japanese food has surged in popularity in recent years, simple bowls of ramen and humble sashimi have been slowly pushed aside to make way for more elaborate and unconventional approaches to Japan’s national cuisine.

It’s not unusual to see ‘sushi burgers’ or ‘sushi burritos’ pop up on menus – but for the most part, I prefer to stick with the classics.

Serving up a contemporary take on Japanese cuisine, Kazumi is bringing the flavours of the Land of the Rising Sun together with trends that are a big hit with diners in the UAE from far out food colourings to huge servings of brightly coloured sauces.

The hip, dimly lit and earthy-coloured restaurant is cosy and comfortable, featuring a huge wall decal of a geisha and an inviting open-plan sushi station.

When it comes to the menu, it’s packed with Japanese classics like miso soup and a few dishes that cause alarm including a bright green ‘hulk sushi’.

Dynamite shrimp has become something of a go-to starter for many. The Kazumi version is served piping hot, with a crispy coating giving way to juicy shrimp all covered in lashings of that fiery sauce. It’s not something you’ll find on the streets on Tokyo, but it’s a winner in my books.

The shrimp gyoza is impressively fresh. Made in-house, the crispy fried dumplings have a sharp spring onion and succulent shrimp filling and they don’t last long.

When it comes to sushi, the Kazumi Special Maki isn’t your standard California roll. Topped with shredded crabstick, spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce, they’re a big mouthful packed with flavour.

The chicken Katsudon, katsu curry to you and me, features a huge serving of crispy-fried chicken, steamed rice and that signature curry sauce. It’s straight-up comfort food.

Mammoth in size, the chilli prawns arrive coated in crunchy breadcrumbs and a sweet and spicy sauce. They certainly pack a kick from the chilli, but it’s not by any means too hot to handle.

All in all, Kazumi offers a modern take on Japanese food, and will certainly provide some competition to similar venues across the capital.

Need to know: 

Location: Kazumi, Muroor Road, Darwish Tower, Embassies District
We say: A enjoyable and contemporary take on Japanese food
Opening times: Daily noon-midnight
Cost: AED 225 for two
Contact: 02 673 3128,

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