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A new contemporary dining Japanese street food restaurant in Dubai— ONI brings its fresh produce and meats straight from the food markets of Hoikkaido; the second largest Japanese island to its kitchen where executive chef Mohammed Islam and his team work their culinary magic in their open kitchen.

Decked out in black and beige with red lighting, ONI is set up as a modern space that exudes a chic ambiance. We were served two kinds of Japanese tacos; the truffled tuna/avocado and
the truffled salmon/avocado, both encased in tiny crispy rice shells. Then the Hamachi Crudo— a beautifully plated yellowtail fish served with wasabi salsa and yuzupan froth—was a juxtaposition of textures and flavors in one dish.

The Rock Shrimp Dynamite was morsels of shrimp with a crispy outer shell, tender on the inside, coated with a delicious, slightly pungent sauce.

Now my perennial favorites— the Nigiri redsnapper, tuna sashimi, salmon/shrimp rolls, and avocado/crab dynamite rolls. All of these were high in quality and ticked all the boxes for authenticity.

We were presented with Kushiuyaki— a table grill with four skewers: asparagus, Yakiniku — Japanese beef short rib, Gindara— miso marinated black cod, and Negima— chicken with scallions. This was served with accompanying sauces for dipping.

The authentic spicy ramen soup was loaded with tender chunks of beef simmered in a slow-cooked chicken broth topped with spicy Japanese ramen noodles and a soft boiled egg and was a meal in itself.

The jumbo tiger shrimps came with a creamy yuzu beurre blanc sauce and went well with the vegetable yakisoba which was sautéed purple cabbage, onions, and carrots on top of spicy noodles.

Staying true to Japanese tradition, desserts included the green tea fondant— a warm cake served with a scoop of ice cream and raspberry puree. And last, but not least, our favorite: the matcha milk cake— a creamy, cool cake that was a superb way to end this Japanese meal.

The Verdict: ONI is a contemporary dining concept inspired by Japanese culture with dishes you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in Dubai. H

Visit: ONI at the Shangri La Hotel, Dubai
Contact: www.healthmagazine.ae



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