Dubai, the land of ex-pats, provides a wide range of services to everyone who lives here. Restaurants are one of their many options. Makira is a high-end Japanese restaurant in Dubai’s Dusit Thani Hotel. While there are numerous upscale Japanese restaurants in Dubai, this one stands out.
MaKiRa’s concept is inspired by two of Japan’s most beloved dishes, Maki and Ramen, fusing flavors and techniques that are synonymous with both traditional and modern Japanese cultures into one exciting dining experience.
The restaurant’s goal is to serve food made from fresh Japanese ingredients in an elegant setting with soft music in the background.
Is it worth it with their eye-capturing ambiance and food?
Their food is prepared by their talented chef Christine Cruz. This is a 5-star restaurant with wonderful fusing flavors and techniques that hallmark the traditional and modern cultures of Japan into one exciting dining experience. His culinary experiences in exquisite Japanese cuisines have been proven well with the amazing dishes served in Makira. His description of how the food is prepared shows the immense love he has for his craft and how he uses his techniques in traditional ways.
Embracing both traditional and modern cultures, MaKiRa’s bright and airy space is dominated by minimalist wooden features accented with graphic, contemporary Japanese artwork. The restaurant focuses on the flavor of their dishes as the chef particularly knows how to get the best from his ingredients.
Guests are welcomed with a variety of illuminated multi-colored Japanese umbrellas, showcased as ceiling features at the entrance, perfect for that mirror-gram selfie. The entrance features an illusion with their broken glasses pattern along with their ceiling. Japanese Uchiwa Fans and Furoshiki Boxes in different colors and patterns add a traditional touch to MaKiRa’s walls, and the striking Samurai ramen graphics of Seiten No Heki-Reki and Hana Yori Dango provide a great contrast to the restaurant’s overall aesthetic.
Food and presentation
For a late dinner, we started with the traditional small meal of a formal Japanese meal. The Aburi Truffle Wagyu Roll, with the thinly sliced wagyu beef and avocado blends beautifully with the crispy onions, yakiniku sauce, and truffle kewpie. The Torched Salmon Uramaki, with the salmon tartar, cucumber with the drizzle of truffle kewpie, and teriyaki glaze. The taste of the salmon was so rich and melts in your mouth. The rest of the ingredients compliment the entire dish very well which makes it a perfect start for more flavors to come. What stands out with their recipe is how cook their rice which is washed very thoroughly with ice water and soak them for 20 minutes to get them to be cooked right the result of cooking it that way is different as it gives the rice more puffiness without being mushy, you can see every rice in the roll. Both the sushi rolls had such amazing taste to them and they were such a wonderful start as an appetizer.
Moving on to the main course we went in for one of the traditional Japanese meals. Tan- tan Ramen, the dish is sesame and miso based with peanut flavors. The base broth is cooked for 8 hours which gives it a thick texture with so much richness. The minced chicken is cooked with all the ingredients separately for it to have a taste of its own with sesame oil and miso paste. It’s a very complex dish especially because of the broth for how long they were cooked to get their creamy texture and taste.
For dessert we had the Macha Creme Brulee, it’s a dish mainly summarized with sugar. The brulle is mixed with powdered sugar and torched on top so the sugar caramelizes on the top and top with a vanilla biscuit. The Yuzu Cheesecake had a different sourness to it than usual cheesecake and that’s because it’s made with Japanese lime that adds a special which is felt as soon as a scoop is taken and gives a flavor blast. The cranberries on top and then with the buttercream which is served with the dish gives it a perfect balance to the sourness and neutralizes it. Everything in the dish has its specialty and role which works well together.
The staff were very welcoming and were attentive to our needs and queries about the different dishes. With most of them working there for a long time already and seeing how they work together, they give an impression that they like what they do. It was also a breath of fresh air that the staff moved in a fast yet calm way, showing no signs of cramming which makes customers feel more comfortable. The people have such harmony and give us a hint of a little community working together.
When asked about what he is most passionate about being a chef, Cruz emphasized his love for learning new things every day and how learning is a never-ending process. Their sweet and approachable service tops up the entire experience. This idea gives importance to how they value feedback from customers and staff alike which results in giving excellent service and customer satisfaction.
Value for money
The three-course meal of the seasonal Business lunch set for AED 99 per person is worth the price. It can be a meal that you can have for special occasions or special affairs as it leaves your palate with flavors and wanting so much more. It can also be perfect for a quick lunch or an after-work dinner with friends or colleagues, MaKiRa promises to be an informal yet unforgettable fusion of Japanese dining experience coupled with Dusit Thani’s signature Thai hospitality.
The restaurant also boasts of their culture, with painted artifacts and graphics which show their tradition and their connection to the food with also a high-end cuisine experience. Their decorum is with such elegance and culture all around.
It is important to note that while they focus on the key ingredients of their dishes in the kitchen, they also value their team as one of the elements on their road to success.
MaKiRa is located on the ground floor of Dusit Thani Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Open daily for lunch (12pm to 3pm) and Dinner (7pm to 11pm).
For reservation : 043174515; WhatsApp : 0549908007; [email protected]
Follow @MakiRaDubai on Instagram and Facebook