Traditional Japanese fine dining for purists


On the Pass

Masahiro Sugiyama

Tokyo calling: This is the closest you’re going to get to taking a seat at one of Japan’s finest restaurants without leaving the UAE. Chef Masahiro Sugiyama, a sixth-generation sushi master, serves up a set omakase – or chef’s choice – menu, picking the freshest ingredients that are imported directly from his home country, which ensures no two sessions are ever alike.

What’s the experience like? There are only nine seats and every one of them, perched along a smooth wooden counter, gives you a ring-side view of the knife skills and culinary artistry at work with a window framing the Dubai skyline as a striking backdrop. The space is pared back yet oozes expense, as is befitting given its location on the fourth floor of the sophisticated Bvlgari Hotel Dubai.

Fishing for compliments: From sea urchin to octopus tentacles and fatty tuna, depending on the menu you’ve picked and any preferences you express, you’ll be treated to a series of bite-sized courses, appetizers, sushi and miso soup, finishing off with a traditional omelette.

An aptly named gem: Literally translated as ‘gemstone’, those looking for genuine authenticity at Hoseki will find their every requirement ticked – at a price. The multi-course feast starts at AED700 for lunch, while dinner starts at AED1,500. But given this will count as a bucket list experience, we suggest you push the boat out and opt for the most extravagant AED2,000 offering.