Multi-award winning Japanese luxury restaurant Okku has launched a new à la carte menu featuring over 40 new innovative contemporary dishes. Renowned for its signature dishes of Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice, Wagyu Foie Gras Kushiyaki and ‘O’ Style Yellow Tail Carpaccio, the Okku team has been busy devising new specialities incorporating a range of new ingredients and flavors. My guest and I sat down amidst the subdued and swanky atmosphere that is Okku and experienced the restaurant’s new culinary journey.
Our meal began with refreshingly sweet passionfruit martinis and a selection of appetizers featuring the new menu highlights of ‘O’ Style Hotate, an immediate favorite which presented a dish of seared scallops with figs and chives in a sweet and salty truffle-wafu goma; Steak Tartare, made with Canadian ‘Heritage’ rib eye steak and served with crispy lotus root chips and the Tofu Tricolore, a tasty salad perfect for stictly veggie eateries and made with tofu, tomato, avocado and basil with soy vinaigrette delivering a distinctly fresh and healthy aftertaste.
For a Japanese restaurant which never fails to impress one with its sushi and maki, these new creations were startlingly pleasing regarding the level of innovation and the resulting taste. Our hands reached immediately for more after devouring the seared Sea bass and Papaya Salsa maki made with soy paper baked spicy crab, seabass, bell pepper aioli, sweet soy and papaya salsa – a literal explosion of a multitude of diverse ingredients delectably finishing with a subtly salty flavor prompting one to reach for more. Other immediate favorites included the Dynamite Black Cod Maki of baked california maki, black cod, baby corn, enoki and button mushrooms, asparagus and spicy mayonnaise – rich, creamy and pleasing and the Ama Rainbow, in line with its name – featuring a colorful array of salmon, tuna, sea bass, yellowtail, shrimp, asparagus wrapped in white radish and cucumber and yuzu-soy.
The large plates began to appear and my guest and I eyed each other with gleam at the kingly presentation of the dishes which came our way. Two whole baked king crab legs appeared as part of the Dynamite Kani seasoned with masago and spicy mayonnaise – succulently tender with a pungent flavor. The Swordfish Shoyuyaki made of ginger chili-soy butter baked swordfhish with chives, scallions, shallots and seaweed was rich, soft and with a surprising kick of invigorating ginger. Lastly, another hit was the Veal Short Rib Shoyu-ni of ginger-soy braised veal short ribs featuring a delectably rustic taste and so tender that the necessary knife was not needed to cut the meat.
And then there was the Green Tea Souffle dessert. A nice addition to Okku’s renowned chocolate fondants, seemingly light as air, this souffle exquisitely couples the earthy flavor of green tea with rich melting chocolate in an experience which is as intoxicating as Okku’s new menu arrivals – all should be experienced on one’s own.
Okku, The Monarch Hotel, +971 45018777