Calling all sushi lovers living or working in the Media City vicinity… I have great news for you! The very popular Japanese eatery Sushi Express (located in Cluster R, JLT) has opened a compact little cafe-style branch in the ground floor of Gloria Hotel, Media City Dubai.
Compact with Japanese-style sparse utilitarian furnishings allowing diners to sit in rows with a view of the chef in action, Sushi Cafe Express is the ideal stopover for a quick healthful lunch on a busy workday.
I visited the cafe on a weeknight with the family, and we had the place to ourselves. Despite the size of the place, the menu is brimming with enticing options.
We started off with their signature Rock n’ Roll Shrimp (deep fried tiger prawns coated in sweet chili and spicy mayo) and Salmon Capraccio (decadently thin slices of raw salmon served with white onion, mayo and drizzles of olive oil).
Ofcourse the speciality of the place is sushi, and we had plenty of these! Given I’m a salmon addict, we had two variations of salmon sushi. First came a platter of Seared Salmon Rolls featuring delicately seared fresh salmon, spring onion, salmon roe (ikura), Japanese mayo, kimchi sauce and hot sauce. I loved how beautifully cooked the salmon was; cooked on the outside yet beautifully pink on the inside. And that mild hit of chili was the icing on the cake.
I also loved the Express Addict, a well-loved combination of raw salmon with avocado, cucumber, crab stick, mayo and Masago.
However, my favorite from the night was Sushi Express’s Pirikara Niku Roll. These beauties feature pan-seared beef and lettuce wrapped with rice paper and topped with spicy mayo, hot chili sauce and Teriyaki sauce. The beef has a mild smokiness, and the rice paper added an unexpected element of crunch to every bite. An unusual mix of flavors well worth the try.
Apart from sushi, we were also served a hearty bowl of Chicken Paitan Ramen (noodles with chicken chashyu, eggs and pickled ginger in a flavorful chicken broth). The staff tell us the broth has been cooking for over 12 hours, and this explains why the flvors are so pronounced. This dish has a rustic appeal to it, and would make for perfect comfort food on a cold winter’s day.
If you love Teriyaki, I would highly suggest you try the BBQ Chicken Yaki Tori Don. Succulent pieces of boneless chicken marinated in a flavorful sweet and spicy mix are served on a bed of sticky white rice. A hearty meal that can easily be shared between two.
Through our mighty Japanese feast, we sipped on generously large glasses of freshly squeezed Lemon Mint.
Infact, everything here is generously large! With prices ranging from AED 35 to 55 that are easily shareable between two rather hungry adults, Sushi Cafe Express is a hidden gem for those looking for a bargain Japanese meal in price-heavy Media City.
We ended our meal with a very unusual yet delicious Avocado Creme Brule. Given I am a huge avocado fan, this creamy avocado-filled custard-like dessert was an absolute treat!
Sushi Cafe Express is located on the ground floor of Gloria Hotel (Media City, Dubai), and the hotel provides valet parking facilities. Given spaces are limited, it is best to make a booking. Give them a call on 04 3818215.