Love Japanese cuisine? I’ve got the perfect Friday brunch suggestion for you, complete with a fantabulous view of the majestic Dubai Fountain and the Burj Khalifa. With a red carpet welcome right at the doorstep and artistic interiors that will awaken the Instagrammer in you, Katana Dubai is a hidden dining gem in Address Downton, Dubai.

Every Friday, Katana Dubai hosts its Red Sun Brunch from 12 noon to 4 pm where diners get served a 25-course tour of three popular styles of Japanese cooking.

Hooray its Thursday! The weekend is finally here. Looking for dining options tonight? If you are a true-blue seafood fan, I would highly recommend the Seafood Night at Ballaro, the Italian fine-dining restaurant at Conrad Hotel (Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai).

The expansive buffet has you covered with all things seafood, with a wide variety of world cuisines to boot. From sushi to fish & chips, they have something here for even the most discerning diner.

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. 

If you were to open a fusion Asian restaurant, what would you name it? Most of us would probably venture in the food labels realm, but who would have thought of Smoking Doll?! Such a uniquely clever name! Love it and love the logo showcasing the the tattooed, fan-bearing Asian doll oozing so much oomph. I was intrigued to know if their food was as good as the name itself.

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Smoking Doll currently only has branches in Abu Dhabi (at Galleria Mall and Boutik Mall). As we were at the capital for our staycation at Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana, we decided to try out Smoking Doll at the Boutik Mall branch. 

A week ago, my sister posted this absolutely stunning image of the cherry blossom trees, in full bloom at the International Pacific University in my hometown of Palmerston North, New Zealand.

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The annual Sakura Festival is one of the most anticipated events on the calendars of the Japanese migrant community of New Zealand. Being Down Under, the cherry blossoms come to bloom there in early September, but in Japan it takes place between March and May.

Sakura¬†is Japanese for ‘cherry blossom’, and it is quite a coincidence that a week later, I find myself in a Japanese restaurant by the same name.

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Located in the very central Crowne Plaza Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, Sakura takes the Japanese culinary experience to another level with its dedicated Chashitsu room, an interactive sushi-making counter and a very fired-up lineup of authentic Teppanyaki barbecues, cooked and served right at the table with a great deal of pomp and pizzazz. 

Kyo¬†translates to ‘entertainment’ in Japanese, and that is exactly what this stylishly chic new eatery on Golden Mile 1 (The Palm, Dubai) is setting up to do.¬†Kyo Cafe & Lounge¬†will open up to the public around 25th August, yet I had the privilege of being invited for a pre-menu tasting early this week.

Kyo Lounge and Bar Golden Mile The Palm Dubai Japanese restaurant review by The Tezzy Files Dubai Food nd Lifestyle Blogger (5)

Created and conceptualized by a highly enterprising Egyptian management, with a kitchen headed by a French chef, Kyo serves up an unabashedly authentic Japanese fare. Multi-cultural much?! Welcome to Dubai Habibi!

Named after the much-loved Japanese animation character, Manga Sushi is a spectacular world of its own. With a cherry blossom tree right at the front, a graffiti wall, Origami lighting and waitresses dressed up Japanese school-girl style (high socks and all), walking into this restaurant is like relishing a slice of Eastern pop culture that is so strikingly different from the hustle bustle of Dubai Mall that surrounds it.

Manga Sushi The Dubai Mall review by The Tezzy Files Dubai Food Blogger (4)

rahul moshi interview dubai uae1I had the pleasure of meeting Rahul Sajnani when I was invited for a tasting at Moshi, and felt this young, debonair fusion-chef deserved a blog post on his own! How many of us have the courage to make a profession out of our kitchen experimentations? Rahul found his calling at university, when his unusual flavor combinations won over his roomies in the UK. Back home in Dubai, he is on a mission to convert as many people as possible into sushi-loving Moshians!

Moshi has enjoyed unprecedented success in¬†less than a year of¬†operation, but all this media buzz has not gone into Rahul’s head. A firm believer in giving back to the community, Rahul has initiated a philanthropic stance at Moshi where 5% of the proceeds of every Moshi bill goes into feeding Dubai construction workers.

I fondly remember my days as a university student. Blessed with the quirkiest of friends, some of the best times we’ve had together was in the kitchen where we cooked up weird and wonderful creations. My bestie made the meanest, richest cauliflower curry and the secret behind its success was a generous helping of cheddar cheese (yup! Indian spices with cheese!). It took a fairly broadminded palette to digest, and in the here and now, he has nothing to do with the food industry.

The story reads quite differently for Dubai-born Rahul Sajnani. When Rahul left home for the UK to do a management degree, he found his passion for fusion cooking when living with a bunch of culturally diverse flatmates. In the UK, Rahul also developed a taste for sushi and momos, and improved on his chopstick skills. He was therefore quite astonished to find that the humble, student-budget-friendly momo-sushi combo he was having in the UK was more of an upmarket, wallet cringing treat in the UAE.

With a new-found love for fusion cooking and an insatiable desire to reintroduce momos and sushi to the UAE, Rahul created Moshi.

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