Celebrate the ‘Taste of Japan’ at 10 UAE restaurants

Adrift Burger Bar now has a 24K Burger for UAE’s Golden Jubilee

Partner content: JETRO Dubai certifies Japanese restaurants and stores

By Time Out EditorsNovember 16, 2021
Love sushi? Giddy for green tea? Mad for matcha? Make sure you’re sampling certified Japanese products by trying out 12 amazing restaurants and stores across the UAE recognized by Japan’s External Trade Organisation (JETRO).

In Dubai, there are 10 restaurants certified as Japanese Food and Ingredient Supporter Stores. These are:

Bentoya Kitchen, Sjheikh Zayed Road
Fujiya at Millennium Airport Hotel, Garhoud,
Fujiya at Swissotel Al Murooj Downtown
Kobeya, Wasl Vita
Kiku, Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre
Kimura-Ya, The Oberoi
Kimura-Ya Authentic Japanese Restaurant at Habtoor Grand Resort
Kohantei, Downtown Dubai
TOMO Japanese Restaurant, Raffles Dubai
Zuma Restaurant, DIFC
Fancy cooking up a storm at home? There are two retail stores that are also certified across UAE. Get down to Gourmet-Ya in Dubai or Summit Trading Company LLC in the capital to buy your ingredients and have a go at recreating traditional Japanese flavours yourself.

The certification means these outlets consistently use Japanese foods that are produced within Japan, such as yellowtail, sea bream, scallop, green tea and matcha.

Want to know more about these ingredients?
Yellowtail is an ancient Japanese delicacy. Farmed under optimal conditions, the yellowtails are rich in fat and a lustrous white, while wild yellowtails are highly valued and considered exceptionally delicious. In Japan, yellowtail is nicknamed “promotion fish”, as it is given a new name at each stage of its growth, and thus revered as a mascot for “success”.

Red Sea Bream is classed as an essential ingredient in Japanese celebrations, with its beautiful appearance and remarkable taste. Red Sea breams are called “Tai” in Japanese. The word can be found in the term “medetai”, meaning celebratory, and red sea breams are considered essential in Japanese celebrations.

Scallops are a delicacy, cultivated with natural feeds and close to the ground, and frozen with rapid freezing technology that ensures the very best scallops reach your plate. Scallops are the mainstay of Japanese New Year cuisine because they are considered a symbol of “smooth sailing” as their fan-shaped shell resembles a sailboat riding across the ocean.

Sencha, or green tea, is the most popular tea drunk in Japan, packed full
Vitamin C and minerals, not to mention its refreshing flavour.

Matcha is made from tea leaves grown in the shade, which are then steamed, dried and ground in a stone mill. Traditionally used for tea
ceremonies in Japan, Matcha is high in antioxidants and is now a popular ingredient in chocolates, cookies and cakes.

You can try the Japanese seafood at any of the certified Japanese Food and Ingredient Supporter Stores listed above, or buy green tea and matcha at
Kobeya in Wasl Vita (Dubai) , Gourmet Ya (Dubai), Summit Trading Company LLC (Abu Dhabi), and Sakura Japan Sweets & Restaurant (RAK).

Japanese seafood fairs
To celebrate the Japanese Food and Ingredient programme, which has more than 7600 members worldwide, there are two food fairs happening this month.

Japanese Izakaya restaurant Fujiya, which has outposts in Swissotel Al Murooj in Downtown and Millennium Airport Hotel in Garhoud, will host a seafood extravaganza from Sunday, November 21 to Saturday, November 27, with a new, limited-edition Yellowtail menu on offer.

Kimura-Ya, which has two restaurants in Dubai to choose from, will also host a seafood fair, from Sunday, November 28 to Saturday, December 4.

The menus have been developed by top chefs at each restaurant exclusively for these events, so make sure you book your table now.

Don’t miss out on these great foodie happenings, and do your bit to help support Japan’s agricultural and forestry sectors, and its fisheries, at the same time.