OKKU Keeps You Coming Back For More
Welcome to the land of the beautiful people. By the bar, you'll find long legs, pouty lips and the glint of jewellery. Yes, OKKU is a little flashy, but with stunning decor that wouldn't be out of place in New York's trendy Meatpacking District and creative cocktails, it's no surprise that this favourite haunt continues to attract those who love to see and be seen.
Tuna and Foie Gras Carpaccio
And here's the cherry on top of the cake: OKKU has an absolutely fantastic dinner offering. With new menus always in rotation, the dishes are full of surprise, flavour and inspiration.
We edged our way through the crowded bar, following the modelesque maitre d' to our table. OKKU has three staggered levels, with booths on the top floor for the partygoers, a bar on the ground floor, and dinner tables on the lower level. We told ourselves we would just stay for dinner, but soon found ourselves dancing next to our tables and drawing out goodbyes to our dining companions because we just didn't really want to leave.
OKKU's sushi offerings are varied. Lovers of Japanese cuisine are in for a treat as it doesn't get any better than the sushi, black cod, sashimi and yellow tail options on the menu. The new menu launched this year has over 36 delicious new dishes, each of which has taken weeks and sometimes months to perfect.
Grilled Miso Karubi Rib
It sure is a (delicious) mouthful, but that's just the starters. The main courses are serious epicurean delights. There was plenty of ooh-ing and aah-ing when a grand lobster stuffed with prawn surimi was placed in the centre of the table. With theatrical flair, we could hear the sizzle of the next dish before we could see it. Tender slices of Wagyu shioyaki beef were cooked right in front of our eyes on a hot Himalayan salt rock, which retains heat and adds flavour. An array of mixed leaves and flowers are also cooked on the salt tablet, giving a modern twist to a paleo dish. It was my first time trying cooked chrysanthemum flowers and the floral scent, petal texture and delicate flavour made it a very unique side dish.
This month, OKKU is launching Disco Fridays, with a scrumptious menu and a party that gets into full swing at 3 pm with all the top hits from the 80s. Dress code is inspired by the quirky decade - the brighter and bolder, the better!
Too full to try dessert? Take a break by the bar and sway your shoulders to the beat. You will be lured back to the award-winning food at your table for more. It's a VIVA guarantee.
Hugh Sato Gardiner
60 Seconds With Hugh Sato Gardiner Head Chef At Okku
What do you love about Asian fusion cuisine?
Fusing different Asian cooking methods and ingredients usually brings out very strange and sometimes unappetising flavours; however, when you do perfect the combination the taste can be absolutely amazing. A great example which I do is to take the typical rice cake (onigiri) and instead of the typical seasoning add spicy tuna which creates an entirely new and delicious treat!
What ingredients can you not live without?
Miso, sriracha and ponzu (citrus based sauce).
What's a signature or favourite dish on the amazing new menu?
It's so hard to pick just one as they are all fast becoming favourites amongst our clients, but the ones that I repeatedly hear praise for are the O'Style Volcano Avocado and the O'Style Salmon Sashimi. The beef Wagyu dish with the salt tablet is also quite popular with our customers - the way the tablet flavours and heats the meat is quite special.
What's your culinary guilty pleasure?
I am a fanatic for "combini bento" or convenience store bentos found in Japan.
What did you last cook at home?
My kids' bento lunch boxes: shiso salted rice onigiri, chicken tender, French potato, and fruit bites. I like to prepare meals for them.
What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten?
It still has to be horsemeat, "basashi".
Which famous person would you love to cook for?
Brad Pitt. I am the world's biggest World War Z fan.
How would you describe Dubai's dining scene in 3 words?
Raising the bar!