INFO: Kanpai, Souk Al Bahar, 04 441 9262, www.kanpaime.com.
The lounge and restaurant is an exciting addition to the Souk Al Bahar scene with its dark and brooding interiors and an all-in-one bar-restaurant-lounge. We were there to focus on the food and there was plenty worthy of our attention. Kicking off with sushi, the spicy tuna maki has an interesting addition of apple, lending a sweet crunch to counter the richness of the fish. For mains the signature Kanpai fried rice is a must – it comes with a generous helping of shrimps and scallops nestled amongst some very flavourful rice, filled out with crab meat. The signature charcoal-grilled Wagyu with noodles and stir-fried bok choy is a well-rounded meal that showcases the Asian flavours in simple, fresh preparations. Splash out on some lobster, which is reasonably priced and a huge portion, but ask them to go easy on the yuzumiso yaki sauce as it’s a bit overpowering to the natural taste of the shellfish. The staff is well-versed in the menu and happy to make recommendations based on your preferences, so make sure to ask for advice. Round-off the evening with a creative cocktail featuring fresh passion fruit and sparkling sake, then head over to the neighbouring lounge section to dance off your dinner!