Restaurant Review: Okku
Avg. Cost per Person:299 Dhs
Location:The H Dubai, Shaikh Zayed Road , Dubai
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Fri brunch 12.30pm-4pm
04 501 8888
Okku, the stylish little Japanese restaurant and lounge at The H Hotel, has launched a brand new Friday brunch following on the heels of the wildly popular Friday Disco Brunch. Despite getting rid of the disco in the name, the party still rages and guests can expect to jive to throwback music from the ’80s and ’90s while enjoying a seemingly endless array of Japanese food.
Arriving alone at 12.30pm thanks to tardy brunch companions, I was led by a welcoming hostess to the lounge area, a funky space with large pop murals, a lively bar and a trippy aquarium housing jellyfish. For the next half hour guests were invited to try from a selection of crab and shucked oysters, all of which tasted extremely fresh, like it arrived straight from the ocean to your table (in the nicest way possible, of course). The staff also proved to be extremely chatty, without being too intrusive, and made for great company until my friends arrived.
At sharp 1pm, all the guests are guided to their respective tables in the dining area of the restaurant, constructed half a level lower than the lounge, so you have a clear view of the bar and the aquarium, and later on, the more adventurous guests who decided to dance.
Presented with the menus, we were informed that we can make unlimited orders from the appetisers, and pick one main each. And before you place an order, a huge tray with a colourful selection of sushi, sashimi and maki appears before you, which also disappeared as quickly. Our picks from the small bites were the hushihu salad (Yuan crispy duck tossed with baby gem, mache, romaine lettuce, red radish, mixed cabbage, leek, daikon, fresh pomegranate and hoisin-amazu dressing), the chicken karaage (crispy ginger–soy chicken, julienne ginger, sesame seeds) and the unforgettable, and which we had multiple plates of, wasabi tiger shrimp.
Pro tip: Take it easy with the starters if you want to enjoy your mains and dessert. Enthusiastic and hungry eaters that we are, we misjudged our capacities and couldn’t enjoy our delicious mains as much as we would have liked to.
For big plates, we decided to go with gyu robata (grilled steak, caramelised onions, wafu-teriyaki) and honey truffled chicken (Oven grilled chicken, asparagus, honey truffle), the former of which was the clear winner for us (who can say no to truffle?). The miso black cod also comes highly recommended.
Indulging our sweet tooth at the very end, we picked Fuji apple tart, creme brulee (our favourite) and chocolate brownies, which a couple of us had seconds of.
What everyone could gladly agree upon was that the food met all our expectations and more: fresh ingredients, superlative taste and presented tastefully, not a single plate disappointed. We did, however, notice that the space was a little cramped at the dining area, where a table of four found it difficult to comfortably navigate all the food brought to our table.
The music’s lively and nostalgic, the staff warm and easy to chat with, and the setting intimate, where a group of friends or a family can enjoy long conversations without interruption.
Would I go back? Definitely! But with prices beginning at Dh299 and going up to Dh449, this brunch hits the wallet a little too hard and may dampen a lot of people’s interest in the place.