A hidden Japanese gem @ Sakura
Located in one of the oldest hotels in Dubai, Sakura offers diners an enjoyable dinner experience be it whether you spend time in their tatami tea room, at the raw sushi bar or at one of their interactive teppanyaki stations.
Upon arrival of the Kitchens of Dubai event, we are greeted with a welcome drink. As we choose a table to sit at we notice the attention to detail starting with the black napkins folded neatly into a jacket and the classy pearl sea shell holding our weighted chopsticks.
Once everyone arrives we start off in the tatami tea room which consists of two rooms with sunken tables. Before entering we are asked to remove our shoes and offered a pair of fresh white slippers instead. The soothing music and ambiance felt like we were getting ready for a spa treatment. Instead we are there for a matcha tea demonstration. The matcha tea is prepared only by a tea master and with a wooden whisk-like instrument and intervals of adding hot water to the green powder. They use the sencha matcha which is the young leaves of the green tea plant grown in the dark which stunts the growth to give a concentrated bright green color.
Learn Japanese: Su = vinegar shi = rice. Ta-ke = Octopus
Next up we move to the Sushi Counter where Chef Varn demonstrates the making of 3 kinds of sushi rolls. The Lion King Roll which has Salmon on the outside, the Caterpillar roll with avocado on the outside and eel on the inside and the Sakura blossom sushi roll. I was hesitant to try the eel sushi but was pleasantly surprised, it was possibly even my favorite of the three.
We ended the KOD lunch with some sake, a traditional alcohol served in a small porcelain cup and made from distilled rice wine vinegar.
Sakura is open daily only for dinner but is a great location for those intimate gatherings.