One of the three outlets of Abu Dhabi-based Samurai Japanese Restaurant lies tucked away behind the Holiday Inn Hotel at Airport Road. What makes this place a favourite among Japanese food lovers is the authentic sushi variations it serves in a quiet yet brightly coloured Japanese pop art interiors. To be precise, there are 36 different sushi items to choose from – some come with fancy names such as California Maki and Dynamite tuna roll. Since 2005, Samurai has been delighting customers with authentic Japanese cuisine served either on its rotating sushi counter, customized tables with grill or in the privacy of tatami rooms.

Sushi Sashimi Combo

Sushi Sashimi Combo

We started with Tomyum soup, a Thai shrimp soup and wakame soup, a seaweed soup with an assortment of condiments. For the appetizers, we tried Ebi su which is sweet shrimp and cucumber in vinegar; edamame, tender boiled soybean pods served with salt or other condiments; Kamiko Salada mock crab sticks and cucumber with flying fish roe. The quality and freshness of the ingredients making every bite a delight for the senses.

From the Yakimono or grilled and pan-fried dishes, the beef barbeque with a sweet and spicy sauce made for a supremely tasty treat as did shake teppan, salmon with vegetables, and Ika Teppan cuttlefish with vegetables.

Samurai Sashimi

Samurai Sashimi

The owner of the chain, Mr. Farag Barakat’s, long association with the Japanese culture lies at the heart of the existence of the three restaurants. “My family and I were so fond of Japanese food, we decided to open a restaurant to share our love with fellow Arabs and different nationalities living in UAE,” says Mr. Barakat.

“We were the first Japanese restaurant to open outside the big hotels and the first ones to start home delivery services in Abu Dhabi,” recalls a beaming Mr. Barakat.
Mr. Barakat’s knowledge about Japanese cooking is vital to how the foods taste as he consults the preparation in detail with the chefs who have been with him for over 15 years.

Samurai Japanese Restuarant

Guests can enjoy sushi in the comfort of open tables, in the rotating sushi counter or in tatami rooms.

“To encourage guests who are not familiar with the taste of sushi, we offer agemono or lightly battered and deep-fried seafood or vegetables such as shrimp tempura as there is no raw fish in these items,” explains Mr. Barakat.

From a selection of dessert items such as strawberry short cake and tempura ice cream, we finished our eating with Japanese green tea that gently complemented with the post-meal flavours.

Despite the main ingredients being sourced exclusively from Japan, the rates for the items are very reasonable compared to some city restaurants.

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Coming soon: Samurai Japanese Restaurant in Dubai.

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