The Dubai outpost of Akira Back, named after the celebrity chef and restauranteur behind the concept, effortlessly blends Japanese cuisine with Korean flavours and is a restaurant entirely in keeping with the young and funky W brand.
Akira Back’s interiors ooze a sultry charm, offering pockets of darkness and intimate table configurations accentuated by sleek metalwork and subdued lighting. A small bar area sits off to the left and provides a beguiling blend of cocktails, while a show kitchen and raw bar are constantly abuzz with kinetic knife work from the culinary team.
Settling into comfortable seating on the jaw-dropping terrace, we are impressed by the modern environment with its glass partitions, electric purple lighting and stunning views across the Palm Jumeriah to the Burj Al Arab and glittering Burj Khalifa.
The Akira Back menu offers an appealing selection of salads, sushi and hot and cold appetisers. Akira Back’s Japanese cuisine is imbued with a distinctly Korean essence and provides an innovative and welcome addition to Dubai’s eclectic dining scene. World-class ingredients are combined with seasonal produce and artisanal ingredients to ensure dishes are characterised by nuanced flavours and intricate presentation, and the result is a memorable dining experience.
With each dish skillfully prepared, it’s easy to be astounded by the ingenuity and sheer audacity of plates such as the Tuna Pizza (AED 120). Offering a crisp base covered in thin slices of tuna that camouflage the umami aioli and white truffle oil secretively hidden beneath. It’s genuinely revelatory stuff and a textural delight, making it easy to see how this fusion of East and West has become Chef Back’s signature dish.
Elsewhere, the Hirame Carpaccio (AED 90) presents the flat fish with shallots and Nanbanzu sauce and is topped with slices of jalapeño to provide an element of heat. The Nanbanzu sauce provides a slight sourness which works in perfect contrast to the delicate fish. We also thoroughly enjoy the Tuna Tataki (AED 115), presenting thin slices of tuna with a marinade of mustard su-miso and pickled wasabi.
Simple creations of crisp golden Lobster Tempura (AED 150) and Creamy Spinach Salad (AED 60) are elevated when given the Akira Back treatment. With each section of the menu raising the bar even further, we’re entirely unprepared for the Cow-Wow Roll (AED 95), using short rib instead of fish in its intricate presentation. Combined with Asian slaw, this is a signature roll that has been adapted specifically for the Dubai market.
For our main course, we indulge in the Kiwami Ribeye 9+ (AED 475), representing a dish you should prioritise when dining at Akira Back. 300g of the finest hand-selected Wagyu is an absolute pleasure to eat. Tender, full of flavour, and served with an alluring Kizami wasabi butter that is sweet and appealing without overpowering. The accompanying Truffle Rice Claypot (AED 130) with truffle jus, braised truffle and mushroom Parmesan is both moreish and hearty, yet its the side order of Brussel Sprouts (AED 50) that offers one of the biggest surprises of the evening. Usually relegated to the side of the plate during Christmas dinners, the humble green vegetable is accentuated with a Kimchi glaze and puffed rice for additional texture.
We wind down the evening with a selection of desserts that embrace the restaurants varied Asian flavours. The Kaya Coconut Pandan Cake (AED 45) is a unique offering that pleases thanks to a Pandan chiffon cake, filled with Kaya coconut jam and served with palm sugar cream and Hojicha ice cream. In contrast, the Yuzu Citrus (AED 45) is a beautifully plated combination featuring strawberry gelato, sable crumble and small peaks of meringue.
With an eclectic mixology selection, energetic staff eager to please and an incredible vantage point overlooking Palm Jumeirah, Akira Back manages to tick so many boxes. From the decor to the view and the food, you will no doubt leave impressed.
GO: Call (0)4 245 5800 for reservations and more information.