Head to Ikigai for an edgy take on Japanese cuisine in Dubai Marina.
A new Japanese restaurant has opened at Millennium Place Marina Hotel in the space formally occupied by Kanteen. Ikigai, which means ‘a reason for being’ in Japanese, is a laid back restaurant and bar with a menu of Japanese street food inspired by the informal street bars known Izakaya.
The new opening looks set to ignite the senses, with dishes such as Wagyu beef tataki with Goma truffle sauce, softshell crab with wasabi dip, lightly seared salmon with jalapeno soy and a decadent Valrhona chocolate Goma fondant for dessert. Menu consultation comes from acclaimed Dubai-based chef Reif Othman whose distinctive Japanese dishes are ideal for sharing.
“I was excited to consult and curate the menu for Ikigai as this new concept ticks many boxes for me. It’s an independent, homegrown brand developed by UAE-based restaurateurs, plus as an ‘izakaya’, this licensed Japanese pub fills a gap in the Dubai Marina district. By adding my unconventional spin to dishes, I’ve created a contemporary and affordable menu,” says Reif Othman.
Launched by The First Group, diners can expect wooden interiors, ambient mood lighting, graffiti murals and an outdoor terrace to ensure a chic Japanese dining experience, supported by an extensive cocktail and sake selection.
“An izakaya concept in this part of Dubai is unique. It’s casual, really fun, and we cater for diners who love Japanese food and flavours. We take the quality of our food seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We want people to come in and enjoy themselves, bring family and friends, and to make it a destination restaurant in Dubai. Something that people don’t mind going out of their way to get to!” – Mark Patten, Vice President of Food & Beverage, The First Group.
Ikigai is conveniently located for Dubai Marina residents and is open for lunch, dinner, after-work drinks and everything in between.