Hashi at Armani Dubai – a Japanese treat?

Dubai; Hashi at Dubai’s Armani hotel has been on FooDiva’s ever-growing wish list for a while, so as I try my utmost to support all things Japanese right now, friend and I turned up for a mid-week reservation. Hashi translates to chopsticks by the way. I do love a restaurant that confirms your telephone reservation by text, and then sends you a reminder on the day itself – and Hashi does exactly that.

Following a couple of pre-dinner cocktails in the bar – would thoroughly recommend the sake Cosmos by the way – we were ushered to our table à deux on the terrace, with what must go down as an even better view of Dubai’s dancing fountains than Rivington Grill on the other side of the pond. But staggering views aside, the restaurant was incredibly quiet, all be it a Tuesday evening, with only a handful of diners.

As with most Japanese, the menu is extensive, so we perused whilst sipping our warm carafe of sake. In Japan, they do prefer it cold, but there’s something so digestive when drinking it hot. I don’t think I can ever dine on Japanese without starting with salmon sashimi – tenderlicious, but once again like my recent Honyaki review, should have been sliced a tad thicker. Spicy marinated tuna maki rolls followed with tamago (a sweetened egg omelette), topped with generous dollops of caviar and a spot of mayo; crunchy and piquant – impeccable.

Salmon sashimiSpicy tuna makiTeppenyaki wagyu beefScallops with foie grasScallops with foie grasDark chocolate tart

FooDiva’s always drawn to foie gras on any menu – rich, buttery yet so light; in this case the duck liver sandwiched between two scallops with a spicy honey miso sauce. Simply irresistible. Now as am sure you’re wondering, the salmon hails from Norway, tuna from Spain and scallops from Canada – no sign of any Japanese produce. The cubes of Australian teppenyaki wagyu beef were a tad overcooked – if you’re gonna order beef you must have it rare to retain its true flavour. Even as wagyu (marbled as a result of the cow’s massaging and alcohol consumption), the beef was too chewy. The green asparagus served in both main courses, as well as the separate portion we ordered was grilled robatayaki style, ie. a Japanese version of a BBQ; perfectly al dente with a basil miso to dip in and out of.

Two sake carafes later, plus a divine dark chocolate tart with a caramel sauce and accompanying passion fruit and banana mix sorbet made for a perfect ending. Well almost perfect; we eagerly awaited Bocelli’s Con Te Partire with every dance of the fountain, but were disappointed.

Japanese restaurants tend to come up trumps with food presentation, and Hashi is no different. Service was spot-on. I asked for a copy of the menu to take home as it’s not available online, and whilst they are not permitted to hand these out, the manager returned with my dishes hand-written on beautiful Armani note-cards. Now that’s going the extra mile. And rest assured, they had no idea I was reviewing (check out FooDiva’s editorial policy). I’d hardly reached home, when a thank you text arrived.And here's what we ate

Dinner for two including one bottle of mineral water, three cocktails and two 250ml carafes of sake (@ AED 205 each they don’t come cheap) AED 1,118 including service and taxes. Clearly an expensive restaurant, but beef aside, offers top notch quality for that price. Opt for a reasonably priced bottle of wine instead of sake, and you’re in for a more affordable meal.

FooDiva will most certainly return to eat her way through the rest of the menu, and of course take in those magical fountains to the tune of Bocelli. Here’s to a four out of five FooDiva knife rating.

Hashi at Armani Dubai is open daily for dinner and for Friday brunch. T; +971 4 8883444.

Click here for FooDiva’s earlier impressions of Armani’s Indian restaurant Amal.

A bientôt.

FooDiva. x

FooDiva Rating: Knife Rating: 4
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10 Responses to “Hashi at Armani Dubai – a Japanese treat?”

  1. Neil Hegarty May 21, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Interesting restaurant and blog. The beef being chewy was a good note, no excuse for that. I can cook rare beef and keep the flavour.

    You say you’ll return, but you paid AED 1200 for a 4 out 5? And could you really have got a decent bottle of wine for less than AED 400?

    But service counts for alot, there is so little of it here in Dubai.

    Thanks for the blog.

    • FooDiva May 22, 2011 at 10:09 am

      Thanks Neil. Dubai’s deluxe hotels offer a fine dining experience with alcohol, so it will always come at a price – some more reasonable than others. There are plenty of unlicenced Japanese and sushi establishments that offer incredible food that won’t break the bank. Depends what one fancies…

  2. Sally - My Custard Pie May 22, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Like the new look.

  3. sarah walton May 22, 2011 at 11:27 am

    I love Hashi – but it’s never cheap. There is a great little bar around on the left side of the restaurant, and they have an amazing range of single malts. Do they still have the great DJ? My post below – and the ‘black cod’ I was raving about that tastes like butter? It’s because it’s butterfish, just a rose by another name.


    • FooDiva May 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm

      No DJ that night am afraid, but the fountains entertained us instead. Had it been a weekend I would have had barrels of sake, not just carafes. Am a huge fan of black cod, but just a bit tired of seeing it on every Japanese menu. I can rustle up a good one myself…

  4. Admirer May 22, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Nice new look to the website – different! Well Done

  5. Nabil May 22, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Upgraded look is really nice!

    • FooDiva May 22, 2011 at 10:07 pm

      Thanks all for your glowing comments on the design. A few more changes still to come! Cheers.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Hashi at Armani Dubai – a Japanese treat? | Expat Echo Dubai - May 22, 2011

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  2. Itching for Japanese; Icho [formerly Benkay] | FooDiva - July 24, 2011

    […] I have a sake cosmo?” FooDiva suggested. He tried to convince me otherwise until I mentioned Hashi at Armani does a very good one. So he mixed what was an excellent sake cosmo. In the meantime Mr B was told […]

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