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.
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.
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.