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Akiba Dori

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My favourite cuisine is Japanese. I love it. No matter where I am in the world, I always seek out Japanese food. What you end up with runs the gauntlet from awful to amazing. Luckily, my recent experience at Akiba Dori in Dubai fell on the positive end of the spectrum.

I’ve wanted to visit Akiba Dori, in the Design District, for some time. It’s close to our house, and it’s easy to get to. There is ample parking. Most of all, though, I wanted to sample the food, and see the neat decor on offer. You see, Akiba Dori is set up like a series of Japanese street vendors. It also claimed to offer Tokyo-style pizza, which I was keen to explore. You can even play an arcade game or two, if that’s your thing.

Created by Samer Hamadeh, the brains behind Stereo Arcade (which I seriously want to visit!), it hosts seven unique storefronts inside the one dining area. As well as offering the aforementioned pizza, it has coffee, traditional Japanese street foods, ice cream, and – best of all – alcohol! Oh, Akiba Dori. You know the way to my heart.

It was quite early when we arrived, so there weren’t many people in the restaurant – and this is when I snapped most of my shots. However, by the time we left, the place was starting to buzz. During the day, it appears to be popular with couples and families. The service was slick as well as friendly, and despite a tiny wait on one dish, I can’t really fault it.

Despite the offer of pizza, I couldn’t pass up on my Japanese favourites. We sampled the Akiba Sliders, Wagyu Gyoza, Chicken Katsu Curry and Tempura Mix. It was all delicious. The tempura, in particular, was light and fluffy – a lot better than the disappointing tempuras you often find in Dubai. There was nothing left on our plates, although the servings were pretty generous. It was just that good.

Because I stuck to my traditional picks, I didn’t actually sample the Tokyo-style pizza, truth be told. But it looked good. Really good. The pizzeria uses Italian toppings and Japanese flour, cooking the concoctions in an insanely hot wood-fired oven in under 60 seconds, on a nice thin base. The design of the interior is very cool, but I imagine the atmosphere only gets better at night, with all the neon on offer. Also, no kids after 7PM. Just how I like it. I’d love to go back and experience it. Maybe I could eat one of those pizzas. How convenient.

Besides, I forgot to dine on their Japanese cheesecake. Amateur mistake. Of course I’m going to have to head back.

The is only one slight drawback for me. Akiba Dori is quite expensive. The neat decor and delicious food do help to make up for it, but it’s still a steep meal. I think it cost us around 200AED for lunch. I think I have gotten so used to getting an Emirates Platinum Card discount… which leads me to a suggestion. Akiba Dori, if you signed up to offer Emirates Platinum Card offers, you’d have a captive audience. You’re only a hop, skip and jump from a number of housing compounds frequented by Emirates staff, and you are licensed. Seriously, you’d be rolling in their dirhams if you jumped on the bandwagon. Give it some thought!

Oh, and install a few more video machines. They were all taken up by the kids when I went to play 🙂

AKIBA DORI

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Building 8 – Dubai Design District – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

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The 58th Floor is the travel and lifestyle blog of Belinda Birchall, based in Dubai. It provides advice and information on travel throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East, as well as useful information for living in Dubai - and anything else of interest!

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