Ikigai is a brand new social Japanese restaurant in Dubai Marina.

Inspired by the bustling taverns of Japan comes the new social Japanese restaurant, Ikigai. Taking its name from the Japanese concept, “Reason for Being”, IKIGAI is a laid-back Japanese resto & bar situated at the beautiful Millennium Place Marina Hotel.

We were keen to try it out ever since we heard that Dubai-based chef, Reif Othman has consulted on the cuisine, bringing the flavors of Far East Asia to New Dubai in a menu that celebrates the food of izakayas (Japanese pub taverns).

The venue itself includes an open space with plenty of casual seating and open sushi bar. There is also a cozy outdoor setting for cooler days. Inside the decor is trendy with huge eye-catching murals on the walls.

The menu is filled with  a variety of eclectic Japanese food-from snacks, tacos, salads, mains and burgers. Everything is for sharing which was great, because we got to sample all the tempting dishes that were calling out to us.

We began with the nori dust fries that came with a side of homemade ketchup-the generous serving of this moreish dish was polished off in no time!

From the raw section the wagyu beef tatami with goma truffle sauce and the hamachi with citrus white ponzu are both delectable and have distinct flavors that bring out the best in both the meat and fish.

The mushroom truffle tacos came highly recommended and we also devoured those in no time. The tuna maki roll was fresh and crunchy with just the right amount of heat. In the mains we picked the whole baby chicken with barley miso-tender and moist, this dish exceeded all expectations.

Since there is a section dedicated to burgers, we picked the signature wagyu and angus beef one that was topped with miso caramelized onion and cheese. Simple but delicious!

Our small plates and mains all added up and left us with very happy and full bellies but we weren’t going to skip dessert. There are plenty of mocha flavors to pick from and our option of black sesame, salted caramel and matcha were a huge hit. For something more decadent, the Japanese cheesecake hits the spot!

Ikigai is a cool spot to go to with friends and family. We love the chilled out vibe, friendly service and of course, the delicious food.

Ikigai is located at  Millennium Place Marina Hotel in Dubai Marina.

 +971 4 5508114


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