Stepping into TOMO, I take a step back and ask “Am I in Japan or Dubai”. Tables left and right are filled with Japanese dinners, mostly businessmen, discussing their accomplishments of the day.
Winding through the different areas of the restaurant I am introduced to the sushi counter, both the contemporary and tradition Japanese dining areas, the bar and finally the terrace. It’s a lot to take in, but the views are spectacular.
In true Japanese spirit, I accept nothing but a traditional Kotatsu table. And off my shoes go as I slip on, my favorite mind you, hotel slippers offered at each Kotatsu table.
Stepping down into my table, positioned I am, grabbing the menu, ready I am, I announce “Hajimemashou!” (Let’s begin!)
Going through the menu, 5 minutes, then 10 minutes and then 15 minutes pass before I can make my order. The anthology of choices is thorough although proves to be a touch over whelming.
As for drinks a definite order is Asahi Japanese beer served in a chilled long, glass, irresistible.
We begin with vegetable and king prawn tempura, which are both crispy and delightful.
Our mega sushi boat comes sailing in shortly there after and it’s a beautiful creation. I first notice the white ginger, which pleases me, a cut above the commercial pink ginger served in other Japanese outlets. Going through the sushi boat, the selection of sushi is well cut and traditional. Are there any surprises, or flavors I haven’t tasted before? No, but the sushi is consistently good.
Our gyoza, sashimi salad, tofu salad and avocado rolls arrive. Lifting the sashimi with my chopstick and bringing it to my lips I feel the chilled cut of salmon as I taste the luxurious, buttery freshness of the fish. As for the gyoza, the crispy yet supple outer dough does a perfect job of harnessing the full flavors of the pork.
And to end my meal, I have ordered another meal, I blame that on the extensiveness of the menu. Lemon and soy sauce infused cuts of meat with fresh cabbage and sides of rice and miso soup. Sipping my soup I can taste the earthiness of the onion, mushroom and miso. One of the best I’ve had in a while. Taking a bite of the warm tender meat with the fresh cabbage makes me smile every time.
After a literal boat load of starters and two main courses a stroll is in order. What better place to take a stroll then along the Dubai skyline. With an order of green tea and vanilla mouchi off to the terrace we go. The cool breeze, dessert and views on terrace prove to be the perfect wind down to the journey of our meal.
There is no doubt that Tomo offers some of the city’s most authentic Japanese dishes at reasonable prices. With Chef Chitoshi cult following I know this restaurant will be a success. Will I be back? I will, for lunch and I’d order the lemon beef, miso and rice soup meal and finish it off with a jasmine tea on the terrace to watch the sunset.