RESTAURANT REIF KUSHIYAKI

It was my birthday! My birthday present – I could choose wherever I wanted to eat.

What better way to celebrate getting a year older than by dining at Restaurant Reif Kushiyaki – a Chef I have admired and whose food I have enjoyed without knowing (at Zuma).

I have followed (more strongly put, I could say ‘stalked’) Chef Reif Othman journey from Zuma to the homegrown concept Play and finally at the Billionaire Mansion. Of this list, I have dined at only Zuma. So this was going to be an exciting ‘tick box’ restaurant dining experience for me.

This self-titled restaurant is a simple 29 seater unlicensed venue at Dar Wasl Mall with no reservation requests taken (although as I type this, I visit the restaurant website only to find that they have a ‘reservation’ tab). The décor is simple with some Astro Boy manga artwork on one of the walls. It’s a hustle when we arrive and we have to wait for a table (as I had expected).

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The table are quite closely packed, although you have an option of sitting at the counter around the central glass-fronted kitchen offering a glimpse at the Chefs at work. I loved the drawers at the table which opened to reveal our menus and cutlery. On our paper menus we had to tick off our choices – the only question I had was – how much is too much 😊

Since the focus is on kushiyaki (traditional Japanese meat and poultry skewers) we ordered those as well as a few other sharing

Chicken skewers (kushi) in teriyaki sauce

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Rock Shrimps

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Raw Wagyu in sweet chilli soy and lotus chips

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Chicken Gyoza in yuzu jelly and crispy skin

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Spicy Salmon Gunkan

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For our mains, we went completely different but both of us believed we had chosen well.

I had the Reif Chicken Rice – steamed chicken, pak choy and chilli sauce. It is a popular Singaporean dish of steamed chicken, pack chow and the most amazing chilli sauce. If I went by just how it looked, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish it. But I was so so so wrong. I scraped every morsel off that plate and I have to give a special shout out to the addictive taste of the chilli sauce.

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Angus Beef Clay Pot – I was allowed to have a spoonful and it was good – this one too was cleaned up well.

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We declined dessert and as I was leaving I asked the server to ask if Reif would take a photo with me – and she politely declined saying he was too busy in the kitchen. That was not the note I wanted to end my night on – but that is where it did.

As we left we saw all the waiting seats taken up by those patiently waiting for a table and honestly their wait will be worth it. The food was superb, the service great and except for my short-lived disappointment at the end – it was an experience I was glad I had as I turned one year older.

Location: Restaurant Reif Kushiyaki, Dar Wasl Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai Telephone: +971 4 345 0761 Open from 12 noon – 11 PM (Saturday to Wednesday) and from 12 noon – 12 midnight (Thursday – Friday)

NOTE: I ate at Restaurant Reif Kushiyaki on my OWN time and money! The views and opinions expressed on this blog are truly my OWN.