Already boasting one of the most pictured restaurant entrances in the whole of Dubai, Akira Back at W Dubai – The Palm doesn’t just make for a great Instagram picture, the cuisine here is fun, adventurous, dynamic and a clear representation of Michelin star chef Akira Back himself.
Before we venture on to our dining experience, lets address the man whose name is on the door, Akira Back. Chef Akira Back is famed for his sense of adventure, culinary creativity, and eponymous blend of Japanese fare with Korean essence. From having been awarded a Michelin star for his restaurant, Dosa, TV appearances on Iron Chef to breathtaking expansion plans, Akira Back is one of the hottest names in the culinary landscape today.
We are excited to be visiting his restaurant Akira Back at W Dubai – The Palm today. We enter the restaurant, taking the compulsory selfie at the restaurants entrance, before sitting at a table next to the window. It’s a clear night so we can enjoy the city views. The restaurants décor is cool with dark grey tones, exposed red pipes, and back lit walls. The restaurant offers two private dining rooms, a host of cosy booths, a large sushi bar and an outdoor terrace.
We start to browse the menu when Chef de Cuisine Giovanni Ledon comes over to our table. Having worked with Akira for years, Chef Giovanni gives us an introduction to the dishes and suggests that we opt for the Greatest Hits menu, a compilation of Akira’s signature dishes. A quick chat about our food preferences and we are set to begin. Worth mentioning is that the restaurant also offers a full vegan menu, around 25 dishes in total from cold, hot, salad, main to dessert.
Our first dish arrives, and it’s the famous Tuna Pizza, Umami Aioli, Micro Shiso and White Truffle Oil. It’s love at first bite, the crisp base, the creaminess, and the beautiful fattiness of the tuna are spectacular. The next dish is equally as enjoyable, the Creamy Spinach Salad with Spinach, Roasted Sesame Dressing and Rayu, be sure to give this dish a good mix to blend all the flavours.
From the cold section of the menu chef puts together a tasting of four of the bestselling dishes, Tuna Tataki, Hirame Carpaccio, Jeju Domi and the Salmon Tiradito. Nicely presented in a long ice box the delicate fish has been exquisitely plated to make each dish pop with colour. To taste, selecting a favourite is difficult, the Tuna again offers that fatty creaminess contrasted with the Pickled Wasabi, whilst the Hirame offers a blend of textures with its Crispy Shallots, the Jeju is light and zesty with hints of Red Sorrel and the Salmon contrasts sweet Peach with bitter Yuja Lemon.
Exploring the vegan menu our next dish is the Vegan AB Tacos, using Beyond Bulgogi (Beyond Meat is a Vegan meat alternative), Onion and Roasted Tomato Ponzu. Another great dish and I even convince my meat eating dining companion to finally try Beyond meat.
Moving onto the Miso Black Cod and the Giant Red Prawns (served as 3 pieces). The Miso Black Cod is generously layered in a thick Miso sauce, breaking down the flavour is the infused foam, we would highly suggest ordering this dish. The Giant Red Prawns cooked on the Robata grill extend a succulent smoky flavour, and we enjoy the accompanying Roasted Corn.
From the signature rolls we try the Cow-Wow, a Braised Short Rib with Asian Slaw and the Red Dragon a Shrimp Tempura, Crab Mix, Avocado, Lemon Maguro and Eel Sauce. The Red Dragon has the slight edge of the two, a personal preference but we prefer the flavours.
Finally, we conclude with the Seared Greenland Halibut, 48 Hours Wagyu Short Rib, and the Truffle Rice Clay Pot. With the Halibut and the Wagyu both cooked to perfection this is a superb ending to a great dining experience. Unsurprisingly after eating our way through most of the menu we opt to skip dessert.
Would we return? Yes, without a shadow of a doubt, the food is excellent, the service is warm and friendly, prices are reasonable, especially considering the quality, quantity, and brand. This versatile venue is great for a romantic evening tucked away in a cosy booth, a get together with friends on the outdoor terrace or an intimate family dinner in one of the private dining rooms.
We tried the Greatest Hits menu which is a tasting menu of all Akira Back’s bestselling dishes, the prices below are reflective of those same dishes but in full portions taken from the a la carte menu.
Tuna Pizza, AED 120
Creamy Spinach Salad, AED 60
Tuna Tataki, AED 115
Hirame Carpaccio, AED 90
Jeju Domi, AED 99
Salmon Tiradito, AED 85
Vegan AB Tacos, AED 110
Miso Back Cod, AED 150
Giant Red Prawns, AED 260
Cow-Wow, AED 95
Red Dragon, AED 90
Seared Greenland Halibut, AED 175
48 Hours Wagyu Short Rib, AED 265
Truffle Rice Clay Pot, AED 130
Akira Back, W Dubai – The Palm, +971 4 245 5800