Japanese food is popular the world over.
There are actually Japanese restaurants that regularly enjoy long queues of patrons every day especially during lunchtime. Such is the case because Japanese cuisine is not only healthier than most other options, it is also prepared quite meticulously to delight the eyes.
If you are a huge fan of Japanese food and you live in the UAE capital, you probably already frequent the different Japanese restaurants in Abu Dhabi. But, are you looking for more creative ways to enjoy your occasional Japanese treat?
Here are some ideas on how to do just that:
- Keep an eye out for special events
Most dining establishments in the city design fun affairs to attract their patrons to come even more frequently, as well as new customers.
For example, an international contemporary Japanese restaurant has fun offers for its customers. It has cocktail evenings, weekend brunches featuring unique menus, and dinner and drinks promos.
These special events are perfect if you want to hang out with coworkers after work and enjoy Japanese food together, or discover new Japanese dishes with your family and friends.
- Try something new
Contemporary Japanese restaurants like to add new items on the menu every now and then. Find out if these new offerings have what it takes to be included among your favorite picks.
It is always nice to approach food with this sense of adventure because discovery is always part of the fun.
- Sample “meal-specific” food
Traditional Japanese restaurants offer meal sets or teishoku for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and they are worth trying out if you like to step out of the box every once in a while.
Japanese breakfast sets, particularly, are quite wonderful. They are nutritious, beautiful, and affordable. Some items may even taste a bit funky at first bite – such as natto (or fermented soybeans) – but a lot of people actually end up loving this nutritious breakfast staple.
Modern Japanese dining establishments, on the other hand, offer Japanized Western fare such as Japanese style pancakes which are incredibly fluffy, as well as green-tea flavored bread.
- Treat yourself to Japanese street food
There’s a growing number of Japanese food kiosks in Abu Dhabi and these offer everything from takoyaki(ball-shaped “cake” with vegetables and slices of octopus inside) to gyoza (dumpling stuffed with pork, cabbage, and Chinese chives), taiyaki (fish-shaped waffle filled with creamy bean paste or sometimes taro), dorayaki (red bean pancake), mochi(sticky rice cake) and many more.
If you do not want to commit to a full Japanese meal, treat yourself to these famous Japanese snacks that are now conveniently available in Abu Dhabi via small food stalls (although some restaurants serve them as well).
- Step out for some ramen
When the nights are cold, there’s nothing more satisfying than a steaming bowl of ramen. There are many kinds of ramen recipes to choose from and you can easily find one that meets your preference as well as your budget.
If you are with a diverse group of people, you all will certainly enjoy this all-in-one meal. And when your family goes out for ramen, do not forget to say “itadakemasu,” which literally means “thank you for the meal” – a filling and tasty meal that brought all of you together.
- Sign up for Japanese cooking classes
Eating is not the only way to enjoy Japanese cuisine. You can develop a stronger appreciation for delicious Japanese food when you learn how to make it yourself.
There are cooking classes in Abu Dhabi that you can sign up for and the Japanese sessions will provide you the fundamentals of sushi-making, and some even specialize in bento-making.
When you learn how to make your beloved Japanese food yourself, you can eat it more frequently and even throw intimate gatherings where Japanese fare features in the spread.
- Learn Japanese etiquette
You truly can elevate dining on Japanese meal at your favorite restaurant by knowing the proper way to eat each of the items you have ordered.
For example, instead of using chopsticks to hold your sushi, do as the Japanese do by holding it with your fingers and dipping the sushi slightly in the sauce, fish first. However, if you are only having sashimi, use your chopsticks.
Also, do not mix wasabi into the soy sauce – this is not the right way to season your food with wasabi. Add the wasabi to your sushi, not the sauce.
You can learn all these Japanese eating dos and don’ts online so you can get more enjoyment out of your dining experience, and you can say: “Now that’s authentic Japanese!”
The Japanese experience
As it’s already well known, Japanese food is more than just the cuisine; it’s an experience in and of itself.
Hopefully, the seven ideas shared here on how to best enjoy Japanese cuisine will complement what pleasure and enjoyment Japanese food already brings you, your friends and family.
Jenene Bronwin Batts is the Senior Marketing Coordinator at Tourism Development & Investment Company or TDIC. She oversees website maintenance, PR requests, marketing initiatives and all general guests’ enquiries for the company’s destinations, including KOI Restaurant & Lounge and Boa Steakhouse in Abu Dhabi.