High end Japanese restaurants are a bit like Marmite, you either love 'em or you hate 'em. What you can not deny is that they are usually full of beautiful people who seem like they haven't eaten any carbs for a few years and are on a permanent vacation. Okku has a very established clientele - most of whom you will probably spot in the pages of Masala (yes strangely popular with the well off Desi crowd) and is generally considered one of the places in Dubai to see and be seen.
Still I suppose the glitterati of Dubai have plenty of places to choose from and while some swear by Zuma, some prefer Caramel and others Okku - all we really care about is the food...
The Black cod is the benchmark dish when it comes to high end Japanese places and Okku's version does not disappoint, crispy on the outside but still melt in the mouth. Having sampled most of the menu (other then the sushi, but then why would you have sushi at a place like Okku when there's so much to choose from?) personal favourites include the Rock Shrimp (a must), Tuna Carpaccio and Scallop Ceviche. The Wagyu & foie gras is meant to be to die for but having tried it, it's not for me.
The entourage of door men, greeters and hostesses standing around as you come up the stairs may be a bit daunting and a slight overkill but the atmosphere inside is generally very friendly and lively. The cocktails are delicious(Chili Martini!) and so is the food, portions are on the small side - you have to keep the pretty people pretty somehow, darling. For desert, it simply has to be the Chocolate Fondant.
Expect to pay around 500+ DHS for a meal for two, throw in a few cocktails and it's going to be nearing the 1000 DHS mark. The place is small so make sure you book ahead, especially on the weekend. You can eat the in lounge (cubby hole) but you will have to give up your table at 11pm, when the lights get turned down even further and the music gets turned up.
Their recently introduced lunch deals which start at 59 DHS and go up to 99 DHS are incredible value for money, especially when you keep in mind how much you would be paying otherwise.. haven't tried these yet - but we hear good things.
Overall? Honestly, we still can't get enough.
Okku is at The Monarch Hotel, 1 Sheikh Zayed road - Tel: +971 (4) 501777