Words by Frances de Sales on 24-Aug-2011

Address: The Monarch Dubai Hotel, Mezzanine Level, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4501 8777
Website: view Okku’s website
Door: Open door/walk-ins
Style: Restaurant bar
Food: Set menu


You might question how many high-end Japanese restaurant/bars you need within a five-mile radius, but when Okku opened its doors in early 2009 it soon became apparent that there was room for one more among Nobu and Zuma who had already gained a popular following. Okku was quick to prove itself however and Dubai's pretty young things soon flocked to its intimate restaurant, its impossibly narrow and packed bar and its big-spenders-only lounge area.

Look past the large format bottles of vodka and champagne and you have a team of bartenders who actually know their stuff. The list is geared more towards new-wave than old-school, but the team here can do fantastic things with a few base ingredients. Whilst technique may be flashy (we saw one bartender with an extremely, large muddler), the results are impressive. We particularly liked the Akuma Martini - gin, cucumber, a hint of chilli - nothing wrong with that. In addition to the cocktails and the impressive back bar, Okku also has a great sake list and more importantly, staff who can talk you through it and make recommendations.