If you want to visit Dubai's Michelin-starred Hōseki restaurant, you'll need to plan ahead. The restaurant was designed to seat only nine guests to ensure the best possible meal for each diner. Dining at this sleek restaurant focuses on the interactions between the guests and chef Masahiro Sugiyama in a Japanese culinary experience known as omakase. The term can be translated to "I leave it to you" and means that the chef creates unique tasting menus specifically for each guest. When omakase is prepared and served, it is as if a chef has welcomed diners into his or her own home to showcase the ingredients and style of cooking that are held dear.
The 4th-floor windows at Hōseki gaze out over Dubai's twinkling skyline, so although the space is intimate, a sense of expansion accompanies the experience. The minimalist, elegant decor emphasizes the meticulousness of each presented plate, and without gaudy designs distracting guests, diners can fully focus on the carefully-plated ingredients set in front of them.
A Space Devoted To Culture And Excellence
The son of a sushi chef and long-time restaurant owner, Sugiyama was born into the world of hospitality. His grandparents owned sushi restaurants. When Sugiyama witnessed a diner smile upon eating a dish he prepared, he was inspired to continue the family tradition. After working in various sushi restaurants and apprenticing at Tokyo's renowned Sushi Kanesaka, Sugiyama was open to accepting an opportunity presented by Bulgari Resort and set out to achieve excellence with Hōseki. He has succeeded.
Diners at Hōseki are catered to by Sugiyama, who creates dishes based on seasonal ingredients that are flown in from Japan. Fish and produce arrive at the restaurant multiple times each week so that Sugiyama can create fresh menus from scratch for each reservation. Staff here wear traditional kimonos, adding to the created sense of place. Even the tableware and salt at Hōseki are from Japan.
Experiencing Culinary Decadence
For devout foodies, it is possible to visit Hōseki several times and have a different experience each visit. From monkfish liver prepared like foie gras, fatty meat carved from the cheek of a tuna, fluffy Japanese omelets made to layered perfection, and seared octopus tentacles that melt on the tongue, diners are in for complete culinary decadence. Yet this is a culinary adventure that requires both an open mind and an open wallet.
Plan on dropping around $600 for one omakase dinner reservation at Hōseki. Appetites should be prepared for at least five different kinds of sashimi appetizers, an assortment of seasonal ingredients sourced from Japan, sushi, miso soup, and Japanese fruits to cap off the meal. For a cheaper and lighter meal option, lunch servings start at around $275 and offer fewer dishes to tuck into. If you're traveling in a group, consider booking the restaurant's private dining room that can cater to up to 12 guests. Though the food may disappear quickly, your memories of Hōseki will last.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.