OKKU: the legend

As a young emerging city, Dubai constant evolves in all directions, including the restaurant scene; places open – places close. However the show must go on. Dubaians are so used to the saying that nothing lasts forever, “all we are is dust in the wind”. While the city, a bright example of rapid evolution, cherishes every sign of history left around, the “it” crowd squints ironically at mentions of places over five years old, looking instead for the next great thing before anyone else discovers it. I’m different.

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I love going to the same place where everyone knows me and occasionally sneaks in a treat. I love the feeling of stability in this every changing world. I love the past, especially when it remains in its original glory. OKKU is one of those places, a living legend that survived the recent financial crisis and following chaos. Additionally, the hotel where OKKU is located changed its name and owners, but the transformation had no effect on the restaurant.

OKKU, a contemporary Japanese restaurant since its opening in 2009, reinvented the Dubai party seen by filling the house every night including Sundays (quiet day of the week for restaurants here), and being the place to be seen. The hottest DJs, mega private parties with LA rich and famous, no place left to stand, mind blowing cuisine and insanely beautiful hosts and hostesses, OKKU had it all. People loved it (even when they were turned away).
Today OKKU is more of a restaurant than a party lounge, catering to hotel guests, curious foodies and nostalgists like me. OKKU starts with a greeting counter leading to a narrow path with a curtain of glitter that eventually opens into a bar and a spacious lounge on the left. The slightly insane aquarium with visibly attractive but barely real jellyfish reminds me of the crazy past.
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Skilled bartenders keep pouring, shaking, smoking and mixing, leaving a few gaps in between for a quick verbal exchange. From time to time a giant cube of ice gets imprinted with the famous OKKU stamp and the bar life moves on to the next cocktail. My request for a moderately sweet and sour mocktail raised an eyebrow. They wanted me to party! And I did.
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The famous OKKU food didn’t fade it past glory either. A quick look around convinced me to start with deliciously healthy edamame, followed by an enormous order of sushi and sashimi resting on ice, a celebrity cod dish and everyone’s favourite wagyu steak and green veggies, cooked right at the table on a giant rock of salt. Heaven!
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One thought on “OKKU: the legend

  1. I love the way you look in the first photograph, Anna. I enjoy salads so your steak and salad would be one I would ask to share or but my own.
    The mocktail was pretty and I bet delicious. I’m sure you are welcome everywhere. You always are a gracious guest. 💐

    Like

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