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Backstreet brilliance


The bustling backstreet area in Khalidiya, behind Prestige Cars, is home to a selection of funky food outlets that are beginning to draw many returning customers.

Taking a cab to NBAD on the Corniche – because parking close by is impossible – we stroll past touting restaurant staff from different eateries before entering Mikado Café.

Sliding glass doors, just like those found in a Japanese dojo house set an oriental tone. The sharp design of the interior partners well with the sound of the sushi chef’s whipping blades as they prepare our starters.

A plate arrives loaded with sashimi moriawase, 12 pieces of succulent fish including tuna, seabass and unagi – fresh water eel. We also have a tuna zuke salad, which comes topped with lightly cured tuna and soy sauce.

In the mood for more meat, we take our waitress’ recommendation and try the beef tenderloin saikoro. Cubes of beef are centred in a moat of creamy and mild kizami wasabi sauce – which could have done with a little more kick. This generously portioned plate would have been enough to fill us up but we are keen to try more.

The salmon teriyaki – our standout dish of the night – then arrives. Grilled to perfection and drizzled in teriyaki sauce, we are tempted to order a second portion before the dessert part of our brain reminds us to save space.


We’re glad we listen, as the matcha roll cake is a must. The rolled green tea sponge cake comes filled with whipped cream and red berries and is perfectly complemented by a pot of sencha grade 1 tea, the go-to tea among the Japanese, according to our waitress.

Mikado Café is a Japanese gem in this downtown district. Because of its central location, it’s often teeming with businessmen and women on their lunch break looking for an alternative to the typical lunch haunts.


Location: Near Corniche Towers Hotel Apartments, Zayed The First Street, Al Khalidiya
We say: Finish your meal with a sencha grade 1 tea
Cost: AED 390 for two including drinks
Opening times: Daily 7am-11pm
Contact: 02 667 7557 [email protected] www.mikadocafe.com

Jack Dignum


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