Karma Kafe, Souk Al Bahar – Dubai. Restaurant Review
For those of you who’ve heard of the internationally renowned Buddha-Bar, Karma Kafe is another of Raymond Visan’s exclusive concepts. Centrally situated next to Dubai Mall, this restaurant ‘caters to the distinguished palate with an Asian-Californian fusion-inspired menu’.
In addition to being a restaurant, Karma Kafe is also a sushi bar and lounge, providing the perfect ambience with its Asian vibe and Zen music, which suitably progresses as the night goes on. The great thing about Karma Kafe is that all of the staff are exceptionally knowledgeable and the chef was more than flexible – the perfect combination when it comes to allergies.
After being seated our waiter for the evening took us through the menu and the choices were endless. It was amazing. I was particularly thrilled to hear that they had gluten free soy sauce and that all of the items that required a deep fryer would be cooked in a fryer with clean oil. I was ecstatic, an Asian inspired meal without having to miss out on any of the tastiest bites.
With that being said, let’s get to the food. The amuse bouche of hammour yellowtail with roasted bell peppers and (gluten free) soy apple arrived. The fish was well cooked and had a nice kick to it – slightly bitter with a sweet apple after taste.
To start we ordered a few dishes to share. The first being the Thai calamari with 12 spices & coriander nam pla dip; this looked amazing. The batter was light, slightly spicy and the lime dip perfectly complimented the fish. The second was a scallop ceviche with coriander granite and lime ponzu. This was a real palate cleanser, completely refreshing and excellent quality. Lastly, the Karma contemporary Nigiri selection which comprised of four different varieties of sushi. My personal favourite was the Wagyu beef with foie gras closely followed by the tuna and seaweed with edamame rice. Again, delicious.
When it came to our mains we opted to share several dishes including the wok fried organic green vegetables with parsley and truffle oil, steamed sea bass with momo sauce and wagyu grade 9+ with kizami wasabi and yuzu chimichurri. The fish was rich and beautifully cooked; it literally fell apart in your mouth. The vegetables were al dente with a distinctive taste of truffle oil. And the steak, well, after the first bite my partner uttered the words “this is the best steak I’ve ever had” and that’s saying something. It was succulent, flavoursome and tender, and the quality of meat was more than evident.
And if that wasn’t enough, there’s even more. Keeping in line with our earlier sharing pattern we decided to do exactly the same for dessert. These desserts were just as amazing as the rest of our meal, particularly the black sesame crème brulee. The brulee was a rather light dessert with a chocolate mousse texture and had a beautiful hazelnut/sesame after taste. Then there was the yuzu panna cotta. It had a tangy passion fruit taste and offered a refreshing tropical twist on the traditional panna cotta. Now to my favourite, the white chocolate and matcha surprise, here the creaminess of the white chocolate perfectly combined with the tartness of the strawberry jam. Amazing!
So as you may have guessed we thoroughly enjoyed this meal and I would more than recommend this restaurant. From its opulent décor to its chilled out beats and lounge-like atmosphere, it’s the perfect place for both dinner and drinks.
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