Imaginative but pricey Japanese food served up with stunning views 12 Reviews
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Souk Qaryat Al Beri is home to some of the city’s finest restaurants – many of which boast the same homely charm as the souk itself (Mombasa Grille, Meat Co). Sho Cho, however, is a world away in terms of decor – possibly because sushi and style seem to go hand in hand in the minds of most of the city’s restaurant owners.
Fortunately, Sho Cho manages to be stylish without being sterile (a trap that’s not easy to avoid), with trendy interiors boasting sleek tables, plasma screens showing underwater scenes and some truly stunning views. We were offered the choice of sitting outside on the balcony looking out over Maqtaa Creek and the Grand Mosque, but with the weather still on the sticky side, we decided to take a seat inside and watch digital jellyfish swim past digital portholes on the interior’s walls.
The food menu is vast, but sushi is clearly the bulk of Sho Cho’s business – page after page is filled with nigiri, maki rolls and sushi selections, while hot dishes are buried in a small slice of space at the menu’s centre. Starters include unusual concoctions such as king fish with jalapenos or seared tofu unusual finds. We ordered the tantalisingly named red snapper crisps and the lounge sushi platter to start. Starters were pleasant, although, despite the menu’s interesting à la carte sushi offerings, the platter bore nothing more exciting than salmon, tuna and octopus nigiri. If we could find just one sushi restaurant in the city that mixed its platters with a little saba, perhaps a salmon skin roll or even a slice or two of unagi we’d cry tears of joy.
The red snapper crisps were not quite what we were expecting: pieces of battered, deep-fried snapper served up with a wasabi guacamole. The fish was well-cooked but lacking in flavour, the guacamole creamy but the delicate taste of the avocado was overpowered by the wasabi. An interesting idea that didn’t quite work.
On to the mains, our dining companion’s salmon had a delicate curry taste that was pleasing to the palate, while our marinated duck was sweet and gamey, if a little tough. Our only real criticism of these dishes would be the presentation – which, considering the price tag, was nowhere near as elegant as we’d expected. While a meal at Sho Cho doesn’t come cheap: stunning views, good quality sushi and an aspirational menu make it worth a splurge.
The bill (for two)
Red snapper crisps Dhs57
Sushi platter Dhs181
Marinated duck Dhs108
Salmon with chili Dhs108
Fried rice Dhs29
Total (excluding service) Dhs498
Time Out Abu Dhabi,
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