The Yacht Club
A swanky bar breathing new life into the Japanese food scene in the capital 6 Reviews
Sit indoors or out for Friday Marina Brunch at The Yacht Club, Chamas or The Belgian Café, all of which have live cooking stations. Dhs285 (with soft drinks), Dhs335 (with mixed beverages and bubbly) (Friday)
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Entering this plush, funky bar by the InterContinental’s marina you could be forgiven for assuming that it’s all about the beverages and nightlife at this joint. Because oh, how wrong you would be. Something fantastic happened to the Yacht Club earlier this year, and that something was Sushi-Samba’s celebrity chef, Koji Kagawa.
Kagawa’s menu is a culinary adventure for the taste buds, with the sushi menu alone boasting eight varieties of mind blowing maki. You’ll find no California or Philadelphia rolls here – and frankly we’ve had enough of those, so feel no inclination towards raising a complaint. Instead, we go ahead and spoil ourselves silly by ordering four that tickle our fancy, and topping it with a starter of agedashi tofu. What arrives is three pieces of tofu covered in glutinous batter, swimming in a savoury dashi broth and topped with salmon roe. When we sink our choppers into the wonderfully firm (none of your silken half-hearted stuff here) tofu we’re in heaven. We’ve only had this kind of agedashi tofu on another continent entirely.
When the sushi shows up we first take a moment to appreciate the effort that’s been put into their appearance. The square Harbour roll, for example, looks like a panel from a stained glass window. The Sunrise roll looks like mini hand-rolls sitting in a pool of sunshine coloured sauce. But most importantly, it all tastes better than it looks. One of our orders was the Wagyu beef roll, which hits you first with a taste that combines the hearty flavours of tender and fatty beef strips, grilled to rare, and the exotic undertones of yakiniku sauce, shrimp tempura and sesame complimented sushi rice. Accompanying the taste is the texture; crunchy, chewy, and smooth. We thought this maki was beautifully executed, until we tried the Sunrise roll. This one marries crunchy tempura with a creamy coconut sauce that’s spicy and sweet all at once, and compliments it all with a woody nod from the smoked salmon. We had issues about eating smoked salmon in sushi until we met this Sunshine roll.
Yacht Club might be one of the more pricey options for Japanese food, but we find that most Japanese food in the capital is pricey any way. Whether it’s always good value for money though, is questionable. Yacht Club is excellent value for money and well worth bruising the old wallet to enjoy a night of good food, memorable food, in a nice stylish setting. And if you want to save on your bill, you could miss dessert all together. After the fantastic culinary trip we had, the green tea ice cream was rather disappointing and tasted not of green tea but of nothing at all.
The bill (for two)
Harbour roll Dhs65
Sunrise roll Dhs65
Wagyu roll Dhs85
Agedashi tofu Dhs100
Ice cream Dhs45
Time Out Abu Dhabi,
- Previous reviews
- 06 October,2015- reviewed by Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
- 30 September,2014- reviewed by Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
- 19 February,2013- reviewed by Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
- 01 November,2012- reviewed by Time Out staff
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- 27 September,2011- reviewed by Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
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- 01 March,2009- reviewed by Gareth Clark
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