Review: Small but stylish Japanese spot in Al Bateen Discuss this article

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We love Japanese food here at Time Out Towers and have often wondered where the mid-market venues are in Abu Dhabi.

We have some stunning, licensed, high-end restaurants and some decent-quality chain-type places, but for a really nice, casual meal the scene is a little bare.

Ozo, a new addition to Al Bateen’s Marasy area, goes some way to addressing that. It’s not perfect, but we’re impressed on our first visit.

The venue itself is lovely. Inside there’s a warm feel and the décor is rather nice. The outside seating feels really cosy, too. And any restaurant with a giant robot leg in the middle of it is fine by us.

Service is friendly, if a bit nervous, but that comes across as more endearing than anything else. The staff have cool uniforms as well.

The menu covers starters, robata grills, sushi and rice and noodle dishes. It’s succinct, just how we like it.

Edamame are lathered in a spicy sauce and a smoky charcoal dust, which elevates them above the norm. Abdullah maki is superb and blends the Middle East with the Far East without being gimmicky. Sashimi is excellent and the blowtorched beef nigiri is soft, delicate and full of flavour.

The only dish we can’t fully praise is the chicken udon (pictured), which looks cool, tumbling from a coconut shell, but there’s just no real flavour.

Despite most of the food being very good, we can’t help but feel the dishes are about Dhs10 too expensive. Some of them cost more than in Abu Dhabi’s high-end Japanese restaurants. We know quality chefs and ingredients come at a price, but we also crave value for money.

If this lunch bill had been around Dhs220 we would’ve definitely been happier for it. That aside, Ozo is worth a look.

The bill (for two)
1x spicy edamame Dhs30
1x Abdullah maki Dhs60
1x salmon sashimi Dhs45
1x tenderloin nigiri Dhs35
1x chicken udon noodles Dhs55
1x matcha tea Dhs20
1x diet coke Dhs15
Total (excluding VAT) Dhs260

The bottom line
A pleasant spot with some top food.

Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.


  • Location: Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 631 0442
  • Travel: Building 1, Marasy, Al Bateen
  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • Times: Open daily 1pm-11pm

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