Clay may be the new kid on Bluewaters Island’s block but its culture-clashing cuisine makes it a haute hangout Dubai diners can’t get enough of
One for true foodies that aren’t afraid to stray away from the likes of DIFC in search of phenomenal cuisine, Clay is a newly opened gem buzzing with diners in-the-know. Hailing from Bahrain, Clay landed on Bluewaters Island’s shores earlier this year, settling in the shadow of the Ain Dubai (in fact, sitting on the restaurant’s sprawling terrace, you could almost reach out and touch it). Enter the ground floor (this is all you’ll be privy to if you’re dining sans reservation) before ascending the spiral staircase to Clay’s impressive space. Comprising three areas – the main restaurant, a bar and outdoor lounge – interiors marry Japanese minimalism with Dubai’s luxurious Midas Touch. Marble flows over tables and countertops while hanging foliage and plush upholstery are splashed throughout.
While soaking up the space, open the menu and you’ll find Japanese-Peruvian offerings that are equally intriguing. The culture-clashing cuisine, named Nikkei after the Japanese settlers that arrived in Peru in the 19th century, features staples from each country’s culinary repertoire: think gyoza, tempura and sushi from Japan alongside Peruvian ceviches. The menu marries vastly different cuisines with ease, fusing flavours and producing delicious dishes. Case in point? Moreish salmon tacos; squid tempura with smoked chilli salsa; and perfectly grilled skewers inspired by both robatayaki and Peruvian street food.
While an extensive menu (where everything looks as delicious as the last) can be intimidating, Clay’s attentive staff are on-hand to assist. With generous portions, sharing is an opportunity to sample various items.
Not only delicious, Clay’s dishes are a feast for the eyes, too. The chef serves tuna tartare in sea-inspired crockery; a hearty combination of octopus, squid and prawns served on a stone-fire platter; and a harmonious cacophany of ceviche in a stunning tower.
For the main event, don’t miss the perfectly cooked, quinoa-coated lamb chops and the light yet hearty Chilean seabass, and end on a sweet note with the caramel-coated Miso Brûlée. Not enough room? Opt for homemade sorbet or traditional mochi for a palette-cleansing finish.
While some claim Bluewaters Island to be out of the way, Clay is worth the journey thanks to authentic-with-a-twist cuisine, beautiful plates and buzzing ambiance, and ticks all the boxes whether you’re searching for after-work nibbles or decadent dinner. Book now
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