A seat at homegrown omakase restaurant Moonrise is one of the hardest to secure in town thanks to an ingredients-driven menu that champions sustainability and nostalgic flavours
Dubai has no shortage of restaurants: everything from award-winning cuisine and low-key cafes to international establishments have set up shop on our shores. However, die-hard foodies still yearn for something more – something different, without gimmicks, that can hold its own. Moonrise is that missing piece.
A true dining experience, Moonrise is an omakase-style restaurant: a Japanese concept in which the chef prepares a concession of intricate dishes in front of diners, akin to a chef’s table setting. Moonrise’s carefully curated menu features the finest ingredients and is changed every few months to reflect seasonal offerings. It seats just eight diners at a time, all of whom are encouraged to interact with the chef to learn the behind-the-scenes of each dish from how ingredients are sourced to plating (the locally-crafted ceramics are even designed by the team). Located on the rooftop of swish residential building Eden House on Sheikh Zayed Road, the contemporary restaurant is at once intimate and inviting with marble accents and sultry hues offset by pops of aqua that mirror the colours of the Arabian Gulf, visible through floor-to-ceiling windows surrounding the space.
Syrian-French chef-founder Solemann Haddad was born and raised in Dubai. With Moonrise, he incorporates the city’s multicultural flavours with Japanese influences, resulting in an eight-course menu that reads like Solemann’s diary. “When I’m asked to describe Moonrise’s culinary offering, I usually explain it as using Japanese and Middle Eastern cuisines to tell my story of growing up in Dubai, either using Japanese ingredients for Arabic dishes or using Arabic ingredients to create Japanese dishes,” the 26-year-old chef explains.
Beginning with one-bite delights – the team advise you on how best to enjoy your dish, whether that be in one bite or three – before leading into appetiser portions and decadent desserts, expect the unexpected. The Fois Gras Puri marries decedent Foie Gras with a sweet-and-spicy date chutney and chilli oil and is presented in a delightfully delicate puri casing. You may think you recognise some of the dishes on the menu but don’t be fooled: Dubai’s favourite dishes have received a Moonrise makeover. Spicy Hamachi reinterprets spicy tuna with Hamachi tartare, shatta yuzu dressing and black truffle caviar perched upon a Nori tempura disk (MOJEH‘s menu highlight). Elsewhere, the Lacto Fattouch Ceviche is a zingy homage to the fattoush salad, with zaatar, mint, yuzu and Japanese yellowtail. Finish off the evening with not one, but two desserts: a decadent dark chocolate dessert comprising miso dark chocolate sorbet and coffee crumble followed by a whipped mango and passionfruit cheesecake that is unlike any you’ve had before.
The homegrown concept supports sustainability by repurposing food waste and champions local farmers, suppliers and mills as much as possible, filling in gaps with premium ingredients that have their own story to tell. For example, the A5 Tsukune + Caviar course features Saroma A5 Tsukune beef sourced from cows that only consumed pineapple and sugarcane grains, while the sourdough incorporates yeast from the restaurant’s very first batch. Equally complex mocktails are curated with flavours that complement courses.
A visit to Moonrise is a must for epicures and long-term Dubai dwellers eager for an unforgettable evening of storytelling and delicious cuisine that makes the difficult act of securing a reservation understandable – slots are quickly filled so act fast or risk a serious case of FOMO. Moonrise is open for two nightly seatings from 7pm-9pm and 9.30pm-11.30pm. Book now
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