Although Daikan comes to us from Germany, it is the closest thing to an authentic Japanese ramen restaurant. Based in a small, minimalist outlet in Cluster Y in JLT this unassuming little eatery seems to have surprised even itself with the amazing reception it’s been given by the foodies of Dubai – the place is literally chock-a-block from the minute it opens its doors to when it shoos customers out at lock up. It’s a problem many restaurateurs would die for.
Passionate about ramen, I’ve been slurping at Daikan since their Marina Views pop up days. Hand on heart, all their ramens are good, the closest to the ‘real thing’ as I have had in Dubai till date; the sign of a good, hearty, full-flavoured chicken stock base. If I had to choose a favourite, it would be the Spicy Miso during the winter and the lighter, soy sauce based, Shoyu, during the summer. I tried the Chef’s Special last week. It’s basically a pimped Spicy Miso and amazing but, call me old fashioned, I felt it simply had too many things going on at the same time. I’ve only tried their Miso Aubergine and Gyoza starters. Both are delicious but not nearly as authentic as their ramens. In fact, forget starters, focus on the ramen!
Service, although only a one-man affair, is friendly and familiar (you are treated like a returning customer from your first visit) but not fast. The one area Daikan differs from Japanese ramen houses is in table turnover time where Daikan takes at least twice as long; half because their kitchen can’t cope, and half because diners simply won’t leave. The latter is probably because Daikan in Dubai is perceived as a trendy hang out whereas in Tokyo it would simply be a fast food joint. Irrespective, this is a restaurant unlike any other of its kind in Dubai and well worth a detour.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.