BBC Good Food ME|November 2019
Dubai-based chef Reif Othman needs no introduction. Locally famed for his tenures at Zuma Middle East, Play Restaurant & Lounge, The Experience by Reif Othman, and Sumosan Twiga, Reif has garnered respect and admiration for his culinary capabilities and playful twists on Far-Eastern cuisine – not forgetting his quirky sense of style and love for colourful socks.
In September 2019, the Singapore native opened doors to Reif Japanese Kushiyaki in Jumeirah’s Dar Al Wasl Mall – his very homegrown, casual outlet serving affordable, street food style Japanese food.
Here, Reif shares more…
Tell us about your exciting new restaurant, Reif Japanese Kushiyaki and the dining experience visitors can expect to have…
Reif Japanese Kushiyaki is my first proper restaurant baby, which I own and operate. It’s located at Dar Wasl Mall in Jumeirah. I am not only a chef, but I also look after the commercial operations and front-of-house. The food at Reif Japanese Kushiyaki is best described as ‘unconventional affordable Japanese street food’.
What made you take the Japanese street food route with this concept?
My cooking style has always been inspired by Japan, and the street food element has not been done here before, so I knew there was a gap in the market. A large part of the menu focuses on ‘kushiyaki’, which are the bamboo skewers common in Japan and Singapore’s street food scene that encompasses all grilled meats and vegetables. It’s worth noting that the more common term ‘yakitori’ refers solely to skewers with chicken in a teriyaki sauce. We have 13 types of kushiyaki on offer, including Angus beef with a choice of sauces, all parts of the chicken from the skin to the heart, and katsu seafood.
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