Dubai's Okku named MidEast Restaurant of the Year
Popular Japanese outlet scoops top title in Caterer Awards once again
Japanese restaurant and lounge Okku Dubai was voted Restaurant of the Year, sponsored by A. Ronai, in the 2012 Caterer Middle East Awards.
Okku beat off stiff competition from nine other restaurants comprising Bushido Bahrain; JW’s Steakhouse Dubai; Ossiana, Atlantis The Palm Dubai; Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire, InterContinental DFC; Saffron Lounge by Vineet, Qatar; Sense on the Edge, Zighy Bay, Musandam; Teatro, Towers Rotana, Dubai; The Exchange Grill, Fairmont Dubai and West 14th Dubai.
Highly commended was Sense on the Edge for its “divine meals created using ingredients from its organic garden”.
“It makes Zighy Bay just that bit more blissful”, said the judges.
The competition was so close the judges highly commended a second outlet - Bushido. The Bahrain restaurant was described as a "warrior" and “wholly deserving of being one of the shortlisted after battling its way through the recent challenges Bahrain has brought with it”..
However, intense after discussion and deliberation, it was decided that Okku Dubai should win.
“It’s the one whose revenue has rocketed across its entire offering thanks to innovative new concepts; the one who ‘has focused on every aspect from start to finish’; the one that is the envy of the industry. Notorious for its waiting list, this homegrown success has now announced it is going global,” said judges.
Asked what made Okku so successful, the winning team said "love".
"We love what we do, we love everything about it. Japanese cuisine is the hardest food in the world to make. It’s all about simple basic things and if you mess with it too much – it’s really obvious."
Looking ahead to Okku's already-announced international expansion, they added: "We’re going to do whatever we can to improve, to grow and then we’re going to take on London. That’s going to be in the hornet's nest, we’re taking it home to the food capital of the world".
The Caterer Middle East Awards 2012 took place on September 26 at Jumeirah Emirates Towers.