it’s a real gem when you can find a restaurant in dubai that serves good food in big portion, with reasonable price. ‘bento-ya’ is one of these restaurants. upon a friend’s recommendation (thanks ooi!), we tried a new (new to us) japanese restaurant called ‘bento-ya’.
you can find ‘bento-ya’ along sheikh zayed road. just look for ‘axiom cafe’, and ‘bento-ya’ is right behind. the signage for ‘axiom cafe’ is big, bold and orange, so you won’t miss it.
eat in, or eat out under the moon-lit night. in fact, there’s a view of the burj khalifa while you dine outside. it was a windy night when we went, so we ate inside.
i was surprised that the inside is not as ‘posh’ as other japanese restaurants that i’ve been to in dubai. there’s a wooden staircase, a few japanese tanglung hanging from the ceiling, a few picture frames and even a walled table-fan on the wall.
‘bento-ya’ is modest, but certainly no less inviting. its simple interior with minimal decor looks like a small roadside cafe in the outskirts of japan. when we went, there were a few japanese chaps here and there just sitting alone at their own table reading the newspaper, or finishing up their bento. it was a nice, quiet atmosphere.
we started with this small plate of ‘gyouza’. they are japanese chicken dumplings. a delicious start.
nobody else in the family drinks this, but mr. khairul would always order japanese tea. just for himself. love the clay teapot, though!
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my favorite order at any japanese restaurant : the chicken katsu – deep-fried breaded chicken fillet, served with japanese steamed rice. the rice is hot, and the breaded chicken is crispy-juicy. a delicious treat. the portion is big too.
here in bento-ya, i don’t get veggies like in ‘sumo’. here, the chicken katsu bento comes with black seaweed, and a host of other little japanese tidbits.
the black seaweed, and other stuff that was probably egg, and some sort of salted fish, perhaps? i can’t tell! but they’re all good! weird to me, but mr khairul was embracing the oddity! personally, since i’m not an adventurous foodie, i still prefer sumo’s chicken katsu bento since it comes with just plain ol baby carrots and peas!
mr. khairul also looked for his usual order : the tempura bento – deep-fried shrimp and veggies in tempura flour. the first thing i notice was the huge portion, more shrimp than you get at ‘sumo’, but in ‘sumo’, the tempura bento comes with chicken teriyaki as well. depends on what you want to eat the most! hihi. however, both dishes are equally satisfying. mr. khairul loved it.
the tempura bento also comes with the same side-dishes which includes the black seaweed.
also on mr. khairul’s must-have list – the unagi.
the rest of the dishes in the menu are the usual stuff you will get at a japanese restaurant focusing on bento – just like our current favorite japanese restaurant, ‘sumo’. read my review here. the dishes are not fancy – they’re straightforward japanese dishes that are delicious and filling.
looks like ‘bento-ya’ is going to be in our list of fav places to go makan too! delicious food, reasonably priced, friendly service and the miso soup is 2 dirham cheaper than most places! haha. thanks again, ooi for recommending the place!