With a global sensibility informing his contemporary-style dishes, Akira Back's Paru at Caesars Bluewater delivers an unmissable dining experience in a location that's pure Dubai
Kira Back, a Korean-born, Colorado-raised chef brings his uniquely global take on contemporary Japanese food to Paru, a restaurant whose location sets it literally and metaphorically above the competition.
Perched on the seventh floor of Caesars Bluewater Dubai, the soaring, architectural space enjoys two terraces boasting enviable views over Ain Dubai and the Marina coastline.
Switch over to the other terrace, and uninterrupted sea views are all yours to enjoy. For a business dinner with a ‘wow’ factor, it really can’t be beaten. Neither, it is abundantly clear, can the dishes, which offer up a cornucopia of sensorial pleasure from the moment they are placed reverently in front of you.
The restaurant, echoing the abundant skyline that surrounds it, features a clever ceiling installation of thousands of white origami flowers, behind which lighting shifts from vivid aquamarine to moody auburn as the evening progresses.
The mood flows seamlessly as a DJ’s beats sound out the advent of the night. The service matches the vible, with attentive staff who hover just enough for diners to feel looked after without it descending into awkwardness. Which is great, because the food is superlative, witty, competent, surprising and absolutely deserving of being the centre of attention (along with your suitably impressed dining partner, of course). Starters are divided into a curated offering of ‘Cool’ and ‘Warm’ choices.
CEO Middle East recommends the lobster tacos and the seared tuna tataki, the latter served with sliced strawberries. It’s par the course for contemporary Japanese restaurants to offer a black cod dish and Back’s version is exemplary – sweet, moist morsels of the fish rendered flaky-soft thanks to its overnight soak in a miso, mirin and sugar marinade.
It would be a serious error in judgement to leave without trying the seared wagyu ribeye. Cooked to order, the meat arrives pre-cut and the slivers – caramelised on the outside and pink at the centre - release an abundance of flavour at the first bite.
A bowl of seafood rice, salty with soy and flecked with morsels of shrimp and calamari, helps to pad out what little room is left (on this occasion, we eschewed rolls and sashimi, but an entire page of the menu is devoted to this Japanese stalwart).
A signature Paru House ceviche comprises tuna, salmon, scallops, shrimp tempura and yuzu misod is worth going back for, especially as the restaurant has a ladies night, a live DJ and – once the weather cools – those terraces, with their endless sea views, demanding a second visit Paru at Caesars Bluewater.