Kushi by Reif

Kushi by Reif
Like Chef Reif’s other locations, guests can expect well-developed flavours and generous portions from a menu that features sandos, ramens, donburis, and Japanese inspired desserts.

Given the location, and unlike sister restaurant Reif Kushiyaki, reservations aren’t necessarily required. Guests can simply walk up and place an order for take away or sit down and enjoy their meal at one of the nearby tables.

There is ample parking at Nakheel Mall.  For the closest spot, park nearest to Waitrose. From Waitrose, walk to the right, and the Depachika Food Hall is at the end. Kushi by Reif is located on the far right side (with a pastry stand in the middle), and the distinct signage is easy to determine.

Greeting and Seating
My dining partner and I decide to take a seat, and one of the Kushi by Reif team comes out to meet us and take our order. She brings a menu, but as a sign of the times, there is also a beautifully presented online menu, which we can find via QR code.  Should we choose, we could also place an order directly with the service counter.

While service is limited here (it’s mainly a food hall), the server is still friendly and knowledgeable about the menu. She’s also helpful in not only clearing away our used dishes but also helping us pack up our leftovers, which is appreciated.

Our Order
While there are several tempting items that catch our eye, my dining partner and I try only to order what we can finish (and fail terribly, as we both bring home leftovers).  To start, we decide to split the Soft Shell Crab Sando, AED96. While the sandwich is a bit messy to eat, it’s nice for us each to have a half to taste.  The heat is steady, but not overwhelming, and we both like the cilantro to balance and add a bit of freshness. The price is a touch high, and next time we would probably order the Chicken Katsu Sando instead.  While we wait for our bowls, we choose a cheeky plate of chips, the Garlic Pepper Dust Reif Fries, AED28. These are genuinely some of the best fries we’ve eaten recently. In a city where it seems like everyone is frying up frozen products, Reif and his team are soaking, brining, and double frying their fries, and we appreciate the efforts. As we chat, we’re delighted to see the Portobello Kinoko Katsu, AED82, and the Miso Cod Ramen, AED128, arrive at the same time. Guests looking for value for money shouldn’t need to look much further, as the portion sizes on both bowls are massive.

Depth of flavour is everywhere in both dishes, and fans of either donburi or ramen will certainly be impressed. We especially love the crisp on the mushroom, which adds an unexpected (and welcome) texture. The crispy baby potato adds a nice bit of starch, and there is plenty of moreish curry sauce. Not to mention, it’s always wonderful to see menu items that both vegetarians and non-vegetarians can enjoy. The cod is also a bit of heaven, with an excellent balance of sweetness and savory.  We like the addition of an egg to add a bit of extra flavour.

While there is an entire pastry display and counter, we’re too full to try any of the sweets, but previous visits have yielded some tasty dishes. Chef Reif and his team are usually adding something new, so those with a sweet tooth should stop by.

Food arrives when it’s ready, and we’re not rushed during the experience.

We’re delighted to see that the Depachika food hall is really starting to come into its own, and customers are clearly in the mood to stroll and shop for locally produced food. Kushi by Reif fits right into the mix.

The kitchen is open so that guests can watch their food made directly.

As expected. For the location, quality of food, and portion size, we feel menu costs are in line.  Unless guests come with a massive appetite, all of the bowls should yield a second meal, or be able to be split between two people.

Overall, would you return?
We would.  The best part about dining in a food hall is that if you’re in the mood for some of Reif’s delicious food, but your dining partner prefers something else, there is something for everyone.  Furthermore, the dining hall offers treats from all kinds of local businesses, making it easy to support them.

For those who want to experience Kushi by Reif at home, guests can order for delivery, which is also available on various platforms.

Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will want to order Portobello Kinoko Katsu.  Also, you didn’t hear it from us, but Kushi by Reif is the only place in the food hall serving fries...

Disclaimer: MenuPages.ae was a guest of this establishment.