Japanese cuisine is very popular in Dubai. Naturally, there are lots and lots of Japanese restaurants in town. We try to go to each and compare so I’ll feature some of them here.
Manga Sushi – Jumeira Beach Road, Dubai
I am not sure how this joint stay in business. The exterior is cool with futuristic decors:
The interior is superficial Japan:
with Japan themed paintings on the walls:
and in the spirit of ‘manga’, there are interesting platic miniature anime dolls and manga books:
The (Filipino) staff with sailor-type highschool uniform complete the whole ‘manga’ and anime image of the restaurant:
Back to my thought on how this food joint stays in business: it was empty on a Thursday night when it should be bustling with diners celebrating the start of the weekend (we have Friday-Saturday weekends here).
The food, while priced fairly, fell flat on the taste factor. I’m not picky at all and I know how a real Japanese food should taste like after living in Japan for more than ten years and married and cooking for a local!
Even while living in Japan, I really never understood manga reading – especially adults reading and going crazy with comics because I always thought that interest in comic reading somehow stops when one doesn’t require pictures in their story books after maybe, 12 years old. I’m a self confessed Archie and DC comics fan but haven’t touched any for years.
Manga reading is a cultural thing in Japan and except posh, formal restaurants, most dining joints will have a shelf full of comics in it. The Japanese customers/diners come in, take a comic book then take their seats. They call the waiter/waitress, give their order and then each bury their noses in their respective comic books until their order arrives.
Sometimes, they continue reading while slurping their noodles – eyes on comics, hands on chopsticks.
My husband does this and as much as I have accepted him, Japan and all its customs (including sometimes peculiar ones), I detest the manga culture. Before you manga lovers come and burn me at the stake, here’s what I hate about the manga culture:
- the presence of manga books at restaurants – you come to a restaurant to eat, not read
- reading while waiting for orders – ok, maybe acceptable when you’re alone but with a companion, especially someone who’s not into reading manga? It’s rude.
- reading while eating – I was raised in a family where we eat when it’s eating time, TV off and of course, no books of any kind on the table!
M knows I won’t like it when he’s reading manga books while I stare at the empty space while waiting for our orders but for three years we’ve been living in Dubai, I bet he has missed reading manga books in restaurants so I can tell the only good thing about Manga Sushi was the comic books he took out of the shelf. Yes, I forgave him this time because thankfully, he doesn’t have to do this every time we dine out here in Dubai. The usual restaurants don’t have comic books and there aren’t many Japanese restaurants here with manga books on the shelf.
Back to Manga Sushi restaurant – given the less stellar food and the presence of manga books there, I think we won’t be coming to Manga Sushi for a long time.