Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 10 July 2020

Chef Izu Ani to open Aya: a chic new Asian restaurant in City Walk, Dubai

The Japanese restaurant is set to open this month

A rendering to show what the interiors of Chef Izu Ani's Aya restaurant will look like. Courtesy Aya  
A rendering to show what the interiors of Chef Izu Ani's Aya restaurant will look like. Courtesy Aya  

A matter of weeks since Fika threw open its doors at Dubai's Jumeirah Beach Hotel, chef Izu Ani has announced a new offering for the emirate's culinary scene. The popular chef is set to open Aya, a Japanese eatery in City Walk, Dubai before the end of October.

The restaurant is taking the place of Galvin Bistrot and Bar, which closed in April this year. It will be Ani's sixth restaurant in Dubai.

A rendering to show what the exteriors of Chef Izu Ani's Aya restaurant will look like. Courtesy Aya
A rendering to show what the exteriors of Chef Izu Ani's Aya restaurant will look like. Courtesy Aya

Expect "international twists" on classic Asian dishes, with signature dishes that include mezze of Kunafa wrapped prawns, yuzu kosho, sweet with sour tensuyu and Miso marinated Black Cod with grapefruit miso.

For dessert, there will be brown butter ice cream with olive oil sponge and hazelnut crumble which is prepared a la minute. The menu has been created with head chef Christopher Blake, formerly at Zuma Dubai.

“Dubai has been waiting for a fresh concept that layers traditions and flavours, creating beautifully delicate dishes that guests will not find anywhere else," says Ani.

"We wanted to take Asian cuisine to a different level with the most important elements being imbedded deep in the tastes of the menu.”

Aya, which means 'beautiful' in Japanese and 'wonderful' in Arabic, will have a Japanese cherry blossom garden, which spans both the exteriors and interiors of the City Walk eatery.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 08 OCTOBER 2018. Unveiling ceremony of art installation ‘Aya’ by Emirati Artist Mattar Bin Lahej. “Using over four tonnes of stainless steel, Aya creates the perfect balance between the eye of the beholder and its own surroundings. Inspired by a verse in the Holy Qura’an, the magnificent sculpture stretches eight metres high and six metres wide on either side of the mosque at City Walk.” (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: None. Section: Arts & Culture.
'Aya' by Emirati artist Mattar Bin Lahej in City Walk, Dubai. Antonie Robertson / The National

Coincidentally, the restaurant is not the first Aya to feature at City Walk. In October 2018, the open air mall added Aya by Emirati artist Mattar Bin Lahej to its collection. The piece of art is an eight-metre-tall, stainless steel calligraphy sculpture, inspired by a verse in the Quran.

Ani was previously head chef at La Petite Maison and La Serre and currently operates Greek restaurant Gaia in DIFC, Izu Brasserie and Bakery at City Walk, French-Mediterranean cafe Carine at Emirates Golf Club, The Lighthouse in Dubai Design District and Fika at Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

Updated: October 27, 2019 12:34 PM

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