There’s something special happening at Sharq’s Dar Al-Awadhi center. Once a bustling corporate shopping center, the business tower is actually undergoing a very local makeover. Today, the mall is alive with local startup businesses that provide for amazing services. From a dedicated up-end bakala, a gluten-free bakery and hair salon, the famous Karak Gholam, to some delectable eateries located in the basement floor.
If you’re in the mood for contemporary Japanese fare and find yourself driving around the city, then be sure to head to the newly opened Azumami Sushi. This tranquil establishment will offer an incredibly pleasant experience. Founded and managed by Japanese cuisine lovers, and awesome husband and wife couple, Anwar and Lulwa Al-Ayoub, Azumami Sushi arrives as the couple’s take on achieving the perfect balance between modern fusion-filled dishes and traditional favorites.
As soon as you arrive, your mood will instantly be uplifted by the restaurant’s color scheme of mellow orange and earthy greens, offset by the interior’s relaxing lighting. You can choose to sit indoors and watch the expert team of chefs prepare your food, or dine outside to take in the center’s bustling business vibes. Its location is perfect for those long business lunches, and makes for an ideal meeting place for friends to meet after a long workday in the city.
Anwar told bazaar that Azumami Sushi is not his first attempt as a restaurateur. If anything, he’s pioneered the Japanese cuisine dining scene at a time when Kuwait’s local diners did not have a palate for sushi. When it came to opening Azumami Sushi, he and Lulwa focused on delivering a menu that utilized the best quality local ingredients along with freshly imported seafood. We loved the couple’s transparency in discussing their ingredients, and a cursory visit to the restaurant’s Instagram account shows them posting about the cuts of seafood that arrive at the restaurant on a daily basis.
Don’t be fooled by the notion that Azumami Sushi is just another Japanese concept in Kuwait. If anything, their signature offerings will instantly have you hooked, and you’ll find yourself coming back time and time again to this cozy dining destination. This goes down to the fact that their dishes are consistently spectacular, due to a kitchen-full of qualified chefs and not kitchen assistants. We allowed our palates to be tantalized, and we were not disappointed!
Anwar and Lulwa started us off with the Azu Chirashi, a salad-starter hybrid dish that features layer upon layer of torch-flamed salmon, crab salad, flash-broiled prawns on top of crispy rice. We loved the freshness of this dish, and it could definitely be enjoyed hot or cold. For fusion lovers, the Kappa Labna is a healthful must-try! Hollowed out cucumbers make for the delectable basin for salmon, creamy and ideally sour Labneh, avocado, fresh mint leaves and crunchy rice all drizzled with an addictive wasabi olive oil dressing. The clever mix of textures and flavors made for an awesome surprise. We instantly noticed that the dishes at Azumami Sushi are definitely light, and a refreshing break from mayo-drenched offerings that restaurants commonly feature. Even the mayonnaise that Azumami Sushi includes in certain dishes, like the Spicy Japanese Mayo dressing for the delightful Edamame Salad, is homemade, which immediately offers a lighter flavor to the entire dish. The salad includes crunchy edamame, kani sticks, rocket leaves, green apple, tobiko and crispy harusame. We equally enjoyed the Crispy Salad that features yummy cassava chips and offers wasabi lovers an olive oil dressing infused with wasabi.
We always love it when we see fresh O’Toro on the menu. Our team of editors is addicted to it! The major issue that we face in Kuwait is the lack of fresh supply of this very exclusive cut of Tuna belly filled with healthy omega-3s and good fats. We ordered our O’Toro in sashimi format and we were not disappointed. Anwar also invited us to try their signature Azumami Sushi, which includes torch-flamed salmon wrapped around crunchy Japanese rice and topped with avocado and olive oil wasabi sauce, prawn tempura and artfully placed fresh thyme leaves. This was, by far, our favorite rendition of a dish that flawlessly blends Middle Eastern and Asian flavors. If you’re a fan of spicier offerings, then the Salmon Aburi and Spicy Salmon Sushi will make for excellent options; the twist of including fresh chili and crunchy sesame seeds made for a smart combination when it came to the Salmon Aburi. The second star of the evening was without a doubt the Spicy Baked Crab Maki, as its preparation using real crab and salmon when combined with their signature spicy sauce, made for a truly memorable experience!
We were also delighted to see that Azumami Sushi’s menu did not fail to include Temaki offerings, where the fusion Temaki brings together prawn tempura, kani sticks, tobiko, avocado and seasonal vegetables. If you’re an unagi lover, then the Crunchy Eel Temaki is perfect for you! New on Azumami Sushi’s menu is their signature take on the burger. Using finely ground sirloin cut beef; the gourmet burger arrives in different renditions that suit the spicier palate with wasabi, as well as a classic offering, all prepared in custom-made brioche bread.
For dessert, spoil yourself at Azumami with their scrumptious Tiramisu. If you’re looking to indulge, then go for their sticky toffee and date cake and reward yourself with its moreish flavors. If, like us, you love mixing fruit and chocolate, then their banana fritters presented alongside vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate sauce will surely please the senses.
Get your fix from Azumami Sushi and head to the basement floor of Dar Al-Awadhi. If you fancy experiencing their Japanese fare within the comforts of your own home, order via www.talabat.com. For their latest updates, you can follow them on Instagram @Azumami_Sushi.