Location: Double Tree Hilton (JBR)
AED 339 (House Beverages)
“I only drink on days that start with “T”: Tuesday, Thursday… Today, Tomorrow… Thaturday.. Thunday.”
The last thing Dubai needed was yet another Japanese restaurant serving ‘modern’ (meaning un-authentic) Japanese dishes. Ramusake is yet another London based concept managed by the same group that run Mahiki and Copper Dog. Yet another birthday brunch gathers us on this occasion, and this venue was chosen both to sample a new brunch and due to the decent pricing, (so many new brunches tend to overprice themselves straight out of the market by going above the AED 350 mark).
The venue is nicely set-up with floor-to-ceiling windows lining the terrace that runs all across the restaurant & bar. This is particularly beneficial due to the natural sunlight that brightens up the dining area- nobody likes having a day brunch in a dark room right? I am amongst the first to arrive and we are ushered to one of our two long tables, booked for 35 people. I try to order a drink, but our waiter advises our timer and I that the brunch package is for exactly 3 hours will start now. I find this to be both an extremely silly & unpractical policy by the management. Is the profitability of the venue really be significantly impacted if you serve your guests more drinks? Surely customer satisfaction is more important? (especially when this particular groups tab is AED 12,000) I express my frustration to the staff, and ask them to at least serve us some starters while we wait.
The short sharing style menu consists starters, sushi & Gyoza, Robata and desert.
Starters include Edamame, Fried Pepper Squid, and Sweet Potato Fries. The Sushi includes Salmon & Tuna Nigiri, and two types of Maki rolls. Gyoza includes only a chicken option. The Robata consists of Chicken Yakatori, Grilled Beef Rump, Grilled Sweet Corn served with steamed rice and salad. A single desert option of fried doughnuts is served. Overall most of the group seemed to enjoy the food, bar the Yakitori chicken that I personally did not enjoy. Service on the other hand was cause for major irritation. Single portions of each dish were served for every 4 people. My section of the table consisted of 8 hungry men that made the food disappear within nano-seconds. The men of the table were forced to repeatedly request the staff to bring us more portions of each dish. For whatever reason the staff seemed both reluctant and slow to do so. Whether the kitchen & staff were unprepared to handle a table of 35, or whether it was a cost-control strategy, I cannot confirm. I can confirm that it was annoying for all of us to repeatedly ask the staff for more of this or that, and then proceed to remind them 10 times before the dish arrived (in some cases it did not).
House beverages includes a single bottled beer, house spirits, red & white wine, sake, and a Japanese style sangria. When I attempted to order both a gin & tonic and a jug of sake (to shared amongst the table) I was informed that the policy is to serve sake by the shot to the table. Firstly, Ramsuake seems to have more policies than both Banks & Insurance companies combined. Secondly, surely for a large group the staff should have common sense to understand that the jug would be so much more efficient and practical. I persistently explained this logic to the staff, who finally relented and served us both jugs of sake and sangria.
Despite the frustrating service, the group still manages to have a good time and bring positive vibes to the place thanks to both our drunken birthday songs and the DJ pumping deep house tunes. However, the management needs to urgently address key service issues, to ensure a happy customer experience. After all, a happy customer is a loyal customer.
Value for Money: 12/20.