Akiko Recommended dish: Spicy tuna rolls A newcomer to the Japanese category in Bahrain is contemporary restaurant Akiko with its stunning design, sophisticated vibe and top notch food with a menu featuring plenty of sushi. You can sit inside, upstairs or even in the beautiful landscaped garden to enjoy everything from a small bite to a full blown Friday brunch affair. The dishes are seriously good and come so well presented you feel uncomfortable about spoiling the art. You’ll quickly forget about that after a bite. Block 338, Adliya (1771 7080).
Fuji Sushi Recommended dish: Volcano maki Far too few people know about this venue considering they do some of the best sushi we’ve tried in Bahrain. It’s fresh, it’s rolled right in front of you, it’s served pronto and it’s very reasonably priced. Add to that the down-to-earth interiors that remind us of something straight from Japan, and you have a highly recommended spot for your sushi fix. Sheza Tower Hotel, Diplomatic Area (1753 3336).
Imari Recommended dish: Make your own sushi rolls on Mondays Urban sophistication awaits you in Imari alongside a whole host of sushi and Japanese classics created by the Japanese head chef and his eager kitchen staff. They take traditional dishes and give them a unique, modern twist. We’re particularly enamoured by the kimchi mayonnaise that comes with a number of dishes - we could quite honestly slather it on anything! Enjoy it in the restaurant, bar or lounge overlooking the city. Block 338, Adliya (1771 7080).
Maki Recommended dish: Spicy real crab This venue oozes sophistication with its main dining room downstairs and a classy lounge area upstairs. The epic menu is a little overwhelming but there’s plenty to get you drooling before a plate even arrives (particularly as you’re viewing each and every dish on an iPad). The options for sushi and sashimi are countless so you’re bound to find something to cater to all fussy tastes. Just be warned they love their crabsticks! Bahrain World Trade Centre, Manama (1752 2733).
Mirai Recommended dish: Shrimp tempura rolls Ask a sushi lover where their favourite spot in Bahrain for a platter is, and chances are they’ll say Mirai. The outer building might be understated, the interior may be small, but it offers an authentic Japanese experience with some interesting rolls and sushi varieties including a few of their own fusions. It’s a great place to hang out with friends in an evening for chats, drinks and maki. Block 338, Adliya (1771 3113).
Ruka Recommended dish: Spider rolls On the 24th floor of Ramee Grand, overlooking the entire Seef District, Ruka sits as a nod to cosmopolitan Japan. The chic grey and black interiors make for a sophisticated setting and, when the weather is cool, grab a booth on the balcony to enjoy the food and the view. On the menu is a whole host of Japanese favourites including a wide array of sushi created fresh by the expert specialty chefs. Ramee Grand Hotel & Spa, Seef (1711 1999).
Sato Recommended dish: Sato specials The star attraction at this stalwart Japanese spot, and Time Out Bahrain Restaurant Awards 2013 winner of ‘Best Japanese’, is their teppanyaki bar and the talented chefs that entertain behind the grill. Their set menus are legendary in Bahrain with tasty salads, miso soup, melt-in-the-mouth beef and seafood teppanyaki, and of course those sushi offerings. They have plenty of ‘Sato specials’ alongside the regular rabble, all expertly prepared and beautifully served. Gulf Hotel, Adliya (1771 3000).
Thai Lounge Recommended dish: Unicorn rolls Despite the overarching Thai theme, The Ritz-Carlton’s poolside lounge does a mean sushi roll. There are a delicious range of options on their regular a la carte menu but on Wednesdays, in particular, there is a special sushi deal that offers edamame, miso soup and giant sushi platters with unlimited beverages for BD17 net. Combine that with the chilled out atmosphere and trendy surrounds, Thai Lounge is a must-visit for sushi lovers. The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel & Spa, Seef (1758 0000).