Every city has an unlikely side.

One night in Abu Dhabi, feeling slightly sick of the local food and craving Asian fare, my family and I took a cab to a Japanese restaurant recommended by my mum’s Japanese colleague. It was in an unlikely part of town and the area seemed shady, with heavy-duty construction work going on. Stepping into the restaurant, though, made us feel like we’d entered another world. It had traditional inn-like elements like tatami but in a modern style, and a cosy, intimate air that seemed to draw us in. The house set we ordered was served kaiseki-style, meaning a variety of dishes in small portions. Best of all, it tasted authetic and delicious, oishii as one might say. We ended the night on a sweet note with green tea ice-cream.