This is a very long overdue post...almost 2 months actually...coz it happened on my birthday; the reason why it took me so long to post is because the pictures taken that night were from Ate Cel’s camera, and I only remembered last night to copy them from her.
So anyway, on the day of my birthday, I called Riviera Hotel to make a booking at Hana Restaurant. I initially wanted to eat at a restaurant in BurJuman, but we had to change our plans. Anyway, we love Japanese food and we’ve eaten there before, plus the manager and staff there know me very well, so we decided to celebrate with a dinner at Hana.
Riviera is a 4-star hotel located along Baniyas Street in Deira. I’ve never stayed there before, but that’s where we book many of our Japanese guests when they visit...and from what I’ve heard, they really enjoy staying there. I think it’s one of the very few hotels (if not the only one) in Dubai that has these special kinds of bathrooms like the ones in Japan that have all sorts of buttons and knobs. It’s really cool, actually.
Moving on...we (hubby, Caila, Ate Cel and I) arrived at the hotel at exactly 7:30pm. My sister arrived 20 minutes later. Aside from us, the only customers in the restaurant were a couple and a group of friends or business associates, so we were taken cared of right away. We had given our orders to the waitress and were enjoying the view of the Dubai Creek when she came back to tell us that the chef had prepared complimentary California maki (my favorite!) for each of us, and asked if we still wanted to push through with our order of the same. Well, as I said, it’s my favorite Japanese food, so I told her “Yes.”
While we were waiting for the food, the hotel manager and his assistant stopped by to visit and greet me, which was very nice of them. I introduced them to my family, but they didn’t stay long; however, before leaving they assured me that they had given instructions to their staff to take care of us.
We had ordered California maki (the second picture is the complimentary one)miso soupvegetable spring rollstempuraseafood platter (prawns, lobster, hammour, salmon)fried riceand duck with broccoliThey were all delicious! Yeah, I know, it was a lot, but we were celebrating and wanted to make the most of it, so we ate and ate until our stomachs didn’t have room for anymore. After the table had been cleared and we had asked a waiter to pack the leftovers so we could take them home, the waitress came to our table with a cake and candles, singing “Happy Birthday.” It was really nice, and luckily, we were the only ones left in the restaurant so it wasn’t embarrassing. The cake was ok, not super delicious, but ok. We took home the rest of it because we were already full and the cake was too big to finish by all of us. Finally, the bill came and...we were given a 20% discount! Yay (for hubby, because he was the one who paid...of course)!
Anyway, discounts and complimentary maki and cake aside, the food was really great. There’s this other Japanese restaurant called Bentoya (located along Sheikh Zayed Road) which we’ve tried a few times, but I like the taste of Hana’s food better. Plus, the service is good (because there aren’t that many customers), so you can be sure that you have the servers’ full attention. Only problem is it’s not very easy to find a parking space there, and the hotel doesn’t provide valet parking either; so hubby had to park our car some distance away from the hotel that night. But, of course, our dinner at Hana Restaurant was definitely worth the 5 minute walk we had to take to get there.
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