Wild Izakaya Brunch @ Virgin Izakaya Dubai : Modern Japanese & Stunning Cocktails!

Right on the Bluewater Wharf sits Virgin Izakaya, an extension of the very popular bar in Ukraine. This is their fourth venue – and where else best to do it but in the heart of Dubai itself. Every Saturday they do a ‘Wild Izakaya Brunch’. We went over early February to review it – just the adults this time 😉

Here’s what to expect from Wild Izakaya brunch at Virgin Izakaya Dubai.

Where exactly is Virgin Izakaya in Dubai?

Virgin Izakaya is on Bluewaters Island, right at the wharflooking back at JBR.

Park at Bluewater’s Underground Carparking at B1 – orange column. Once you get in, come up to Ground floor, and walk in the direction of the water. Virgin Izakaya is right next to Puerto99.

How’s the view like from Virgin Izakaya?

Is there anywhere at Bluewaters Wharf, that doesn’t have a stunning view?

Looking back at JBR you’ll see the mighty Address Beach Resort, and all the many resorts and buildings alongside JBR. Beautiful, especially on a winter afternoon.

How is the brunch vibe?

The brunch is mostly downstairs and everyone was sat outside to enjoy the winter weather. There’s a DJ playing party music. I did notice that there were some who preferred to sit upstairs – it’s quieter there.

Despite its brunch name, it was pretty chilled when we were there. Nothing crazy or wild for sure 😉 There were groups of adults, and a few couples. We didn’t see any kids.

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Note that although the venue in general do allow kids, I would highly recommend you do the brunch with the big people. Just the overall vibe – the loud DJ music plus there is no specific kid’s menu.

Let’s talk about the food.

As its name explains – Virgin Izakaya serves japanese cuisine, izakaya style ie on small plates. It does define itself as ‘modern japanese‘, which is becoming a fast trend nowadays, isn’t it?

All dishes for the brunch, are served to table.

You start off with green salad – baby spinach leaves with avocado and roasted japanese sesame, accompanied with a bowl of shrimp popcorn. The latter is what defines the ‘modern’ part of the cuisine, ha. Certain outlets call this dynamite shrimp 😉 Delicious, all the same.

Next comes an impressive plate of sushi and sashimi – you’ve got salmon and blue fin tuna nigiri sushi, salmon sashimi, and unagi (eel) and avocado hand rolls. For every 2 people, they will serve 1 serving all of this. To make the most of it, please come in even numbers!

Click on image to view in full size

What about mains?

For mains – each person gets to choose one of 6 choices.

I would highly suggest you come in a group of 4, or 6 so you can try everything on the menu. For the vegetarians – there’s broccoli miso and robata vegetables. Then there’s salmon served with rice cake underneath, sliced beef with udon noodles, chicken fried rice, and pepper beef dish.

Are cocktails included in Virgin Izakaya brunch?

This was the absolute highlight of the brunch for us (other than the food, views and company, of course). In most brunches, very basic cocktails are usually included. Mojitos, Cosmos.

In the Wild Izakaya Brunch – for the “Gorilla package”, you are welcome to order anything from their standard cocktail and mocktail menu, and their cocktails are amazing. There’s Maverick’s Martini which you must get – Quince gin, peach liquor, passionfruit (with gold dust, of course – the Dubai way), lime juice, vanilla and sparkling wine. Spectacular.

Have a look at Virgin Izakaya’s cocktail menu here.

On beers – it would have been good to have at least one japanese beer included (in the Gorilla package). Maybe a Kirin? Or an Asahi? Or Sapporo, next time? On Asian beers, they have Tsing Tao.

Overall Thoughts

Do the Wild Izakaya Brunch if you enjoy modern japanese cuisine, with killer cocktails.

Having eaten in a lot of Japanese spots, we would say that it’s very much fusion than what you would get from an old-school izakaya style Japanese place. So if you don’t mind that, and what you see in the photos above – then go ahead and try it out. I will happily return so I can try the rest of their cocktail menu, haha! It’s so nice to sit outdoors now – so make the most of it!

  • Wild Izakaya Brunch @ Virgin Izakaya Dubai
  • Virgin Izakaya Website
  • Book here
  • Bluewaters Dubai
  • Every Saturday 1:00-4:00pm
  • Prices :
    • Virgin package: 299AED (soft drinks)
    • Premium package: 399 AED (Wine, House Spirits)
    • Gorilla Package: 499 AED (Wine, Cocktails, Bubbles, House Spirits)

Disclaimer :

  1. We were guests of Virgin Izakaya to review Wild Izakaya Brunch.
  2. This review was done in February 2023. Please check with venue for all current details and pricing.

Posted by

Dubai resident. Stays most of the time in the marina as she can't be bothered going anywhere else after work and in the weekends. Originally from the land of the orang utans, spent the latter half of her life in the land down under. Always on the look out for deals, loves organising get-togethers, and occasionally steals some time for a sip of wine or four at ladies nights.

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