A&E Recommends… Dining at Pan Asian Restaurant Taikun

Hayley Kadrou   |   21 - 08 - 2019

The name might have changed for this DIFC restaurant, but the pan Asian eatery offers up a mix of classic dishes that diners have come to expect as well as more off-the-beaten-track options.

Long-time Dubai dwellers will most likely have heard of Toko; the pan Asian restaurant resided in Downtown Dubai. But what those slipping on the latest dining news might not know is that the restaurant now goes by the name of Taikun, an archaic Japanese term for respect.


Black cod and avocado is a classic dish as Taikun

Black cod and avocado is a classic dish as Taikun


But despite the moniker switch up, the establishment is still under the same control – the name change was an exterior move only. But what’s on offer once you step inside the Vida Downtown Hotel to seek out Taikun?


Walking in, we are greeted by the colourful yet warm interiors – think a flattering glow thanks to soft lighting, exposed ceilings adding a rustic feel and plush seating created a welcoming yet intimate setting.


Taikun glows with soft lighting, warm wood shades and plush blue seatings

Taikun glows with soft lighting, warm wood shades and plush blue seatings


The busy, sometimes mismatched decor makes us think that there is a spot for any kind of evening that guests might have in mind – we pick a more secluded spot to ensure our attention is entirely on the food in front of us.


The menu contains a delightful mix of Asian staples that regular diners would expect and some with Taikun’s own flair. Rather than strictly starters and mains, the menu is broken up into dish types – think tempura to tacos and bao buns to maki and gyoza.


Of course noodles are a staple on the menu at Taikun

Of course noodles are a staple on the menu


Things that would traditionally be consumed as a main course fall under sections such as signature dishes, noodles, sushi platters, rice courses and more.


We’re impressed by the selection, not least a full range of options for meat lovers and well as fish fanatics and vegetarian options that are easily made vegan once the waiter is made aware.


Taikun has indoor and outdoor seating

Taikun has welcoming indoor and outdoor seating


Our table is laid with dishes such as baked avocado and black cod, Malay wok beef cooked with shiitake mushroom, galangal, kaffir lime and hoisin and bao buns filled with steamed tofu with sakura cress and cucumber.


The theatrics come into play as the baked avocado and black cod is set alight. Once the performance is over, the dish is a delight but, thanks to the hype before arriving and its elaborate entrance, perhaps slightly underwhelming. Not because it didn’t taste delicious, but because the build-up was intense.





We dig into the previous before working our way through more colourful side options, such as grilled asparagus served with zucchini, teriyaki and sesame, avocado teriyaki and assorted dumplings because we just can’t decide.


To polish off the meal, we go for a plate of assorted mocha ice cream, picking our flavour preference (coconut, mango and coffee) beforehand – and its the perfect sweet fix yet light and refreshing end to the meal.


Delicious dishes with a warm atmosphere and friendly service, we can’t wait to tuck in all over again.






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