The Bench advised long standing client Akmal Anuar (via his consultancy company White Rice Consultancy LLC) on a restaurant management agreement for the OTORO located in Al Qana, Abu Dhabi. OTORO is a modern Japanese concept where the philosophy is simple, great and exquisite food made with fresh produce from various prefectures of Japan such as Wagyu from Kagoshima, Otoro from Tokyo, Uni from Hokkaido to name a few.
Akmal is the co-owner and founder of a number of highly successful restaurants in the UAE including 11 Woodfire (awarded 1 Michelin star by the Michelin Guide 2022 and 1 Toque by Gault & Milau UAE 2022) and Goldfish Sushi and Yakitori (awarded Bib Gourmand by the Michelin Guide 2022 and listed in Gault & Milau 2022). He was also the original founder and chef in the launch of 3Fils in the Jumeirah Fishing Harbor, which was listed in the 10 coolest places to eat by Forbes magazine and made it to number 1 spot in the MENA Best Restaurant 2022 list by the World’s 50 Best.
The Bench is the only boutique law firm in the UAE that has a specialist F&B team advising on a range of industry related issues such as franchise agreements, management agreements, leases, brand protection, corporate structuring etc. The team acts for individual chefs (such as Akmal), restaurant, bar and hotel owners (such as the owners of Hotel Indigo Downtown Dubai), master franchisees such as RMAL Hospitality (franchisee of Wagamama, Trader Vic’s, Allo Beirut and Marco Pierre White brands) and franchisors (such as Sugoi JPN).