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Japanese Designer Food: Katsuya

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October 25, 2014 / Japanese / By
Anna

In Dubai, there is a new kid in town. Katsuya is the latest Japanese fusion restaurant to open in Dubai Mall. In fact, it is a fusion of the talents of Katsuya Uechi, the chef, and design impresario Philippe Starck.

I was in the mall with my daughter and her baby puzzling over where to eat. The fast food outlets do not even blink on the radar – so that is a lot of possibilities gone, as fast food has been embraced with open arms in the rapidly developing parts of the Middle East.

In the expensive part of the mall - yes, malls can be organized this way - Katsuya was buzzing with people, always a good first sign. And it was bursting with enthusiastic waiters from a variety of countries all of whom shouted the traditional Japanese greeting. In addition, the menu looked interesting, so in we went.

It took some time to find a table that was suitable for us and our rather intrusive baby paraphernalia. However, the staff stuck with us and we eventually opted to squeeze into a corner where baby was safe and we were comfortable.

If you come with a party of six or more, and especially if you are a party of veiled women, it is possible to have the two tables facing the floor to ceiling windows that look out over the Dubai Mall Fountain. This would be a spectacular place to dine at night with the fountain fully lit and performing. Even in the daytime it gives a great view although the sun streaming in could get oppressively hot.

But let’s think about the food. The starters we opted for were corn tempura and crispy Brussels sprouts. Nothing similar to either of these dishes passed my lips in four years living in Japan. But, the sprouts were particularly delicious. They were indeed crispy having had each leaf separated from the sprout and quickly deep fried. The dish was dressed with almond slivers and shaved bonito flakes making this Starck dish far from starkly presented. I would eat it again and feel sure that it will appear at my dinner table at home in some form in the future. Although, the large holes in the basket-like serving dish meant I made an unavoidable mess. I will use something less challenging. The corn was, well, corn in a light tempura batter. I like my corn on the cob and dripping with butter, so best I leave it there.

Next we had what we thought would be two mains. My seared tuna was thinly sliced, lightly seared and dressed with tomatoes and red onion finely chopped and garnished with advocado chunks. I was definitely still hungry when I finished it, but it was delicious.

My daughter’s ramen noodle dish was too much for her to eat, so I was able to balance my poor choice by filling up on what she did not eat. Again it was delicious and much closer to a traditional Japanese dish than the other dishes we tried. Japanese noodle dishes really do not need to be enlivened with fusion ingredients, so this was a wise choice.

We shared the ice cream and mochi dessert. It was hard for me to share because I love the stuff, and the green tea flavor would get me back there.

The bill came to AED 316.00 (US$ 54.00). I thought this quite expensive for a lunch especially considering I would have left hungry due to my choice of what probably was two starters and I did not have a drink, not even water. But the food is worth it.

An American tourist sitting beside us had had the foresight to order a vast array of dishes and declared himself well content with all of it despite the lack of sake. I regret not asking him about the cost of his meal.


Katsuya

Country: United Arab Emirates

Province/State: Dubayy

City: Dubai Mall

Address: N/A

Zip/Post Code: N/A

Location Tips: N/A

Phone: 04-3153633

Website:http://www.thedubaimall.c...

Price Guide:$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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