Dubai Restaurant Review: Katsuya, a feast for the senses

Check-in on the finest eateries around town


Purva Grover

Published: Thu 13 Jan 2022, 7:25 PM

I’d come across a character called Katsuya in one of the books penned by a Japanese author. This male protagonist was respected for his success at any venture he touched. Curious, I Google-ed the meaning of the name to learn that it did mean victory. It’s with these thoughts that we walked into Katsuya, Hyde Hotel Dubai. Katsuya has acquired a reputation for its contemporary take on traditional Japanese cuisine, and the restaurant brimming with people suggested so as well. We choose to sit on the spacious terrace (which is large enough to be assured of social distancing), facing Dubai Canal, and learnt that the eatery was designed by South African designer, Tristan Plessis. The lovely artworks on the walls, especially of the women in traditional gear, lends the place a feel of an art gallery.

The nip in the air was perfect for a speciality roll, we choose the Corn Crunch, as recommended by the chatty, lovely server from Montenegro. Crunchy, savoury (battered and deep-fried), the shrimp corn tempura, when dipped in aioli, added the right tang to the preparation. Next up was Bops, a sizzling rice hot pot loaded with five types of Japanese mushrooms. The server poured Katsuya’s signature sweet soy bop sauce and mixed it with the rice on the table, and the aroma was enough to suggest what would lay in each bite. Miso Cod, Braised Short Ribs, and Lobster Dynamite are the other Bop options. As we savoured our meal, we were mighty impressed with the factory-like precision of the staff catering many tables, multiple orders, but with a human touch. The server aptly insisted to sample Tenderloin, with truffle salt and truffle butter. Extremely tender sans excessive beefy flavour, with the truffles contributing towards the garlicky flavour and, of course, the unmistakable aroma.

The restaurant in this location opened in November 2021, and there are enough reasons for us to return for another luxe experience to soak in the views, aromas and flavours from their land, Japan. On that note, we did feel like we’d consumed a winning meal. Did I mention how the Chocolate Hojicha (Japanese green tea) Layers melted in the mouth and looked like a miniature artwork? The combination of miso crunch and caramel cream was surely the victory highlight.

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