Restaurant Review: KOBEYa Kitchen
It's unassuming - too simple in some corners, you may reckon - but the interiors give it away: the pastel colours, hints of culture and that simplicity will let you know you're in for a serving of Japanese fare. KOBEYa Kitchen is all that, a unique take on healthy, gluten-free dining. Want to whet your appetite even more? Rejoice, because it serves 100 per cent pure Kobe beef imported from the Land of the Rising Sun. The menu isn't as extensive as you would expect, but they sure pack a healthy punch - from detox gobo root salad to tofu burger and classics, such as Japanese pumpkin croquettes to spaghetti and Kobe meatballs, KOBEYa Kitchen has indeed done its homework when it comes to fusion fare.
My lunch date and I spent a whole lot of time letting the food stay on our tongues, trying to figure out all the hidden flavours within our grub. But we were a bit bummed upon discovering that not a single sushi was available. No matter, it was a unique gastronomical experience. For good measure, I even dressed the part, coming in a Japanese character-emblazoned Dragon Ball Z shirt.
Taste: The Kobe sukiyaki don reminds me of bistek Tagalog from my turf, only well-played (loved those noodles mixed in), while the KOBEYa burger's mushrooms and, of course, Kobe beef, exploded in my mouth. And you gotta love the pureness of the veggie rolls' wrap.
Ambience: Whether you're coming in for a proper meal on laid-back half-moon tables or just want to hang out while sipping some drinks on comfy chairs, the place has a spot for you. Not the quietest of places (especially when full), but the cosiness cancels that out.
Service: They ain't from Japan, but you can see in them the courtesy the Japanese are known for - polite, soft-spoken and well-informed staff. Our orders got a bit delayed, but judging from what we observed on other tables, the service speed is good.
Presentation: The mini wooden trays and white plates complement the food's aesthetics. But the one thing that really got my attention: My matcha espresso, stirred with a matcha stirrer by our server. Now that's what you call personalised.
Value For Money: Appetisers from Dh34-42, salads from Dh38-53. And guess what - no mains went beyond Dh100. And considering the fact that the grub is gluten-free and the key stuff used is from Japan, this turns out to be a rather fair deal.
Wasl Vita Mall, Al Wasl Road, Dubai
Cost for two: Dh170