Check in to the best restaurants in town
I had met a character called Katsuya in one of the books written by a Japanese author. This male protagonist was respected for his success in every business he touched. Curious, I googled the meaning of the name to learn that it meant victory. It was with these thoughts that we entered Katsuya, Hyde Hotel Dubai. Katsuya has earned a reputation for its contemporary take on traditional Japanese cuisine, and the crowded restaurant suggests that too. We chose to sit on the spacious terrace (large enough to ensure social distancing), facing the Dubai Canal, and learned that the restaurant had been designed by South African designer Tristan Plessis. The beautiful artwork on the walls, especially of the women in traditional dress, gives the place an art gallery feel.
The nip in the air was perfect for a specialty roll, we chose the Corn Crunch as recommended by the lovely chatty waiter from Montenegro. Crispy, savory (battered and fried), the corn tempura with shrimp, when dipped in the aioli, added the great taste to the preparation. Then there was Bops, a pot of sizzling rice loaded with five types of Japanese mushrooms. The waiter poured Katsuya’s signature sweet bop sauce and mixed it with the rice on the table, and the aroma was enough to suggest what would be in each bite. Miso cod, braised ribs and lobster dynamite are Bop’s other options. As we enjoyed our meal, we were very impressed with the industrial precision of the staff who handled many tables, many orders, but with a human touch. The waiter rightly insisted on trying the Tenderloin, with truffle salt and truffle butter. Extremely tender without excessive beef flavor, the truffles contributing to the garlicky flavor and of course the unmistakable aroma.
The restaurant at this location opened in November 2021, and we have enough reason to return for another luxury experience to soak up the sights, aromas, and flavors of their homeland, Japan. On that note, we felt like we had consumed a winning meal. Did I mention how the layers of chocolate Hojicha (Japanese green tea) melt in your mouth and look like a miniature work of art? The combination of miso crunch and creme au caramel was surely the highlight of the win.