Bypassing brunch (for once), Hubs and I decided to seek out Katana, a newish Japanese restaurant at the base of the Address Downtown Dubai (yes, the one that was in flames on NYE 2016). As you would imagine, there was not a lot of traffic for a non-brunch Friday lunch, so we were the only patrons. Fortunately, the service was spot on — engaged, polite and professional throughout the meal. While there were a number of libations on offer (and the bar was exceptionally unique, see below), I decided on a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (as honestly, AED70+ cocktails are a bit too much for me to swallow
pun intended). As a personal pet peeve, there was only Voss water… Ahem, dear restauranteurs of Dubai, please let me assure you that it is ENTIRELY OKAY TO SERVE LOCAL WATER AT YOUR ESTABLISHMENT.
With three separate ‘menus’ on offer (robata, sushi and traditional mains, salads, etc.) we simply decided to start with the small tapas style robata grill portions and then keep ordering. I ordered edamame because, even though I have a ton of it in my freezer, I always forget to make it. From the robata menu, we had salmon (Sake), chicken (Negina) and mushroom (Shiitake). From the ‘special’ menu, we selected lamb chop (Kohitsuji), which was pretty amazing and my favorite of the quartet. The robata dishes were accompanied by a selection of dipping sauces (with the ginger being the most delicious by a significant margin). Overall, I would order these small bites again, but as I’ve experienced recently while dining in Dubai, the temperature could stand to be increased (especially in the case of the mushroom). If served from a grill, I want the dish to be piping hot.
As former Angelenos, we are always ready to throw down on sushi. And here was no different. Side bar: thank you, Katana for offering much more than the standard California roll! We ordered two rolls: the crab dynamite and spicy tako roll. I enjoyed the crab dynamite far more than Hubs, who claimed he wanted the crab to be cold. We both wanted the avocado to be a bit more ripe, but overall enjoyed the roll, which had a good level of heat. The tako roll had both octopus and spicy tuna and was very tasty and worth ordering again.
As an encore (?!) we decided to circle back to wagyu gyoza, and I’m very glad we did. The gyoza, served with a chili sauce and kimchee were cooked to perfect and probably my favorite dish of the day (next to the ginger sauce).
Here’s what I also liked. Let’s say you had friends who had an aversion to uncooked fish (I know, personally, I could live on sashimi, but they do exist). Katana would provide a great selection for everyone, and you could see the Burj Khalifa and get a partial view of the fountains while you dine. (Just a suggestion…the former tour director in me wants to make sure you have a nice visit to Dubai.)
All in (with two glasses of wine and an expensive bottle of water), the bill came to AED501, which I feel is fair.
So, would I go back? I think so. However, in direct comparison, in a crowded market (Toko, Hashi), at the moment, I would point people in the direction of Toko before Katana. Overall, I’m willing to give Katana 3.75 stars, and if there were good offers to help offset the cost, I wouldn’t hesitate to return.