I got a pretty nice tour a few days ago first showcasing the work of the French interior designer behind Katsura, Philippe Starck, then reviewing Katsuya. I tried a big range of dishes and some were pretty impressive, like the bop mushroom which tasted a lot like a traditional rice and mushroom homemade dish.
The exhibition of Philippe Starck is located close to Dean & Deluca. It showcases some of his work and on-going projects. Starck has done more than 1,000 projects so if you think Katsuya’s interior design was impressive you’ve probably only seen the tip of an iceberg. You can read a ton about him on his wiki page [here].
This Katsuya was the first one to open outside the U.S, it’s also the first ‘masculine’ looking Katsuya. Other Katsuya’s had a geisha theme revolving around it and that might not be tolerated by some parts of the Kuwaiti society so they had a warrior Japanese oriented theme instead.
The first plate that sat on our table was their Crispy Chicken Salad, the shredded chicken was mixed with rice noodles, wonton crisps and its unique sauce. Many have the misconception that Japanese restaurants are all raw food, they’re actually much more than that; all I ate there was cooked food.
The Burning Mandarin was recommended to me and it’s called burning for a reason, it’s got crushed serrano chili and that makes it spicy. I tried spicy chocolate before, but never spicy juice. Since it had lemon and orange juice I wanted to give it a go and to my surprise it’s something I might order again, though it might not appeal to everyone.
These are their Creamy Rock Shrimps which were really good. They’re kinda like P.F Chang’s Dynamite Shrimp except they come in smaller sizes and bigger quantities. A bit spicy and I found them a great combo to eat with the bop mushroom that came with rice.
The Bop Mushroom is the most recommended dish if you like to try something different. It comes sizzling hot with a sauce you pour on the rice, mushroom and vegetables. The dish is served with small scopes so everyone can get a portion.
We only tried one sushi roll which was the Hollywood Roll. If I’m not mistaken I think it’s exclusive to Katsuya middle east, it’s a combination of cooked shrimp and avocado. I liked it but I would have prefered more sauce with it.
Overall the food was great, the staff were very friendly. I liked how they had 4 different kitchens, each one serving a specific portion from the menu, that’s including a kitchen just for juices. I’m not a big fan of sharing food but Katsuya is all about the experience and I didn’t mind sharing since everything comes in small portions intended to share.