Chef Katsuya Uechi, founder & CEO of Katsu-ya Group of Companies explains how the new Japanese-American restaurant at Jumeirah Al Naseem Hotel will stand out from the crowd.
Describe the concept of the venue in your words?
A full service, upscale Japanese fusion dining concept, Katsuya by Starck brings together myself and the great designer, Phillippe Starck. The menu and design merge to offer a true feast for the senses and a memorable experience. Combining Japanese and American palates, the menu features sushi rolls, specialty cocktails, robata grills, and signature hot dishes.
What are the signature items on the menu?
Katsuya has become synonymous with much-loved dishes, such as the famous crispy rice with spicy tuna. Some of our other, must-try signatures include spicy albacore sashimi with crispy onion, mushroom bop, Wagyu fillet with foie gras, Hollywood roll, and edamame hummus, an exclusive dish to the region.
What is interesting about the beverage offer?
We have a lot of special beverage offerings on the Dubai menu, from our Katsuya signature sake, which is bottled specifically for the location, to Phillippe Starck’s own brand of wine. Of course, we also have our specialty cocktails, which merge a modern Los Angeles taste with Japanese flavours, such as our burning mandarin, an infusion of Absolut Mandarin, hand-crushed serrano chili, fresh lemon, orange juice and cranberry.
Who designed the interiors and how do they reflect the concept?
Iconic designer, Phillippe Starck, designed the interiors. They are ultra-modern yet cosy, with a sleek and sultry vibe and whimsical elements. The warm wood and signature large, white tables provide an inviting atmosphere, while bold, modern art pieces are displayed throughout. The interiors manage to reflect everything about the brand’s true aesthetic – being a modern, Japanese-American fusion restaurant that is cutting-edge, while also being very welcoming and approachable.
How will the venue compete in Dubai?
I think what really sets us apart on the competitive market, is approachability. While there are some great Japanese fusion restaurants in the area, Katsuya provides a different level of warmth and service. For an upscale Japanese restaurant, our price-points appeal to a broader crowd, and we happily accommodate families and large groups. We also wanted to cater to the local palate as much as possible with specialty dishes exclusive to the region. Besides all of this, our location at Jumeirah Al Naseem, overlooking the ocean and iconic Burj Al Arab, really enhances the overall experience for guests.
Venue: Jumeirah Al Naseem Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah
Date opened: 13 May
Executive chef: Gerard Ruvira
Restaurant manager: Carlos Weng
Fun fact: The venue is designed in the shape of a bento box.