Does the new Friday brunch measure up to Katsuya’s sophisticated reputation?

Located in the dreamy Jumeirah Al Naseem, Katsuya by Starck is positioned next to the turtle sanctuary in the courtyard, where you’ll also find the highly-rated Flamingo Room by Tasha’s and Il Borro Tuscan Bistro. The Japanese restaurant is a sizeable space, with multiple rooms to dine in and a gorgeous outdoor terrace.

On a beautiful sunny day, there’s no better choice than a comfortable outdoor booth, looking directly out onto the private beach of the hotel. Burj Al Arab is standing proud, peeking through the palm leaves, while the moat that flows through the area is home to a variety of pond fish.

With unlimited choices of buffet and made-to-order options for the brunch, you won’t leave hungry. From the buffet you’ll find a wide range of cold canapés, sushi, sashimi and maki rolls, all expertly displayed with attention to detail on point.

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Generous portions of four different starters are brought to the table including crispy rice with spicy tuna and a refreshing chicken salad. The creamy rock shrimp is a favourite; the perfect balance of sweet and spicy kept us coming back for more.

The atmosphere is calm and sophisticated, the ideal spot to relax with a cocktail or glass of wine while the afternoon slowly drifts away.

Next to be delivered to the table was the robata platter: a plate of tasty grilled vegetables with juicy sliced beef short rib and a skewer of well-seasoned chicken. We’re asked to choose our main course, which is no mean feat. With choices such as tenderloin steak, grilled salmon, miso black cod, Japanese mushroom bop or lamb chops.

The tenderloin is a great choice, the meat is succulent and cooked to perfection. However the miso-marinated black cod lacked flavour and the sticky sauce drenched the fish so much so that it lost its consistency.

If by any chance you have room left for dessert, there’s a bar filled with a variety of options including pastries, eclairs and mini tarts. Trays of sweet treats are also offered around to each table, with interesting Japanese concoctions available to try.

The brunch is a great choice for lovers of Japanese cuisine. The relaxed vibe means it’s also a gorgeous spot to bring visiting relatives who are looking for plenty of tasty food, unlimited refreshing drinks and a beautiful view of Dubai.

Katsuya Big Brunch, Katsuya by Starck, Jumeirah Al Naseem Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah, noon to 4pm, Fridays, Dhs350 soft, Dhs450 house, Dhs550 sparkling. Tel: (04) 419 0676.

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