Is this a Japanese feast worth maki-ing a trip for?

It’s safe to say that Dubai has fine dining Japanese cuisine is well covered. But where Netsu sets itself apart from its contemporaries is with its focus on the traditional straw fire cooking on the Warayaki grill, which sits at the heart of the restaurant’s central glass-walled kitchen. This provides the basis for Netsu’s brunch menu, served over a three-hour sitting every Saturday afternoon.

In the cooler months the pool adjacent terrace is a lovely spot to enjoy brunch alfresco, but we’re just as happy sitting kitchen-side indoors. In the triple height restaurant, sleek woods and industrial metals are interrupted by warm shades of orange and bright artworks creating an environment that feels modern and masculine. We open the menu and are instantly impressed by the selection, although we’re nervous of the amount of ground to cover in the three hours ahead. Challenge accepted, we smugly conclude.

The first round is a collection of sharing starters, and we begin with a steaming bowl of edamame and deliciously smooth wagyu beef gyozas, dipping each in a sweet ponzu. It’s presented alongside a tuna tataki that’s got an unusually smoky aftertaste that can be accredited to the Warayaki. It’s unexpected, but we don’t dislike it.

In more familiar territory, chunks of eggplant are served in a sweet miso, while a pair of crunchy salmon tacos are packed with diced raw fish, avocado and a high-impact spicy sauce.

As we move to the next course, a platter of sushi and sashimi arrives on a bed of crushed ice, bubbling dry ice spilling all over the table for added theatrics. But our minds are already elsewhere, as to our other side, the sushi chef has set up a makeshift station, expertly layering, rolling, stuffing and scorching super-sized maki rolls packed with spicy tuna and avocado. We’re given one each, then on to the next table he goes, sadly without returning, sadly.

From the extensive cocktail array, the Japanese margarita and fragrant melon cosmopolitan, should be applauded.

For main course, we pick one dish each: I go for the grilled giant tiger prawn, my guest picks the ribeye, both are expertly cooked and arrive with a side of waryaki-grilled potato topped with spring onion and nori. We’re suitably stuffed by this point, so when a bowl of spicy hot stone rice arrives, packed with mushrooms, veggies and corn, we struggle to eat much more than a mouthful of two. It may be better brought out with the rest of the mains, we reflect.

For dessert, another impressive platter arrives tableside, with fresh fruit, sorbet, mochi, and a gooey chocolate fondant with a side of cinnamon ice cream filling the impressive structure. It’s the ideal mix of light and refreshing, with naughty and indulgent.

Verdict: This is a foodie feast that hits almost all the right notes.

Netsu, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, Jumeirah 1, 12.30pm to 3.30pm, Saturdays, Dhs450. Tel: (0)4 777 2232,