Review: Kayto

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Japan meets Peru at Jumeirah Al Naseem, but does it work?

If you tried – and loved – the food at the chic poolside restaurant in Jumeirah Al Naseem’s Summersalt, then you’ll be pleased to discover that its Chef Cristian Goya has moved the concept upstairs to the hotel’s terrace.

Previously occupied by shisha spot Ambar, Kayto is a Japanese/Peruvian concept, which will be open until May 2020. There are plans for a refurb, but we’re hoping they’ll keep the gorgeous blush pink sofas and chairs that give the room its chic, fun aesthetic.

The restaurant looks out onto Burj Al Arab, and it’s impossible not to spend the evening staring at its twinkling lights. If you can cast your eye away to the menu, you’ll find a blend of Japanese and Peruvian dishes, known as ‘Nikkei’ when combined. There’s an extensive a la carte list, or you can opt for the tasting menu, which offers two starters, a main, a side and dessert for Dhs410.

 

We start our Nekkei odyssey with four oblongs of crunch-on-the-outside, soft-in-the-middle crispy rice, topped with spicy tuna tartare (Dhs70). The balance is perfect, with the powerful kick courtesy of a tiny chili slice on top.

Closely followed is the seabass ceviche (Dhs72), which offers large chunks of juicy fish, complimented by super-sweet sweet potato tempura, thinly sliced red onion and uncooked but soft Peruvian corn kernels.

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Upon recommendation we try the salmon tataki (Dhs65), and it doesn’t disappoint. The sweet and sour miso karachi sauce is incredibly moreish, although you can have too much of a good thing, so go easy when you dip your salmon slices.

We try the saikyo miso black cod (Dhs185) which is fine, but could have been marinated for longer to create a deeper flavour. In contrast, the wagyu beef tataki (Dhs220) is tastier, far better seasoned and the accompanied variety of Japanese mushrooms make it a solid dish.

The service was hit and miss. As the restaurant started to fill, we, along with a handful of other tables, were forgotten.

After several reminders, our cheesecake brûlée (Dhs45) finally arrived, but by then we just wanted to leave. A shame, because it was a nice dessert, with a crunchy blowtorched top and sharp mandarin sorbet.

While teething problems are to be expected in a new restaurant, as a Jumeirah outlet, expectations will be high from the get-go, so Kayto will need to up its efficiency fast.

KAYTO, Jumeirah Al Naseem, Jumeirah, daily 12.30pm to 3pm and 5pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 4323232. jumeirah.com