Date night at Katana Dubai

This year is my favorite time of year! When the blistering heat of the city FINALLY subsides and you think to yourself with satisfaction that “winter is coming.”

Unlike Game of Thrones, winter over HERE ain’t so sinister. It’s when all the fun, outdoorsy stuff fills up your calendar and you really can enjoy Dubai once again. Ripe Market, jazz nights, shisha, food trucks and of course, fine dining with a view. I discovered a total gem of a restaurant last week – Katana Dubai.

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The very hip and slick Japanese restaurant is a favorite with celebrities in LA and it has recently opened up here in Dubai. The trendy, contemporary interiors are perfectly complemented with stunning views overlooking the glittering Burj Khalifa tower. If you’re big on restaurants with ambience then you’re in for a treat with this one!

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I paid a visit to the stylish restaurant on Wednesday with Salman to check out the ‘Bubbles, Bites and Beats’ launch which now takes place each Wednesday. You can sit back, relax and allow Katana to get rid of your pesky mid week slump by offering a fantastic selection of grape blends paired perfectly with an a la carte menu. Choose from a selection of 12 varieties, from a prestigious Brut to a light Rosé. Glasses start from 20 AED and bottles from 150 AED, matched with an additional 25% off the a la carte menu.

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So, what makes it stand out from other Japanese restaurants ? Katana pays homage to centuries old style cooking and their menu features Japanese tapas and other traditional styles of Japanese comfort food. They have a high level of expertise in a very specialized Japanese-style of grilling using binchotan. This is a badass, ninja-like kind of charcoal that produces virtually no flames AND no smoke YET generates an immense heat that is optimum for cooking the meat flawlessly. Katana are experts at blending Japanese tradition with a modern flair.

But enough with the talking…let’s get tasting!

Since we we weren’t drinking, we sampled the delicious menu instead. We started off with a fresh salad and delightful box of tuna and salmon sashimi which was tender and melted on the tongue – especially the tuna. We unanimously agreed that our favorite dish was the yellowtail sashimi with diced chilies . It was light and delicate yet the flavorful tang from the ginger and heat from the chili was just perfect! JUST the right level of umami-ness!

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Taste wise, they were really on a roll (haha) with the sushi. I’ve never met a tempura roll I didn’t like but these signature Katana rolls were in a league of their own – a glorious combination of yellowtail, spicy tuna and Shrimp Tempura. Crunchy, fresh and just a the right amount of spice.

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The chef sent over a few Robata-yaki treasures for us to try straight from the grill. These included Wagyu beef skewers, chicken Tenders and shrimp with tarragon butter.

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This is where you can really taste the difference in the way it’s cooked – all three were perfection, especially the wyagu which was tender and wonderfully pink on the inside.

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My other favorite was the salmon carpaccio – its texture was so soft and smooth such that your teeth just sink in to release all that juicy heaven!

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We finished it off with zingy, citrusy sorbets – a refreshing choice for balmy October nights.

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“Bubbles, Bites & Beats” will inject another level of fun into a stylish night out with the girls, a fizz-fueled after work celebration or in our case, a playful dinner date for two with your soymate.