The Big Katsuya Brunch at Katsuya by Stark

A classy Japanese brunch at Jumeirah Al Naseem

The Big Katsuya Brunch at Katsuya by Stark
The Big Katsuya Brunch at Katsuya by Stark Image #2
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Know your sushi? Then you’ll have heard of Katsuya by Stark.

With restaurants in Hollywood, South Beach and Las Vegas, to name but a few, it’s with extreme excitement and a hankering for raw fish that we head to the trendy Japanese restaurant in Jumeirah Al Naseem.

The dining room sits among the circle of giants that are Il Borro Tuscan Bistro (our Restaurant of the Year), hip burger joint Black Tap and Flamingo Room by tashas, but on our arrival at Friday brunch time, it’s just as lively as the rest of them, and we’re about to see why.

A sushi brand born of a partnership between chef Uechi and design maestro Philippe Starck, décor is (as expected) sharp and cool. Huge glass windows overlook the Turtle Lagoon, as well as the Burj Al Arab, lending a holiday feel.

We’re the first to arrive but the early bird catches the worm, or the sashimi in this case, of which the buffet is laden. There’s also a load of maki, nigari, tartare and ceviche, and we make an early conclusion that this brunch is going to be a top one.

There’s seating in the cool indoor area, which boasts massive windows, as well as on the somewhat cosy, terrace overlooking the lagoon. We choose the latter, and have a view of a whopper of a turtle gliding around, poking his head out of the water occasionally.

But not even he can distract us from the menu, which is full of promise. Starters are shared and include a crispy chicken salad, edamame and crispy rice with spicy tuna, all of which are fresh, packed full of flavour and generous in portion size.

Next up is a robata grill, which in comparison is a bit measly, with one skewer of chicken, a few slices of beef and one corn on the cob, which could be awkward.

The sheer scale of the sushi buffet (and the fact that we still have a main course to devour) placates us, somewhat, and when the main does arrive we’re grateful that we didn’t fill up.

Miso-marinated black cod is delightfully flaky and perfectly sweet without being too sickly, while salmon is chunky and expertly grilled. Overall food is excellent (robata aside) and we’re happily full, having eaten quality fish, prepared skilfully and served up in a healthy way that most brunches can only dream of.

Naturally, it’s now time to ruin it all with a gander around the dessert station and an impressive face-stuffing of tarts, tasty cakes and chocolates.

If the waiters are shocked by our gluttony they hide it well, and service overall has been brilliant.

The restaurant inside gets pleasantly full and there’s a nice lively atmosphere – but don’t come here expecting a party brunch, it’s way more sophisticated than that, and we love the classy demeanor.

Will we be back? Turtle-ly.
Dhs350 (soft drinks), Dhs450 (house beverages, Dhs550 (sparkling). Fri noon-4pm. Jumeirah Al Naseem, Umm Suqeim (04 5269362).

WHAT IS IT...
A classy Japanese brunch at Jumeirah Al Naseem

WHY GO...
For the black cod and a glimpse at the turtles

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