Positioned at the base of the still-yet-to-reopen Address Downtown Dubai, Japanese restaurant Katana is named after the shining, razor-sharp traditional sword of a samurai warrior.
So it’s somewhat ironic that its Red Sun Brunch offering is, well, a little bit dull. We’re visiting early in the year, so it’s fair to assume that this smart Downtown eatery isn’t the only place in the city experiencing a New Year brunch slump.
Spread out over five courses, the Red Sun deal sees dishes brought to the table to share, with the option to re-order anything you’ve particularly fallen in love with.
Food swiftly kicks off with the arrival of the first round – salted edamame, a garden salad, salmon carpaccio, avocado purée and tempura. Dressed in a creamy, tangy soy vinaigrette, the leafy greens are a surprise hit, as is the citrussy avocado.
A selection of robata is next to sidle its way onto the table, each skewer containing three morsels of meat – chicken, Angus beef and king salmon, the latter so well charred and buttery that a chopstick jousting match almost breaks out over the final piece.
Unexpectedly, the next course – a selection of sushi and sashimi – is bland and resoundingly the most disappointing part of the meal.
Things start to look up again with the mains, particularly in the shape of the grilled umami salmon (a beautifully rich and flaky piece of fish), but a plate of too-dry jidori chicken and bowl of tasteless mixed fried rice temper our enthusiasm.
In a city bursting with great Japanese cooking – both high-end and more accessible – Katana needs to up its game.
The Red Sun Brunch could also do with carving out its own niche – and it’s going to take more than a samurai sword to do it.
Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-4pm. Opposite Fortnum & Mason, Downtown Dubai (04 277 8808).
The Bottom Line
A good setting deserving of more consistent cooking.