I had lunch earlier today at Katsuya, the new Japanese fusion restaurant that was brought to Kuwait from Los Angeles by Alshaya. The restaurant isn’t open yet but I was lucky enough to get invited for a sneak peek so I headed there with a few friends of mine to try it out.
What originally got me interested in Katsuya is the partnership with product and interior designer Philippe Starck. I’m a huge fan of his work and was actually hoping he would be coming to Kuwait for the opening but that’s sadly not happening. Katsuya is currently only open in California and Florida and their first international branch is opening up here in Kuwait followed shortly by Dubai. According to the Vice President of Katsuya who I had the pleasure of meeting, Philippe Starck had to reinvent the interior design for the Middle East. Their US locations use feminine beauty in the design, mostly the eyes and lips so for the Middle East they wanted something more appropriate and fitting with the local culture so Philippe Starck went back to the drawing board and reworked the brand with the future in mind. The result is a fusion of Japanese samurais and art resulting in a design full of colors and movement.
We sat down and ordered their cocktails first. I originally ordered the Strawberry Fields but after trying my friends drink called Burning Mandarin I decided to swap mine for that. It’s a bit spicy but worked really well with the starters. For our dishes we let the waitress make most of the choices for us while me and my friends chose a few dishes we were interested in trying. The result? We ended up with a ton of food, so much that I actually made them email me the list since I wasn’t able to track everything. This is what we had:
– Sautéed Shishito Peppers
– Edamame Humus
– Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeño
– Spicy Albacore Sashimi with Crispy Onion
– Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna
– Stuffed Eggplant
– Creamy Rock Shrimp
– Wagyu Filet with Foie Gras
– Miso-Marinated Black Cod
– Japanese Mushroom BOP
– Sashimi Sampler
– Special Katsuya Roll
– Kiwi Scallops
– Double Chocolate Lava Cake
– Espresso Brownie Bar
I found the food style very similar to Zuma and Australasia which is great since there isn’t anything similar to that here in Kuwait. From the items I tried the ones I would highly recommend are:
- Edamame Humus
- Stuffed Eggplant
- Miso-Marinated Black Cod
- Japanese Mushroom BOP
If there is one dish you NEED to try its the Stuffed Eggplant. I know I know it doesn’t sound like much and I honestly HATE eggplant, I can’t stand it but this is so different. The eggplant is stuffed with tuna and almonds covered in a sweet miso glaze. It’s actually not a top seller in the States but my guess is it’s going to be a big hit here.
The dishes aren’t that expensive. We didn’t pay for our meal but I do have a PDF of the menu which you can download at the end of this post and really most of the dishes are priced pretty fairly. The black cod dish is around KD14 but it was also the largest piece of black cod I had ever been served. I actually asked the waitress if this was their regular serving size or a large portion just for us, that’s how big it was. The Edamame Humus (genius idea btw) is KD2.950, the Stuffed Eggplant KD3.950 and the Mushroom BOP which is a fairly large portion is priced at KD5.450.
If you’re interested in trying the place out, Katsuya is officially opening this coming Wednesday from 12 noon at Avenues Phase III near Cheesecake Factory. You can download and check out their menu below and make sure you try the Stuffed Eggplant, that’s the dish that’s going to make me keep going back.
Katsuya Dinner Menu
Katsuya Drinks and Desserts Menu