I cannot quite believe it’s June, love island is starting and summer is fast approaching, where did the time go?!

If you follow my instagram, you’ll know that I recently returned to Dubai. Dubai is so lucky with its restaurant scene, over the years, just like Dubai itself, it has expanded into something crazy but oh so exciting.

When I return to Dubai, I always like to visit some of my favourites, but I also stress the importance of exploring and trying a few new restaurants, and this time one of which was Katsuya.

Katsuya describes itself as Japanese cuisine with californian fusion and has many restaurants, sadly none of which are in the UK but if you happen to be visiting the likes of Las Vegas or LA then you should definitely check it out.

Katsuya in Dubai now has 2 restaurants (third coming soon!), one in Emirates mall and the other in the newly opened Jumeriah Al’ Nasseem which is part of the Madinat Jumeriah complex.

The menu is vast and full of flavour with plenty of options to suit differing tastebuds. Something I love about this cuisine is that it invites you to share the meal with others, so in my case, it translates as ordering as much as you possibly can and getting to sample all of it, instead of being confined to an individual starter, main, dessert (does this make me greedy?!). Katsuya also highlight in their menu the chef’s favourites, which is always quite useful when you’re visiting somewhere for the first time, not sure what to go for and simply if you want a change from your usual options.

All in all there were a good 15 dishes that came to the table and were taken away with nothing left on them, so safe to say, we chose well. But the stand out dishes for me are as follows;

Crispy Rock Shrimp – never in life have I tasted anything like this, the flavours and the sauce they were coated in were just unbelievable. You also get a lot for your money with this starter so definitely a good option to go for!

Chicken Karage – This Japanese crispy chicken is served with a yuzu aioli. The serving portion is small, so I definitely would recommend ordering 2 lots of this if this is your thing (I wish I had). Also quite possibly the best aioli I’ve ever had, such a unique warmth flavouring combined with a refreshing aftertaste, there’s nothing quite like it.

Tuna Ceviche Tacos – Really enjoyed these, if you’re not a red onion lover though, I would probably advise against them.

Wagyu Tobanyaki – Unreal just unreal, I’m talking melt in the mouth good.

Chicken Teriyaki – This was a really light dish, and also one of the less pricey options on the menu, but by no means did that translate in any way to the quality. This was really flavoursome yet simplistic, and something I think would go down well with even the fussiest of eaters.

Miso-Marinated Black Cod – This I always think is an absolute essential when dining with this cuisine, Nobu were previously my top rated for Black Cod but it’s safe to say they have now being replaced. This is a Katsuya signature dish, and it definitely held up to expectations, the sweet miso it’s coated in really took this to the next level.

Of course, a lot of other small plates were sampled such as Salmon and caviar sashimi, Japanese Mushroom Bops and Vegetable Tempura but like these and the others, although they were great choices and really enjoyable, they just didn’t quite hit the top spot for me.

The final thing I feel I have to address is the service; now for me, this is a quintessential factor in having a memorable dinner. The service was impeccable from start to finish, there’s some really cool quirks to the service upon arriving and I don’t want to ruin that for you, so I guess you’ll have to go and find out what they are!

Alice x

P.S If you wanna see some of the pictures from the meal, keep up to date with my instagram here

The Ivy Comes To York

The Ivy Comes To York

The Ivy has long been a cult classic when it comes to dining in London, and it has often remained one of my favourite places to go when visiting the capital. So when the Ivy announced they were opening two restaurants up North I was SO excited!

Naturally, I’ve checked out breakfast and dinner because they’re my two favourite meal times, so let me tell you a bit about both.

So for breakfast we had some classic breakfast pastries to serve the table and then I went for their hot buttermilk pancakes which are layered with greek yoghurt and served with strawberries, blackberries, lemon balm with the most gorgeous strawberry sauce to drizzle over. They were divine! Oh my lord

IMG_5787                            Look at the colour of that strawb sauce

Perhaps an unusual breakfast tipple for a morning was the espresso martini (it is coffee though, so that makes it ok right!?), now let me tell you, espresso martini’s at the Ivy are one of my faves, purely because they are served with 3 infusions to choose from which this time were creme brûlée, hot cross bun and amaretto.

Moving onto dinner, obviously I had to have 3 courses (treat yo’self girl) so I had salmon to start which was served with rye soda bread, which was presented beautifully as you can see below! I had the daily special which was tuna with a mango salsa, this was perfection. Paired this with some broccoli, which they top with lemon rind and I love how well the flavours complimented each other so I’m definitely using that next time I’m cooking something up in the kitchen. Then of course for dessert I had the classic chocolate bombe which is just pure indulgence for anyone with a major sweet tooth like myself. What did I hydrate myself with? A couple Ivy Royale’s of course!

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All in all I had a fabulous time, the service, as expected, was second to none, all staff were incredibly attentive and nothing is ever too much. Both times I have been the atmosphere has been wonderful and that is definitely complimented by the classic interior that Ivy executes so well.

So check it out yourself, you won’t be disappointed!

Alice x