You’ll find many places in Dubai boasting an open-kitchen, where customers can watch their dishes being prepared. Thing is, there’s never really a big show of cooking – mostly a chef sticking meat into an oven. That’s not nearly the case at Netsu, and if you’re looking for a theatrical show of blazing fire along with some tender and tasty meats, look no further.
The suave Japanese steakhouse at the Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah is one of those restaurants you go to for a special night out, not just because of its lavish, Japanese-inspired art and décor, but also because of its prices. You’ll be spending a pretty dirham on a majority of the menu, with some of the more expensive dishes such as the “Luxury Rice” costing well over AED1,000. Pricey, but the whole experience does it justice.
We have the choice of sitting at the counter by the kitchen or at one of their tables, and with all the theatrical cooking taking place, of course we opt for the counter. The steakhouse is from acclaimed chef Ross Shonhan, showcasing the traditional Japanese cooking technique of Warayaki, otherwise known as straw fire cooking. The chefs take a heap of straw, place it under a grill and light it up. They do this for every slab of meat, and we never get tired of it. The technique also cooks fast, as we get our food post-haste.
We take on the wagyu hot stone rice packed with tasty beef, mushrooms, corn and egg. The crispy burnt rice, with an extra crunch, is particularly satisfying. That goes perfectly with the chef’s cut wagyu steak, which is perfectly cooked medium rare (via you-know-what). Netsu is about quality over quantity. But, along with the soft shell crab maki rolls and Korean fried chicken, we’re stuffed.
It’s a lavish experience that sets you back some dirhams, but you’ll be handing them over at the right place.
Netsu isn’t just good at playing with fire, as its chilly desserts are served with icy steam. The assorted ice cream mochi balls are light and sweet, coming in three delicious flavours including mango, salted caramel and, saving the best for last, hazelnut. Each flavour comes in two mochi balls, but we recommend getting both hazelnut options before your friend does.
Where: Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Jumeirah Beach Road
When: Open daily, 6.30pm-11.30pm
Contact: +971 4 777 2232