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The art of Japanese


Long-term residents may remember when Yas Viceroy was the Yas Hotel – a stark, white property with an almost clinical feel.

The lack of personality was off-putting but Viceroy has added its special touches – which include a more colourful lobby – and boosted the standards of its restaurants.

Kazu is the hotel’s Japanese restaurant. The U-shaped interior wraps around an open kitchen, while the terrace overlooks Yas Marina Circuit. When we visit, Mercedes coupés are zooming by. The interior lacks personality – there’s no music or artwork – but we still prefer the peace and quiet inside.

The menu features appetizers, sushi and sashimi, tempura and various Japanese grilled specialities. We are offered a five-course set menu, and each course is paired with a complementing fermented rice drink.

We start with a unique plate of mini tacos each filled with a tablespoon of creamy king crab and wasabi filling, drizzled with lime juice.

The vegetarian among us is served a vibrant dish of large poached tomato slices that are swimming in a coriander and garlic sauce, sprinkled with black salt. It’s not very Japanese but the flavours are amazing.

The second course features lightly battered tofu squares coated in a spicy chilli mayo, that all sit on a bed of lettuce, lightly tossed in sesame oil. Our guest enjoys three perfectly cooked scallops that have been fried in panko, or Japanese breadcrumbs, that float in a fragrant roasted red pepper sauce.

Onto the sushi and sashimi course, we enjoy fresh chunks of raw fish and sushi served on ice in a round bamboo tray.

Although we’ve packed away three courses, each dish has been light, so we’re ready for the main course. Bite-sized cubes of beautiful beef teppanyaki are served with vegetables and a chunk of grilled Chilean sea bass with black bean sauce. Meanwhile, two aubergine halves have been glazed with miso sauce and grilled until the meaty vegetable is soft enough to scoop with a spoon, and that’s exactly what we do.

We finish with a warm chocolate fondant that has a hint of wasabi and crispy spring rolls filled with banana, drizzled in chocolate sauce. It is an innovative end to a unique meal.


Location: Yas Viceroy, Yas Island
We say: A unique twist on Japanese cuisine
Cost: AED 700 for two for three courses with soft drinks
Opening times: Daily 7pm-11pm
Contact: 02 656 0600

Rachael Peacock

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