In the spirit of the holiday season, Katsuya at Baha Mar unveiled eight new additions to their menu that will delight all of the senses – sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing.
The frontrunner in the show-stopping category is of course the usuzukuri on its specialty starters menu. It’s a visually stunning dish that doesn’t seem to be too complex, as usuzukuri simply means thinly sliced white fish – but with the addition of Sanbai-zu, candied soba and lime zest, this turns into something pretty special. You won’t want to share, so if you’re dining with a companion, make sure they order their own.
Katsuya Hot Rock is another stunner. Thinly sliced Wagyu beef “bathed” in ponzu, a citrus-based sauce, is served with Japanese spices which you then cook tableside to your liking on a hot stone. Interactive and fun, this is a welcome addition to the already stellar Katsuya dining experience, and is a must-have experience and delicious to boot.
Mushroom bop is another outstanding addition. This Katsuya standard showcases an ale soy mirin finished with truffle oil for an amazing umami finish. This hot kitchen dish of mushroom and rice with cheese is served in a smoking hot pot which allows the rice to continue to cook as it sits. When you start the rice is soft, but by the time you finish, the rice that is touching the bowl is crisp in this Korean-inspired dish (think bibimbap). The textural eater that I am did not mind at all. I could inhale the entire pot all by myself.
Another must-have new menu item is the braised short rib from the Japanese Charcoal Robata section of the menu, a Katsuya brand standard that has been modified for the Bahamian market and entails a 24-hour sous vide, a cooking technique that utilizes precise temperature control to deliver consistent, restaurant-quality results. (Need I say more!) Needless to say the final result is meltingly tender. A knife isn’t even necessary. You must also have the Kakuni pork belly which has gone through a modification, but is just as amazingly tender.
In the name of sustainability, an albacore sashimi with crispy onion, thinly sliced with Momiji ponzu and light crisp onion, replaced the dish in which wahoo was formerly the star, on the specialty starters.
And they’ve increased their specialty roll offerings from seven to nine with the addition of two rolls from the Vegas Katsuya menu – the Tiger roll which features shrimp tempura, cucumber, avocado topped with spicy tuna, masago and truffle oil; and a Double Hamachi roll with spicy yellowtail, cucumber topped with thinly sliced yellowtail and serrano chili.
A salmon tartare, a playful twist of ikura, yuzu soy and nori rice crisps, has also been added to the specialty starters.
And if you’re lucky Chef Mike Salazar may still be offering his scallops and caviar – a dish he presented for the recent Taste of sbe which coincided with the one-year anniversary of the SLS hotel. Siberian caviar is topped on scallops, an apple crisp and balanced with acid. It’s one of those dishes that will make you put your fork – (sorry) – chopsticks down. It’s that good. If you’re lucky Chef Mike will have it on offer on your next visit. (Or just ask him, I’m sure he would be happy to recreate this for you.)
And even though the Banana Sticky Rice (jackfruit, sesame seed brittle and coconut ice cream) is by no means new to the menu, on my most recent visit, it was my first time “dipping” into Katsuya’s variation on this popular Asian treat which turned out to be a “comforting” end to a delicious, amazing, sublime, phenomenal (okay, I’ve got to stop with the adjectives) journey through Katsuya’s new menu additions.