Restaurant Review

FACT explores the wondrous world of Warayaki at Netsu

Netsu is a lively Japanese Steakhouse from acclaimed chef Ross Shonhan.

Nestled in the majestic Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, Netsu is the brainchild of acclaimed chef Ross Shonhan, who honed his skills at the likes of Zuma and Nobu before opening popular London-based ramen bar, Bone Daddies. Netsu is his first foray into the UAE dining scene and what a foray it is!

Netsu is a Japanese Steakhouse that showcases the traditional Japanese cooking technique of Warayaki. This straw fire cooking technique has existed for hundreds of years and hails from the Kochi Prefecture in the south of the country. The fires are mesmerising to watch, and a seat overlooking the central kitchen is highly recommended.

Netsu Dubai

Upon our visit, the restaurant was buzzing with diners, and an aura of amazement filled the air. Happy face after happy face could be seen at each of the tables, and as soon as we saw this positivity, we knew we would be in for an incredible experience.

After taking our seats, we were greeted by the attentive and knowledgeable staff, who carefully selected our food and drinks for the evening. We were happy to try anything, and we were glad we let the team curate the evening’s menu for us. Dish after dish of impeccable Japanese cuisine was placed at our table, much to our delight, and ever-expanding waistlines.

Netsu Dubai

We began with a variety of small dishes which certainly whet our appetite. The yellowtail tiradito (AED 75) cleansed our palate, and the sweet miso Eggplant (AED 45) was devoured within seconds. A traditional Gyoza followed (AED 65), filled with succulent Wagyu beef.

However, our favourite dishes were the Wagyu Truffle Sukiyaki (AED 275), offering tender pieces of beef simmered splendidly in a clay pot. The hot marination of sweet soy and caramelised onions was so flavoursome in its balance of spice and sour, that it left us wanting a bucket to takeaway. Elsewhere, the Wagyu Truffle Sando (AED 280) is a standout dish, presenting beautiful pieces of Wagyu sandwiched between fluffy Japanese milk bread and spread with an alluring truffle butter.

Netsu Dubai

Netsu is a Steakhouse and features a fantastic range of meat, but no Japanese restaurant would be complete without a selection of sushi. Served on a huge platter of ice arrived the carefully crafted creations, each as intricate as its neighbour. selection of cool and delicate Sashimi were devoured with relative ease, yet the foie gras nigiri were practically inhaled. 

The Roasted Lobster (AED 450) with kombu ponzu butter and burnt lime was an absolute delight for the main course. We couldn’t help but keep digging into the delicate shellfish, which was easily portioned and beautifully prepared. Like all good acts, Netsu saved its best dish until last. The highest quality Wagyu comes in various cuts, including Striploin, Ribeye and Tenderloin. Served on a grill above coals to give an authentic impression, the warayaki cooking style comes to the forefront. The straw fire cooking, which was a pleasure to watch from a few metres away is not just for show. It adds a realm of flavour to the meat that must be sampled to be believed. 

Netsu Dubai

Although Netsu has to compete against heavyweights in the Japanese dining scene, including ZUMA, Clap and 99 Sushi, it is safe to say that it stands on its own, making a solid impression through excellent food, strong service and a vibrant ambience. Netsu offers a memorable dining experience and one which we will undoubtedly be returning for. 

GO: Visit www.mandarinoriental.com/dubai or call 04 777 2232 for reservations and more information.

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