Kyo translates to ‘entertainment’ in Japanese, and that is exactly what this stylishly chic new eatery on Golden Mile 1 (The Palm, Dubai) is setting up to do. Kyo Cafe & Lounge will open up to the public around 25th August, yet I had the privilege of being invited for a pre-menu tasting early this week.
Created and conceptualized by a highly enterprising Egyptian management, with a kitchen headed by a French chef, Kyo serves up an unabashedly authentic Japanese fare. Multi-cultural much?! Welcome to Dubai Habibi!
The ambiance is suave and chic, and takes on the charm of Japanese architecture with a modern-age twist. The alfresco dining, dimly lit with luminous lanterns, looked stunning as we walked in. Alas the humidity of the evening forced us in.
I was accompanied by my friend Sara, and we took along our frisky little daughters. The interiors are so tastefully decorated that for a moment, we felt rather sheepish bringing along the little ones. This place seemed too upmarket and posh for kids! Yet the very friendly staff made us feel right at home and had the four of us seated down comfortably… and yes, we gave the girls the iPad! It’s the modern-day pacifier 🙂
We were trying out a set menu created by Chef Gregory, and was being hosted by a young man from Mauritius who had the most delightful accent.
Kyo is yet to publish a menu. The restaurant is inviting media for the weeks prior to the public opening to sample their creations. Based on the feedback, Chef Gregory will finalize on an official menu. Pretty forward-thinking if you ask me!
I had a chat with Chef Gregory. It is interesting to learn where this French Chef developed his Japanese culinary skills! It seems a large number of Japanese Cous Chefs move to Paris to hone on their French cooking skills. In turn, they teach the French a great deal on the masterful art of Japanese cuisine. Working with a number of Japanese chefs, Chef Gregory has developed a fine sense for Japanese cuisine where less is more, and the high-quality produce is left to speak for itself.
To start off our Kyo experience, we were served the following platters:
We were also served an assortment of sushi and sashimi. I found the Nigirizushi (Jumbo Shrimp sushi) and the Nigirizushi (Octopus sushi) a little bland, but the Uramaki (California Roll featuring salmon, crab meat, avocado, Japanese mayonnaise and tobiko) proved to be far more flavorsome.
For Sashimi, we had raw fatty tuna and red snapper. Both were deliciously fresh, fishy and delicious with a dash of soya and wasabi. My favorite of the two has to be the red snapper.
Below is Kyo’s Kaki, a serving of delicately blanched Robata oyster served with a garnish of rock sauce, coriander, spring onions and sesame seeds. The pile-up of caramelized onions was an overkill for me as it stole the limelight from the delicate flavor of oyster.
Love aubergine? You really have to give Kyo’s Nasu no yuzu miso a go. This grilled aubergine takes on a flavor sensation of its own with the delicate hint of yuzu miso sauce.
This light, flavorful vegetarian dish was a precursor to the real show-stopper… Wagyu! When I see Wagyu on the menu, I get pretty excited. Any beef-eater worth their salt will vouch this is the best beef out there, and at Kyo they use Grade 5 Wagyu in all its marbling glory. Left to shine on its own, the Wagyu was cooked a perfect medium-rare and coated in a delectable Sansho crust.
The roasted Shitake mushroom and watermelon used as garnish on the plate were almost as good as the Wagyu itself… well, almost!
For our dessert round, we had a beautifully poached Nachi Pear served with a mildly spiced ginger ice-cream, and a Ginger Tiramisu served with butternut, lemongrass and chili orange. Of the two, I liked the pear best as it proved to be a lighter option after all this over-eating!
Our little girls were treated to a very delicious fruit trifle using whipped coconut cream, complete with Ginger Snap as garnish! Sara and I were almost jealous they got the yummier looking desserts!
We ended with steaming hot cups of Matcha Green Tea, a must-have after this gluttonous overload!
Kyo Cafe & Lounge are still working on the glitches in their menu offerings, and by the time they are open officially, you can rest assured they will have ticked all the right boxes with all the invaluable feedback they are receiving so far.
Kyo Cafe & Lounge will be the ideal venue to spend long idle evenings socializing once the weather cools down. Apart from the stunning interiors, the restaurant boasts of a very stylish alfresco dining area where hot-stone Japanese style barbeques will be served, a large banquet area perfect for large gatherings, and a bespoke Japanese-style garden, complete with the manicured trimmings and bonsai!
Kyo does not have a liquor licence yet, but talks are in progress. Once this comes through, you can bet this venue will be the hottest property on the entire Golden Mile 🙂
Kyo Cafe & Lounge is located on Golden Mile 1, right next to Spinneys. The restaurant is all set to open officially to the public by 25th August 2016.