A new hotel has opened in Dubai’s up and coming Business Bay neighbourhood. The 276-room Hyde Dubai enjoys a choice location overlooking the meandering Dubai Canal, and the hotel’s flagship restaurant, Katsuya, is designed to capitalise on the dynamic vista with its atmospheric open-air terrace.
Katsuya chef Pavel Nigai has designed a menu to contrast with the modern metropolis backdrop. Nigai’s focus is on traditional Japanese food.
“A lot of restaurants make [sushi] the American way. I prefer for Katsuya restaurant to keep Japanese traditions. Many people do not understand Japanese cuisine – traditional Japanese sushi is only rice and fish.”
“It’s important to use quality products or ingredients – and organic ones,” adds Nigai, pointing out that sushi made with ingredients such as Philadelphia cream cheese is more American than it is Japanese.
One of Nigai’s traditional signature dishes is black miso cod. Though the dish was made internationally famous in the Eighties by chef Nobu Matsuhisa, the method of preserving fish – using sake lees (a paste leftover from sake production) and miso (a fermented soybean paste) — has been used in Japan for centuries.
Matsuhisa made the marinade sweeter, adding sugar and mirin (a sweet rice wine), and Nigai’s recipe follows suit. Here’s his black miso cod recipe. ‘Douzo meshiagare’, as the Japanese would, or ‘please help yourself’.
Black Miso Cod Recipe
• Miso reduction 30gm
_To make to miso reduction Nigai’s mixes 1qt mirin, 1qt sake, 2floz granulated sugar, 1qt miso paste and 20g honey
_• Cod 1 piece/200gm
• Garnish with grilled shimeji mushroom, bonito (tuna) flakes and a dash of soy sauce
• Cedarwood 1pc/1gm if using a robata grill for mushrooms
1. Marinate cod in half of the miso reduction.
2. Cook in salamander or grill until almost cooked through, then take out cod and spread the remainder of miso reduction over the top.
3. Put cod back in salamander and allow miso topping to caramelise; finish in a robata grill or barbecue if you have one for a smoky flavour
4. Grill shimeji mushroom on the robata or barbecue, then serve on a plate with a dash of soy sauce and a sprinkle of bonito flakes
5. Place cod in the middle while hot and serve.