MELBOURNE | Katori opened in Box Hill in late 2019, the showcase dining offering of Art Series Hotel, The Chen. The focus is on premium Japanese dining. Specifically, yakiniku, and sushi/sashimi.
Yakiniku is a Japanese style of eating where you grill your own meat. Each table inside the sleek and modern restaurant features a charcoal grill imported from Japan. Choose your meat from an assortment of cuts, and grill away. The focus is on wagyu, both Australian and imported, with marble scores ranging from 7 through 12.
Lockdowns have meant that the in-restaurant yakiniku part of the Katori experience hasn’t truly had the opportunity to shine. Katori has had to pivot towards a take away offering, one which is more premium than you might expect from take away. I was gifted a selection of items from their take away offering.
Executive chef Kengo Hiromatsu (ex Nobu, Sake Flinders Lane) and head chef Yasuo Matsuike (ex Nobu, Azuma) play a deft hand when it comes to sushi, and the results are impressive.
Seafood is of the highest quality, and comes cooked and raw in the form of sushi, sashimi, tataki, and more. I sampled the premium nigiri box, and was impressed with the variety and quality. It features ingredients like short spine uni, foie gras, and Japanese imported toro (blue fin tuna belly). It’s all very decedent and delicious. Not cheap, but very much a matter of “you get what you pay for”.
Beyond the yakiniku, sushi, and sashimi, you can also order other dishes for take away. Think shabu shabu & sukiyaki, assorted don (rice bowls), and more. I tried the Tebasaki grilled chicken wings and the wagyu mince, cabbage and cheese gyoza and thoroughly enjoyed both.
Behind the bar, the restaurant offers an assortment of drinks, with a focus on sake and Japanese inspired cocktails. A selection of both is available on the take away menu during lockdown.
Katori is a restaurant that’s been on my radar since opening. The pandemic has stifled my plans to visit in person, but after my lockdown take away experience, I’m more keen than ever to dine in and sample the yakiniku, and more, when lockdown is over.
G01/850 Whitehorse Road
Tue – Sun: 11:30am to 10:00pm