PHUKET: Let’s be honest – on the scale of things, Japanese cuisine isn’t amongst the most spectacular. Its esthetic appeal, restraint in the use of spices and pure flavors are pleasing, but probably won’t provide you with the hefty injection of endorphins in the way a spicy Indian curry or our daily bowl of tom yum goong does. However, there is a place on our island where Japanese cooking has been transformed into a true spectacle.
The place is Kabuki, and the name says it all – Kabuki is the classical Japanese art of dance and drama, full of costumes, music and intricately choreographed dance routines. Kabuki is located on the premises of JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa, and it is more than a restaurant. In fact, it’s not even called a restaurant, but rather a “Japanese Cuisine Theater,” and for a good reason. Here, guests flock for more than just the food – eating at Kabuki is a form of entertainment.
The cooking at Kabuki is done right in front your eyes. Opt for the full tepanyaki experience and you will witness a culinary show, with chefs presenting their skills in live performances full of high-flying blades and bursting flames. Go for a sushi meal and you’ll witness fresh ingredients transformed with skill and dexterity into tiny, flavorful pieces of art. It’s entertaining, it’s revealing and… it makes you hungry.
But not to worry – you won’t stay empty-bellied for long. The Norwegian salmon, Hokkaido scallops and South African octopus are all there to help. Delivered to your table in all shapes and forms, they are a delight both to the eye and to the palate.
Kabuki seats 72 people, but thanks to a studied design, it grants its guests a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Divided into separate sections with traditional Shoji screens, the restaurant is a perfect choice for a romantic dinner or a private event for a group of friends. The sushi bar seats 10, and up to 12 people can enjoy the cocktails served at the sake bar at the same time.
If you ask me where I had the best Japanese meal of my life, I’d have to say in a small local sushi joint in Tokyo’s Ginza district. But if I’m to name the best Japanese meal I had outside of Japan, Kabuki tops the list.
— Maciek Klimowicz
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