A taste of Japan in Spalding

Katana restaurant
Katana restaurant
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TRISH TAKES FIVE: By Trish Burgess

Japan has become one of the hottest destinations over the last couple of years. Regularly appearing on bucket lists and travel websites, this beautiful, intriguing country has piqued people’s interest.

A number of friends I know, both at home and in my travel blogging circles, have recently visited Japan. Dougie has even suggested we plan ahead for a visit to coincide with the Rugby World Cup in 2019. But if Japan’s not on the holiday agenda just yet, what better way to experience a little of its culture than to sample its cuisine.

We decided to try out Katana, the Teppanyaki and Sushi restaurant in Double Street, Spalding. It’s been open since August and has been on my list of places to visit for months. As our son Rory was home from university, it was chosen for a pre-Christmas treat.

Having experienced teppanyaki cooking before, in a Japanese restaurant in Jamaica of all places, we were excited about the showmanship involved in this modern style of flame-grill cooking. Katana has two tappan hot plates where the chefs cook the food for larger groups. Our little family of three booked a smaller table nearby but didn’t miss out on the fun.

Although our food was cooked separately in the kitchen, we were able to watch the teppanyaki chefs entertain two groups who were in the restaurant that night. Lethal knives, shooting flames and tricks with eggs are on the menu along with whoops of delight from entranced diners.

Next to us was a family, gathered for a child’s birthday. The kids loved the theatrics, trying to catch food in their mouths, cleverly pinged over the grill from the chef. Who needs a children’s entertainer for a party when at Katana you have a magician who also cooks your dinner.

What did we eat and drink? Katana has a great cocktail menu so I chose a plum mango margarita (plum wine, mango, triple sec and fresh lime). Dougie, the designated driver, opted for a non-alcoholic Japanese Mokito of fresh mint leaves, lime and soda. Both were delicious.

We shared three starters of vegetable tempura (with a featherlight batter), chilli garlic prawns and chicken yakitori. We skipped the sushi dishes but they looked beautiful on other tables so we will definitely plump for some next time as there are a variety of individual dishes plus platters to choose from.

Our main courses were teppanyaki rib-eye steak, duck and sea bass, each served with rice and its own sauce: black pepper, teriyaki and citrus.

Top marks for excellent food and friendly service in modern, stylish surroundings. Katana is a fantastic place for a celebration if you book one of the large tables but it’s also perfect for a more intimate dinner. It’s open from 5pm to 11pm Tuesday to Sunday. I promise you, It’s well worth a visit.

Now, about that trip to the Far East?

You can follow Trish on Twitter @mumsgoneto and read her blog at www.mumsgoneto.co.uk