Brad Barnes dines at Katana in Spalding

Japanese restaurant with a bit of theatre, but food gets a standing ovation

If a restaurant ever let its food do the talking then this - Katana in Spalding - is it.

Saturday, 14th August 2021, 5:03 am

It is located on a bend of a busy road into the town and the place itself is pretty unassuming. Other than the sign above the door there is little to suggest what lies inside.

The interior itself is quite simple - a nice bar area but nothing too fancy - just a water feature and artwork on the walls giving a nod towards the cuisine on offer.

The food, however, and the theatre involved in preparation of it for some customers, is a different matter altogether.

I had heard about the “chef’s table” option - sitting around a teppanyaki station while the chef prepares and cooks your dishes for you.

We didn’t go down that route but seeing it really added to an already pleasant atmosphere.

Playing to his “audience” the chef - with his black outfit, cap and mask looking like a Ninja - soon had flames, smoke and some incredible smells on the grill in front of him, all the time chatting away to the diners around him. He was enjoying himself and so were they - and everyone else rubbernecking what was going on.

The menu is extensive- from a mixed salad topped with soft shell crab, teppanyaki scallops, king prawns in a light tempura batter, salmon croquettes with teriyaki sauce - the list of starters goes on.

Main courses offered up wagyu beef, lobster and seafood set meals, curries, noodles, teppanyaki dishes galore and, of course sushi... lots of sushi - nigiri, sashimi and maki.

For a little variety I chose one of the set meals - the Emperial (£23.90) - three starter dishes, a choice of rib eye steak, chicken breast or duck breast main and a dessert.

The maki sushi (rolled rice) filled mainly with salmon was light and fresh tasting, though slices of ginger and some wasabi really gave it some heat.

The chicken gyoza, lovely little Japanese steamed dumplings , were soft and the filling had a nice savoury flavour , while the vegetable spring rolls were crisp and tasty. It came with a little leafy salad and a lemony but not sour dressing.

As a steak lover, teppanyaki cooked rib eye is as good as it gets. Beautifully cooked, oozing in a sweet teriyaki sauce with a wonderful serving of rice and mixed peppers cooked in the same way.

In a word: amazing.

The dessert was interesting - a green tea cheesecake with a sweet pistachio ice cream , and all washed down with Asahi beer. Simply terrific.

Donna adopted something of a mix and match approach.

Chicken yakitori - skewers of grilled chicken with spring onion and teriyaki sauce (£6.50) - certainly delivered on flavour.

The edamame beans (£4.95) were a treat - the pods grilled with salt and sesame powder then out popped the beans.

The green salad (£4.95) - packed with avocado and cucumber again came with a moreish citrus-led dressing.

And she saved the best until last - the tuna sashimi (£6.95); four pieces that looked beautiful on the plate - and certainly lived up to the billing. Topped with roe they were stunning and were complimented by the soy sauce, ginger and wasabi.

The theatrics and food get a standing ovation from me.

Brad Barnes was dining at Katana in Double Street, Spalding (www.mykatana.co.uk)

Page 1 of 2