A Lesson in Teppanyaki 2

Teppanyaki, Sushi and Sake at Katana

When Katana opened in Buckhead, they broke the mold for hibachi restaurants. Guests watch chefs prepare artful Japanese dishes on an open grill, executed to perfection.

Katana was inspired by Japanese steakhouses, however that is where the similarities between the two end. Katana deviates from the standard image of a hibachi-style grill. Fresh Maine lobster, Icelandic lamb, and organic free-range chicken are converted into plated creations like Chilean Sea Bass, Chicken Confit and Lamb Lollipops. Food is then beautifully plated on a collection of eclectic plates. The only menu items not prepared in front of guests are the soup and orders off the sushi menu, which are hand-rolled at the sushi counter.

“At Katana, guests won’t feel like the chef is rushing to prepare their food,” says Mali Hu, who is co-owner of Katana with her husband George Muh. “Watching the chef prepare each dish is the entertainment.”

The sushi takes on a playful edge, much like the owners’ other restaurant, The One Sushi + in Brookhaven. The seafood for the sushi bar is imported weekly from Japan. In addition to classic rolls, it’s worth ordering a specialty roll. The Blacklist roll takes spicy tuna to a new level with the addition of a white truffle aioli; Never Say Never Again is a roll loaded with shrimp tempura, spicy tuna and crabstick.

On the dining room side of Katana, guests have a more traditional dining experience. Many of the same dishes are served, but there are more choices for appetizers, which all offer playful flairs on Japanese classics. Squid Leg Fries are served crispy with dipping sauce, Miso Cauliflower is flash fried coated in miso chili, a Pork Pop sits alongside foie gras, and Baked Lobster is adorned with caviar.

Both Hu and Muh are Korean, and their lives and travels across Asia are infused into Katana’s style. They want to emphasize Asian ingredients and add their own flair.  Hu and Muh also own Ichiban, a more traditional Japanese hibachi steakhouse.

“Katana’s Teppanyaki is not better, it’s just different,” says Hu. She considers Teppanyaki a form of family-style dining, with the added excitement of a chef cooking before your eyes.

Hu is also the mind behind many of Katana’s cocktails, all made with fresh juices and syrups. One of Mali’s creations, One Night in Beijing, combines a Chinese liquor called daqu with St. Germaine, house-made blood orange shrub, and a prosecco floater. The Teafanny is a Japanese take on a pisco sour, with yuzu and green tea powder complementing tequila blanco.

Beyond the cocktails, it’s worth a shot, literally, to try one of the many sakes. Sake Manager Johanes Yoharry is certified though International Kikisake-Shi, a sake certification program that is only available in English in Los Angeles and Japan. He recommends trying the “Sake Tasting:” 3 shots of Asahiyama Junmai, Amabuki Yamahai Junmai (made with marigold yeast), and Evoluzione Crazy Milk. Each sake progresses from dry to semi-sweet.


3345 Lenox Road NE