Volume 96, Issue 3

Thursday, June 6, 2002
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Who ever said racial stereotypes aren't funny?

Katana Kafe tries to take flight

12 Questions

Hand of God touches Katzenjammer Deli

Mousetrap sure to catch audience's laughter

So good it's Blackalicious!

Katana Kafe tries to take flight

Katana Kafé & Grill
2530 Blair Boulevard
Ambiance 3.5/5, Food 4/5, Cost 3/5

Overall rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.

By Lauren Starr
Gazette Staff

It's not everyday you get to sit on a runway and eat a fancy meal while watching airplanes take off – but at the Katana Kafé that's exactly the point.

Located in the Diamond Flight Centre just north of the London Airport, this oasis provides an unusual dining experience.

Planes taxi down the runway and take off right alongside the restaurant. Large, panoramic windows provide a great view of the action, but manage to keep out the roar of the engines. If you're into that sound however, you can sit on the patio and be even closer to the action.

Lauren Starr / Gazette

Finding the place can be tricky. Head east on Oxford Street, turn left onto Crumlin Sideroad instead of going straight into the airport and then turn right onto Blair Boulevard.

Katana Kafé's exterior leaves much to be desired – remember, you're in industrial territory.

The décor is simple – airplane memorabilia, of course, acts as the main conversation piece. For added entertainment, you can watch chef Kelly Hamilton create mouth-watering dishes in the open concept kitchen.

The menu, including daily specials, features a wide array of seafood choices as well as lamb, steak and pasta.

The dinner began with white wine ($6.95 a glass), caesar salad ($6.95) and PEI mussels in a white wine and garlic sauce ($7.95). Both appetizers proved to be excellent. Not only were the mussels light and tasty, but they were also well priced. Other options included grilled scallops ($10.50) and terrine of buffalo ($10.95).

The linguine with tiger shrimp in a creamy tomato sauce ($18.95) would have benefited from fresher shrimp, but the sauce, with a hint of sweetness, was delicious. The Lake Huron yellow perch ($19) was fried in a light batter and served with capers and potatoes. Attractive presentations were complimented by a good blend of spices and seasonings.

Dessert was shamelessly devoured. The creamy, cookie dough cheesecake won out over the slightly dry, chocolate mousse cake.

Overall, the prices seemed high considering the portion sizes. While there was a decent amount of food, there wasn't quite enough to fill up the average eater.

Since one really needs to see the planes going by to get the full effect of the restaurant, it might be better to check out this aviator's dream at breakfast or lunch when there is a bit more air traffic.

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