DOX is the in-house restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Düsseldorf, Germany. The upscale 5-star hotel is located in the city’s vibrant media harbour and offers not only one of the best places to stay in the city but an alternative to the many Japanese restaurants in town. With the largest Japanese community in Germany calling Düsseldorf their home, the hotel’s restaurant has to deal with fierce competition in regards to its reputation as a Japanese restaurant, since it also caters to regular hotel guests and offers a broad menu of classical European cuisine.
The restaurant is fairly large and located on the ground floor of the hotel with a huge glass window front, providing a nice view over the media harbour and the infamous Gehry Buildings, which are considered to be the cities new landmarks. The interior design and atmosphere is very nice and fitting for a 5-star hotel. The most interesting feature of the restaurant in regards to this review is the sushi bar in the middle of the restaurant that offers insights into the preparation of the Japanese dishes.
Maki and Sashimi Selection
Having been at the hotel a few times before, I decided to sample the sushi menu, which is of average size but surprisingly limited for a restaurant claiming to specialise in Japanese cuisine. It offers 10 different varieties of fish and ranges from sashimi to nigiri and maki with a small selection of accompanying sakes to choose from. I decided to try the special roll of the day, which was an inside out maki with maguro (tuna), kappa (cucumber) and special dressing that tasted a bit like mayonnaise and wasn’t advertised. The taste was fine, but I couldn’t really understand what was special about this roll.
So I moved on to my main course, an omakase choice of 8 different kinds of sashimi. It came with hotategai (scallop), sake (salmon), maguro (tuna), suzuki (sea bass), hamachi (yellowtail), akamutsu (seaperch), aji (mackerel) and tako (octopus). The overall taste and quality of the fish was good but not outstanding. I am mentioning this since I expected way more from a 5-star hotel restaurant. The scallops and seaperch tasted very good and had a fine texture, I liked the mackerel but everything else was just ok. Also, I had the feeling that the wasabi was not fresh but I couldn’t verify.
When I enquired about a certain piece of sashimi (the akamutsu), the waiter did not know what it was, inquired with colleagues and reported it back as something else (aji). Only when he asked his colleagues a second time, the answer was correct. Lastly, I was disappointed how they handled the service at our table. We were not asked wether I wanted to order anything else. So when I tried to order some unagi nigiri as the final dish, the sushi bar was already closed while the rest of the restaurant kept operating without any noticeable change. This was a disappointing development and so we left for the bar to get over it.
Sushi Guide Verdict
The atmosphere of the DOX restaurant within the Hyatt Regency hotel in Düsseldorf is certainly nice and unique due to the overall design and the exposed position in the city’s media harbour. It is nice to come here and despite the struggles described above, it is a decent restaurant and among the best hotels around. Still, it seemed obvious that there are problems with finding high quality personnel that one would expect from a 5-star hotel. The restaurant‘s menu is great, in terms of sushi options however, it is rather limited despite the focus on Japanese cuisine. The quality and taste of the food is good, but way below expectations. Considering the fierce competition with all the Japanese restaurants in Düsseldorf, it is unlikely that sushi aficionados would choose this one as their favourite.
The general drink menu at the restaurant and bar is outstanding with some room for improvements considering the upscale positioning of the hotel. Many of the issues outlines are due to the staff. In general it seems as the restaurant and bar need not only more people to handle the number of guests but also people that stay with the hotel for a longer period of time to actually deliver on the promise of pure luxury and the highest level of comfort that the Hyatt Regency is advertising on its website.
Review date: December 9, 2017