Ramee Guestline Hotel Juhu, is suddenly a hotspot, courtesy the newly opened luxury Japanese Restaurant, Ruka. The name of a bright blue flower in Japanese, this restaurant by the same name, too seems to have brightened up this property.
The sophisticated and elegant decor in dark colours, enhances the ambience of this chic, but warm restaurant. Guests can choose to sit at the casual bar area, or an intimate dining area or even opt to sit at the sushi bar and watch the chefs at work.
Chef Masato Toida from Japan and his team have clearly transformed this place. In command, Chef Toida comes with 43 years of experience and is a complete master of the art of Kaiseki, which is the detailed and beautiful presentation of a multicourse Japanese meal.
Indeed, I was blown away at the neat and intricate sushi and sashimi platters he laid out for us. These tasted as good as they looked, or perhaps even better. One of the most varied Vegetarian sushi platters, I have ever come across. Papaya, capsicum, tofu, radish, were some of the ingredients adeptly used in the sushi. My other favourites were Avocado Nigiri, Unagi Nigiri and Temari Sushi.
Of course I am always partial to a Tuna sashimi and this one was an absolute treat. Slicing creates texture and if the slices are of different widths, the texture of each slice will be different. This one was done with complete precision.
The crispy prawn tempura rolls wowed my palate. The amalgamation of multiple textures made this dish exciting. The smooth outer covering followed by the crispy layer and the melt in the mouth prawns seated within, were delectable. Mastery at its best. The rock shrimp tempura in contrast seemed a trifle ordinary today.
Each dish struck me as poetry on plate and painstakingly created by the chefs. The ingredients were fresh which is the key to any cuisine, especially Japanese cuisine.
The Mushroom Hot Pot rice was served traditionally in the pot in which it is cooked. The aromas wafted in the air and filled my nostrils as the lid was removed. Comforting subtle flavours of the truffle oil, miso and exotic mushrooms enveloped my taste buds. The soft, warm and almost mushy rice melt in my mouth. This was easily the piece de resistance this evening.
The food menu at Ruka offers a compilation of unique yet traditional specialties. On the menu are signature dishes like Saikyo Miso Marinated Cod, Roasted Lobster with Shiso & Ponzu Butter, Rice Hotpot with Grilled Chilean Seabass, and Scallop Gunkan.
For those who enjoy their drinks. There is a lot to choose from as well. A range of stylish signature molecular cocktails showcasing elements of science and art with the use of gels, air foaming, dehydration, and layering with tools like vacuum sealers, blow torches, nitrogen guns, are what the bartenders will enthrall you with.
What do I say about the coconut custard that I rounded off my meal with? It was love at first sight as I saw the foamy dessert with fruits and a layer of custard right below, placed before me. Creamy, sweet and light, it was an absolute surprise for my palate.
Ruka is bound to redefine Japanese cuisine in Mumbai. Light, simple flavours, characteristic of Japanese food, artful presentation and well-informed service staff. Dining at Ruka is indeed a pleasure.
The only place of its kind in the Western suburbs, Ruka is certainly going to ensue that Juhu is a much sought after address from now.
Rating : 4.5/5