Tag Archives: sushi

Japan Just Got Closer Home

Sushi and More 9

A decade or ago, I was not such a fan of Japanese food and although I was exposed to this cuisine during my years in London, I was always reluctant to try it. Gradually I overcame this skepticism and became adventurous. And voila! I discovered I took to Sushi instantly.   Ironically, it was time to move out of London. Back home in Mumbai, it was only a few five star hotels that served Sushi at that time and naturally it was quite expensive.

Fortunately for me, in 2009 came a place called Sushi and More, started by Maido India. A premier take away and home delivery joint in South Mumbai, authentic and affordable Japanese food has been their mantra. Whenever I’d be that side I would always pick up some of my favourite selection of sushi. However, living in the Western suburbs, I’d always lament the absence of such a place closer home.

Naturally then, I was overjoyed when I discovered that Sushi and More was now going to deliver in Juhu and Andheri too as it has a state-of-the-art-kitchen in Juhu as well now.

A neatly packed box with Veg sushi, wasabi, soy sauce and gari, chop sticks et al in different compartments of the box arrived and another with non-vegetarian options. Tuna nigiri, California roll, spicy salmon roll,crabmeat gunkan, classic cucumber roll, tomato and cheese nigiri, bell pepper nigiri. Oh! there was so much to choose from.

Each sushi was almost like poetry on plate. In Japan, it’s believed that the dining experience starts first with the eyes. Mine certainly was.

The crab meat gunkan  was buttery soft and simply melt in my mouth. My palate was enveloped with pleasing flavours. This one was a sure shot winner.

I somehow have a weakness for the  sushi maki roll and cannot help marvelling the finesse with which chefs create these. This one was no different. Meticulously packed and pressed and bursting with fresh ingredients.  Freshness is key to a good sushi and this one scored high on this front. The vinagared edge was there but without being overpowering.

The California roll is my all time favourite and I simply devoured the ones from Sushi and More. Each piece offered a crunch, some creamy textures and a myriad flavours.

The quality of the ingredients used, their authenticity and value-for-money are unquestionable. It is the best you can get in the city.

Their menu does not just stop at sushi. They have a plethora of choices, including Bento Boxes, Gyoza, Yakitori,Tempura, Soups and Salads, created for every kind of discerning palate, including offerings like Super Prawn Tempura Sushi roll for sea-food lovers.

What’s more, they have a large selection for vegetarians too.

 

Satiated after a filling meal of an array of sushi, I am already planning my next order from Sushi and More.

Rating : 4.5/5

Delivering from :

Juhu to Andheri Lokhandwala – +91-7045909448 or +91-9930937285
Prabhadevi to Worli – +91-8691980673 or +91-8691980873
Tardeo to Colaba – +91-7506100886 or +91-7506100887

They also deliver Via: Scootsy, Swiggy & Zomato

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Ruka: Ravishingly Japanese

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 at Ruka's Sushi Bar

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.

Nigri Sushi Platter 2

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.

Tuna Sashimi

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.

Seasonal Mixed Salad

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.

Omakase Dessert Platter 2

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

 

This one’s worth a wok oops! Walk!

My happiness knew no bounds as I discovered that Wok Express was opening in my neighbourhood. Well, almost. In Lokhandwala Andheri West. Just a longish walk away from home.

To my utter surprise not only were my old favourites a part of the menu, but they have also introduced Sushi, I discovered. Something I have a terrible weakness for. I was ecstatic. And affordably priced? That was an added bonus.

sushi 3

The veg cucumber cream cheese roll, was made to perfection. Melt in the mouth. Equally delicious was the Veg california roll, every sushi’s lovers comfort item. The packaging struck me as so hygienic and classy.

The orange chicken roll and teriyaki chicken roll swept me off my feet. Outstanding. The freshness of the high quality ingredients was evident. Flavoursome and an amalgamation of myriad textures. I could go on gorging on these.

Of course I could not resist my favourite Edmame & Truffle dumplings. These never let me down. The creamy and crunchy textures, left me craving for more.

And no visit to Wok Express is complete without the famous Bubble Tea. So, as always, we were sipping one.

bubble tea 15

The chicken bun which I sampled for the first time, took me by surprise. With a generous tasty chicken filling, this steamed bun was light, yet, could fill you up easily. Totally, a value for money item. The chicken sticky rice and a vegetarian version too, are new inclusions in the menu. Clearly, there is a lot to choose from now at Wok Express outlets.

The location of this Wok Express is of course its USP apart from the great, reasonably priced food.  For once, I decided to skip the customised wok. Saved that for another day. Which means I am going back really soon !

This House Serves Authentic, Affordable Asian fare

 

HOA2

 

Never judge a book by its cover. This saying couldn’t hold more true when it comes to Hotel  Mirador. A Four star Hotel in Chakala, Andheri East, yet it offers some of the best food in the city.  Tangerine the previous restaurant has now given way to a Pan-Asian speciality restaurant, ‘House of Asia’.

 

The bright and vibrant ambience gives a good-feel immediately as you enter this cosy eatery.  The spread is an exercise in choices. Delicacies from all parts of South East Asia and more are on offer.

 

The chicken and fish tepanyaki made on the “teppan” or iron plate, we tried were delightful. Each flavour was distinct and wowed our taste buds. I have never enjoyed vegetarian dim sums more. The filling was delectable as was the translucent covering with potato starch.

 

The Thai red curry that I sampled here with streamed rice is easily one of the best and most authentic. The freshly ground paste replete with galangal, basil, kaffir leaves and other spices was a treat for the taste buds. Equally unique was the terriyaki fried rice with veggies. Authentic flavours, aromas and textures make a meal at this restaurant memorable.

 

Other signature dishes like the Tom Yum Goong ,  Thai Crispy Chicken with Basil, Steamed Chicken Rice in Lotus Leaf are again a must-try.

 

House of Asia takes you on a gastronomic tour of the East with recipes spanning across various countries  (China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Mongolia, Singapore, Vietnam and India). The warm and affable Executive Chef Ajay Dewali, patiently explains each dish and makes recommendations which make your meal even more enjoyable. The F&B Manager Krishna Rao, well versed with food,  is a storehouse of knowledge.

 

Chef Dewali and Chef Vilas Shetkar, Sous Chef, who have trained exclusively in Chiang Mai, Thailand under Master-Chef Sompon in ChiangMaiThaiCookerySchool, one of the best culinary schools of Thailand have together created culinary magic.

 

It is a treat to watch the chefs at the live stations dishing out exotic fare in minutes.  The focus is on quality and wholesome ingredients and that is evident in the taste of the dishes.

 

An absolute value for money meal of the highest quality, with myriad flavours and textures,  is what you can safely look forward to at ‘House of Asia.’ If only it was next to my house, I’d go there everyday. If you enjoy Oriental food, do not miss this place.

 

 

Upbeat & Interactive : IBAR

Not a great one to drink, I am normally not very excited to step into a bar, because the food there is obviously not the mainstay and thus nothing to write home about. However, IBAR at Bandra West, Mumbai proved me wrong.

The Interactive Bar started by young entrepreneur Lakhan Jethani, who is the Director, is certainly a must-visit place if you enjoy unusual drinks and food. Well- versed in bartending and molecular mixology himself, Lakhan dishes out great Chocolate Martini, Kamikaze Shot with a beer and lime foam and Mai-Tai, to name a few. He clearly enjoys being behind the bar and knows the pulse of his generation – the youth.

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The Apple Sangria with black grape caviar – with strawberry and tequila infused jelly that I was sipping was refreshing and visually appealing. It was fun selecting one’s menu from the IPad that was handed over to us. The Cajun Spiced potatoes, with their sweet buttery flavour complimented the spicy Cajun. Served with a blue cheese dip, these were luscious.

Mushroom Foccacia

I have a weakness for sea food and the tequila glazed prawns completely bowled me over. The spirit is heated in up in a glass and poured over the dish flaming in front of the guest. That created even more magic.

There was more of sea food. Beer Batter Fish Fingers came next. Fresh sea basa fillet, marinated with olive oil, chives and coriander, salt pepper coated with a beer batter and deep fried served with fries and tartar dip. You can’t go wrong with fish fingers anyway. The surprise of the evening was the Mushroom Foccacia. Coated with an olive tapenade and topped with wild mushrooms, it teased my palate beyond comparison.

Chef’s special kebabs were equally a treat and the chef thus proved his versatility. The newly introduced Sushi was a great hit. Salmon and cream cheese sushi appealed the most to me. And surprisingly vegetable California roll came a close second. The sushi had distinct flavours, were neatly rolled and the wasabi tasted just right.

The main course is understandably limited but the place does have some good pastas and risottos, as well as Thai curry and rice.

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Aesthetically a well-done up place, it is a fun place for youngsters to relax and unwind. And yes, for the first time I found the finger food at a Bar to be delicious and imaginative.

 

The skky is the limit!

Mumbai never ceases to surprise me. My recent visit to Ramada hotel and convention centre, Powai, left me spellbound.  They have just launched their first official rooftop Resto lounge- SKKY. It is easily one of the best dining places in the city, both by way of the food as well as the ambience. Dining in an open air area is a unique experience.

Chef Rohan Koppikar, at Skky, the Pan Asian Resto lounge truly weaves magic in his culinary delights. The menu offers delectable food and drinks on the menu handpicked by their head chefs from various parts of the globe.

Skky Lounge copy

Spread across an area of 8500 sq feet, Skky offers an unobstructed and captivating view of the sky. With stars twinkling above and scenic view of the mountains, it offers an ideal setting for an evening drink, dinner or a get together. The ambience leaves you mesmerized.

The water bodies that flow uniformly throughout the space, divide the tables in a way to exude privacy to diners. I thought it was a great idea and innovative too.

There is a lot to choose from. Tantalize you taste buds with a selection of Pan Asian cuisines (Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese) besides gourmet pizzaz, kebabs and an absolutely divine dessert menu with hand-crafted ice creams.

The braised sea food deluxe soup was the perfect start to a great evening. Soothing flavours and the generous helping of sea food made it unique. The wasabi prawns looked delightful and tasted even better. Served with wasabi mayo , seasonal fruits & Flying fish Roe, they were numero uno in my opinion. The California rolls are something I have a weakness for and those too did not disappoint me. What amazed me was how chef made even the wok fried chicken so delicious.

The teppenyaki chicken fried rice was aromatic and flavourful. Like soul food almost. It paired well with the Stir fried minced chicken with bird chilli, garlic, sweet basil & soy.

teppanyaki chicken fried rice(128) 1 copy

I have tasted hand made ice creams in several places across the country but the basil and kiwi ice cream and the paan ice cream at Skky is truly unmatched. The paan flavour undoubtedly was more robust of the two.

The soft music or the showcasing of polo or cricket match on the large screen enhance the dining experience. The staff is well-informed, courteous and prompt. This is a must-visit place for Mumbaikars and visitors. and those who enjoy their drinks, even more so as the bar is really loooooong and exciting.

Ooh la la …… In Seven(th) heaven

The much-awaited Shangri-La Hotel, Mumbai, located in Lower Parel opened its doors to guests recently. I was lucky to visit the Hotel for their sumptuous Sunday brunch at Seven, the all-day dining restaurant.

Located above the luxury Palladium Mall, the hotel features spacious and well- appointed rooms; CHI, The Spa – a fantastic spa destination; Seven, the all day dining restaurant; Ekayana, which offers an unparalleled selection of classic cocktails, wines and spirits, with a snack menu to suit every palate.

The sheer vast expanse of Seven, struck me, as we entered. Well spread out, the live stations and display counters looked neat and extremely appealing with their spread.

The cold station with vegetarian, non vegetarian delights as well as Charcuterie and Seafood like Crab, Smoked Salmon, Gravlax, Honey roast ham, Ham & Chicken terrine was a haven for any gourmet.

The cream of cauliflower with blue cheese was a treat for the palate and unique in its flavour and taste. Equally delightful was the Laksa with vegetables and condiments. Flavoursome and filling.

Steamed Dim-Sum station at Seven-the all day dining restaurant copy

Always partial to dimsums and sushi, I feasted on both. The spinach dimsum was a pleasant surprise. Chicken dimsums on the contrary turned out to be a wee bit disappointing. The sushi varieties, rendered me speechless.

In the main course, shitake ginger fried rice, was one of the best I have ever had. And one can never go wrong with wok fried prawns in black bean sauce. I love that sauce too much to be able to resist it. There were a lot of Indian dishes too as well as grills, but I skipped those.

The alert staff impressed me, as did the Restaurant Manager and the other F&B service team who painstakingly, explained the buffet spread and served us with a smile on our table.

Buzzing with activity, Seven has a wonderful energy about it and the space and elegant décor, only adds to the charm.

One can savour each morsel at a leisurely pace and do justice to the spread. Actually you can’t. The menu is an exercise in choices. Geoff Simmons, Executive Chef, has done a splendid job. There is something for every palate.

What can one say about the desserts? Sinful indulgence, at its best. Pastries, ice creams, cotton candy, raspberry roulade, pecan tart, apple crumble, mousse, sago pudding. Temptations galore. I settled for the Maracaibo Chocolate Dome, which was decadent. The tiramisu was too full of the mascarpone cheese, thereby other flavours getting subdued.

Pastry Counter at Seven copy

We spent a delightful Sunday afternoon, tantalising our taste buds with different cuisines and exotic flavours. Can’t wait to go back for more.