Japanese food is somehow one of the most underrated cuisine globally. But, frankly, there is no apparent reason for it. Its a visual pleasure and finer tastes blend like they’re born for it only. But, still, maybe due to the lesser availability outside Japan or the ingredients, it’s pretty tough to get. However, Wasabi, Taj Mumbai is one of the premier Japanese eating joints in the country and thankfully Taj Bengal had brought chef Yousuke Matsudka (a.k.a Joe) from mumbai for Kolkata for a 5 day Japanese pop-up. With the ingredients sourced directly from Japan and paired with chef’s iron knife and culinary skill, it’s actually a treat for the city of joy.
But wait ….. what is Sushi ? Is it only raw fish ? How did it start ?
Please do not kill me, but Sushi was originated in the paddy fields near Mekong river in South-East Asia, where the fish used to be fermented with Salt and rice. the main idea was preservation. Sushi, we can say, is vinegered rice with other ingredients (maybe even meat and vegetables). Raw fish may or may not be a part of this dish. and this is where people confuse it with Sashimi. Sashimi is thinly sliced raw meat- mostly fish (salmon and tuna). In fact the sushi as we know today, had originated during the Edo period. Here Haya-zushi was assembled where rice and fish could be eaten at the same time and fast. This became a rage in Japanese culture and gave birth of a new genre.
And let’s say, Nigiri is a hand-formed ball of rice topped by a Sashimi. Rolls are when the rice is rolled on the outside and the seaweed wrap is rolled along the inside. Maki is a type of roll where the seaweed wrap is put inside the roll.
You can check one video on Sushi (quite a long one) for more info …
Back to modern times now …
Now, I am not an expert of Japanese cuisine, not that on any other cuisine also. But, when I was invited by the hotel for a tasting session, I was exceited, simply because it’ll be a new experience for me. Souk, being one of the flagship outlets of Taj Bengal, had that premier feel and impeccable service which is expected. We were seated in the private dining area with our personal butler and the first thing that came to mind was “Thanks life, you’ve been quite good to me… “
Frankly as I said, neither I am an expert on Japanese cuisine, nor I can remember the names (and I can;t pretend to be an expert on them either). But, all I can discuss here is a layman’s experience on Japanese food. And here it goes…… But wait, I can;t use a chopstick. And I don’t even know how to eat a sushi. Thankfully, youtube came in handy and I watched this video.
The food were new to our taste buds, but visually, they were mind-blowing. Wasabi was served fresh to our plates and for the assorted sushi and sashimi platter, that had made a hell of a difference. It had an assortment of seafood, tuna, salmon and scallops served in that impeccable manner along with the wasabi on side. I feel Chef Sachin Poojary could sense my helplessness and politely guided me on the way. According to him, if someone can’t use the chopsticks (like me), using your fingers was the next best thing to do.
The dishes had fine tastes blending into each other and the visual appearance complemented it, so rather than writing, let me present to you a pictorial story.
Desserts were Mille feuille, Tofu cheese cake and Wasabi creme bruilee. Out of which, the creme bruilee had that sharp taste of Wasabi and is definitely recommended.
Now, if you’re still interested and are looking for more info, please check the following links …
Bon apetite !!!
Comments and critics welcome.
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