Japanese food seems to be the trend, not just in India but around the world. I for one love Japanese food and have already reviewed a Japanese restaurant before and will be reviewing another soon and with pleasure. Now, the question stands, can a non-Japanese cuisine lover be converted? We sent Writer and Blogger Sohini Datta a self proclaimed Japanese cuisine hater, to review the new Japanese establishment Aoi in Bandra Mumbai.
Her verdict- well read more to find out.
Not everyone likes every kind of cuisine. Japanese like that is my least favourite. Well second last to be more exact, ranking just above the ugly and vicious world of boiled vegetables. Therefore, when my first review was for a Japanese restaurant, I thought it was a cosmic conspiracy.
I dragged an American friend for the same; at least someone could explain to me why one should pay to eat raw fish unless he is Robinson Crusoe deserted in an island. But then the cosmic conspiracy unfolded and ten dishes later, Japanese as a cuisine had climbed straight up the ladder of my favourite food list.
It helped, with hundreds of origami cranes floating right above and filling the ceiling; it was just about enough Japanese for a small eatery in Bandra West. Interestingly, it was a small eatery planned with smart thinking. Open kitchen, bookshelves and enough tables to make it comfortable, made Japanese cuisine a lot closer to the heart. It deconstructed the exoticness of the palate, brought it down to the neighbourhood comfort and yet left us feeling just as fresh and light after the meal at any other fancier restaurant would. This is the result of a clear vision, when you know that you do not need to compromise on anything, just because you want to make it more affordable or you have a smaller space.
My American friend was extremely excited, she compared it with the Japanese she eats in New York and she felt it was totally better. I never thought I would fall in love with Salmon tartar, but I did. Aoi successfully converted me. We recommend Salmon Tartar Genryo, Tempura with Japanese mayo vegetables, Beef Yakitori and almost everything on the Sushi list. The new found love for sushi makes me want to go back there almost every weekend, who said raw fish was not edible?
Aoi: 1,Gloria, St Baptist Road, Near Mount Mary Steps. Tel: 022-69995000
Price: Meal for 2, Rs.2,000 minus alcohol
To read Sohini Datta’s blog or to contact her log on to http://strictlybeautiful.wordpress.com/