A contemporary twist to Asian Exoticness
Japanese food has a charm of its own- it is healthy, fresh and exotic. The pungent sauces combined with the fresh ingredients complement each other and the presentation makes it a wonderful experience. Paris is sophisticated and elegant, an inspiration for culture, style, fashion and cuisine. You combine the grace of Paris with the exoticness of Japan and you get an exquisite fine dining Yoko- the perfect harmony of European and Asian sensibilities.
The range of dishes at Yoko have been conceptualised by Korean chef, Young Kyu Park along with Toyofumi Ozuru head chef of Black Code Group chain and offer a range of dished exclusively concocted for the restaurant, a pure harmony of Asian and European influences; Kyoto-style Caesar salad, Cantonese steamed dim sum as well as semi-cooked tuna Tataki with citrus fruit salad. This state of Art Japanese restaurant is a part of the CFOC experience, an acronym that conjures up travel a world of wealth and breath-taking craftsmanship from regions and villages of the orient, Asia and other distant lands.
The first Compagnie Francaise de l’Orient et de la Chine opened its doors in 1966, since then CFOC has become a fully-fledged brand and opened its store at Boulevard Haussmann in 1995. This was taken over by Laurent Dumas and repositioned in 2011. Redesigned by Francois Schmidt and Sarah Lavoine, the store showcases exclusive collections by both designers as well as collections from external designers like Benjamin Graindorge and A+A Cooren design agency. The idea is to embrace a wide variety of styles and promote the intangible heritage of Orient and Asia intergrated with the savoir-faire of French business. And they do succeed, the store the collection and interior design are everything one images and hopes from an amalgamation of such diverse culture; A perfect place to shop for your home or even buy gifts.
Finally the test of taste and experience lay on my mother’s shoulder whose birthday we were celebrating at Yoko; and she was vegetarian that day. Her verdict “This is amazing, it is Japanese cuisine but with a French twist, which makes it so contemporary and exquisite.” So to get a taste of Asia in Paris you now know where to go.
Address: 170, Boulevard Haussman, 75008- Paris
Tel: 00 33 (1) 45613315
Price: Meal for two approx. 175 euros
Most of you must know by now that I recently moved back to Delhi from Mumbai. Even if you were unaware of that I am certain you by now know I love trying out different cuisines, which at one point was a huge issue in Delhi thanks to the Indianization of every cuisine. Hence, I was always looking forward to the culinary experience in Mumbai way before I moved there, but all that has become a thing of the past. There seems to be a sub-culture in Delhi which has slowly become popular that is demanding authentic food and service alike. And I decided to re-visit Sakura for some authentic Japanese a few weeks back.
For those of you who have not been there, Sakura India’s first Japanese eatery at Metropolitan hotel, is an award-winning fine-dining restaurant. It offers the best of Kaiseki cuisine – the formal seven to nine course royal Japanese cuisine –prepared by Celebrated Master Chef Tetsu Akahira and his team, from the freshest food flown in fresh from Japan. Decorated simply in a contemporary Japanese manner, Sakura has clean lines and minimal furniture with the windows designed to resemble traditional Japanese tatami mats, common to most houses in Japan. The simple yet clean and efficient decor is a good example of what you can expect with the food- no extra frills, just excellent food.
For once Japanese food is not just Sushi and sashimi but a variety of other dishes. You can go in for Kushi Age Goshumori –– five different kinds of Japanese style skewers, Sakura style Tantanmen — hot egg noodles topped with spicy ground meat sauce or the ever popular Ginmutsu Saikyoyaki — cod-fish marinated with white soy bean paste, mirin, sake and grilled to perfection. The menu is vast and as authentic as possible. We tried Sakura’s famous Bento Box meals with food arranged artistically and meticulously in different slots. They are priced vegetarian Bento Box meal costs around Rs.1,200 and Sushi Bento that I had going up to approximately Rs.2,500. You also have the option to opt for a course meal, which is a 9 course meal and offers assorted sashimi to Tempura to Sushi and soup. The main highlight of the meal for me was the dessert or their Home made ice-creams, we tried all the various flavours and the best past was these were all things used in Savoury dishes which had been converted to sweets like Red Bean, Green Tea, Black sesame and Wasabi. Basically, if you are craving authentic Japanese cuisine I suggest you visit Sakura at the earliest. But be prepared to be experimental and try various things, to really cherish the experience. Like my appetizer which was assortment of 3 dishes consisted fo Clams, Squid and Jelly fish and though I was slightly apprehensive about the Jelly Fish which I had never had before it turned out to be my favourite.
Sakura, The Metropolitan Hotel New Delhi, Bangla Sahib Road, New Delhi, Tel: 011-42500 200
Meal is approximately Rs.2,000 per head plus taxes (minus alcohol)