Kazahana, Tokyo; Progressive Oriental House (POH), Mumbai
Kazahana at the Conrad, Tokyo is one of the few restaurants in the city that focus on contemporary Japanese cuisine. The restaurant o ers a range of dining options including a multi-course kaiseki, teppanyaki and sushi lunch and dinner menus. It is decorated with traditional sumi-e (black ink) paintings and overlooks sweeping vistas of the Tokyo Bay. I tried the kaiseki menu that began with a tofu appetiser with edible burdock root and wasabi. A succulent combination, this melted in my mouth and prepared my palate for the upcoming courses. Next was a clear soup with scallops that helped battle Tokyo’s nail-biting cold weather. Prepared with Japanese spring vegetables, I slowly enjoyed this heartwarming concoction of Japanese goodness. This was followed by a sashimi platter of marinated tuna with smoked radish, squid with salt and citrus and sea bream with salty kelp sauce. The fish was fresh – sourced from Tokyo’s famous Tsujiki market – and dissipated in my mouth. Next, a well-cooked charcoal-grilled codfish in soft roe and topped with maitake mushroom, grated radish and edible chrysanthemum was served. It was evident that the menu was now moving into mains and up next was steamed Japanese rice with the sweet and salty Teriyaki chicken – not too overpowering. To finish, I enjoyed a delectable brown sugar pudding that was surprisingly not very sweet.
VERDICT The kaiseki lunch is an elegant dining option for meetings as the multi-course menu is well spaced out and not heavy despite the number of dishes served. Akanksha Maker
Prepared with Japanese spring vegetables, I slowly enjoyed this heartwarming concoction of Japanese goodness