Japanese cuisine is one of my favourite cuisines probably because the freshness and earthiness of its ingredients appeal to the Sagittarian in me. This was one festival I was not inclined to miss.. Hence, inspite of a busy schedule, I worked this review into my calendar.
We arrived promptly in time for the “Meet and Greet the Chef” session but the chef had gone to rest and change. I put it down to travel or last minute arrangements at the start of the festival only to realise through the evening that the chef proved more elusive to catch than the Spotted Deer!
We started with the Sashimi and Sushi Rolls. The Sashimi was cut thicker than the usual. The Sushi seemed like it was made a while ago and was not as tightly rolled as one would expect. The rice seemed a little dry which lent a very unsavoury texture. The flavours were average. I was expecting some wonderfully made Wasabi sauce but was disappointed there too because it seemed like readymade bottled paste rather than a freshly made one. I would have been better off had I chosen the Fresh Fish counter from their buffet which had lightly blanched squid, prawns and octopus in some herbs over this.
Agedashi Dofu, deep fried tofu in soy and Dashi sauce was a delight even for a non vegetarian like me. Yasai Nimono, assorted vegetables in the hotpot made me yearn for some chicken and prawn . Sakana Miso Zuke, grilled Miso marinated fish, had great flavours but could have done with some extra seasoning. Katsukare, breaded pork in curry sauce was another disappointment. The curry, though well flavoured, took a beating because of the stringy overcooked pork. The live station serving freshly made noodles with a choice of prawns and vegetables was a delight to watch but lacked in taste and flavours ..
The coffee jelly with cream was an interesting dessert, the bitterness of the coffee complimented the rich cream quite well. I am not sure if I can call the sago in mango a dessert as it lacked any sweetness.
I have had several fulfilling meals at Sofitel. This, I can say, was a very disappointing experience. Now this is again where I tried to catch the chef for a tete-a-tete to let him know that an Indian today is a well-travelled discerning individual who expects more from Japanese cuisine than just Sushi, Sashimi and tofu. There is so much that can be offered like Yakitori, Tempura, Kaiseki, Kushikastu, Soba, etc.
While I am a fan of the Sofitel for continuously pushing the envelope with their food festivals, I feel that a complex cuisine like Japanese would have benefitted from a bit more preparation and thought.
Kudos to the hotel for the effort. The chef however……!!
Credit Card: Yes | Timings: | Meal for Two: : Rs. 4,000 | Alcohol: Yes | Wheelchair Friendly: Yes
Address: The Sofitel, C 57, Block G, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400051 Phone: 022 – 6117 5000
Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgment and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.