Q. Who wants a fresh plate of Tuna California Rolls?
A. Me, please! Followed by Duck Teriyaki, Tonkotsu ramen, and seafood yakitori.
We’ve come a long way since the days when sushi was our only avenue to Japanese food. And when you think about it, even sushi took its time before making an appearance at fine-dining restaurants in the city.
Today, however, thanks to Japan getting really popular on the world tourist and gourmet map (seriously, was anyone else’s Instagram feed annoyingly full of friends posing under sakura trees this season?) foodies are keen to dig beneath the sushi surface and uncover the mind-blowing variety found in Japanese cuisine.
The good news is that several specialty Japanese have cropped up all over Mumbai, particularly in the last 5 years. We’ve selected some of our favorites from the lot; places that offer great food and a lovely ambiance for date nights during the week.
Few restaurants in the city offer that oh-so-perfect combination of good vibes and great food, and Trikaya definitely hovers somewhere near the top of the list. The eatery at Seven Bungalows, Andheri, offers a variety of Pan-Asian delicacies as well as some amazing signature cocktails. The meals are aromatic and rich in flavour, and you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Our recommendation: Duck Teriyaki with Bean Sprouts
Cost for two: INR 2,500
I personally love tiny, non-fussy eateries with great food, and Nom Nom fits the bill perfectly. Be it its wooden menu, dimly-lit ambiance, or its delicious food, Nom Nom is a wonderful restaurant that covers all its bases perfectly. And the service is top notch, too!
Our recommendation: Tiger Prawns Robatayaki
Cost for two: Rs. 1,500
Okay, the name might remind you of Shin Chan’s annoying dog, but there’s nothing annoying about the restaurant. In fact, Shiro is probably the best Japanese restaurant in the city. It offers an unparalleled experience–its decor, service and the orgasmic food are second to none. I wish they’d do away with the inane paid valet parking (they charges 120 bucks for valet on my last visit), but once inside the restaurant, there’s little to complain about!
Our recommendation: Hibachi Meal
Cost for two: Rs. 4,000
If you’re a college kid, or on a limited budget scroll down already, because Wasabi by Morimoto is not for average peasants like you and me. The prices are fairly exorbitant but the experience and the food is worth writing home about. The presence of a knowledgeable staff is always an added bonus, and the food itself maintains the Japanese authenticity–apart from being delicious, it is an absolute treat to the eyes. Reservation is recommended, and they hold your table even if you’re an hour late!
Our recommendation: The Sushi Platter
Cost for two: Rs. 10,000
I love that there’s nothing too flashy about Kofuku. he quality of their ingredients is second to none–always fresh, scrumptious and ever-so-aromatic, and their service is extremely quick as well. Besides, there are a ton of vegetarian options as well to ward off awkward moments with purely-vegetarian dining company.
Our recommendation: Grilled Salmon marinated in Miso Sauce
Cost for two: Rs. 2,000
What are your favourite Japanese options in Bombay? Have they made the list?