I was blessed with an abundance of Japanese (especially sushi bar) places in San Diego, and being a city with tons of beaches, the variety and quality of the sushi was amazing, and some of it was rather fancy. Imagine my delight then, at hearing about a Japanese Food Fest in Bangalore! On from the 6th-17th of June as part of the all-day-dining eatery, FEAST, Chef Hajime Morita and his creations will take over the Asian section of the FEAST buffet. The buffet is vast, and features different styles of food (Indian, Italian, Asian) and an enviable dessert spread.
The Oriental section will, for the duration of this festival, have noodles (udon and soba), tempura, sushi and sashimi, and special Japanese desserts. In general, 4 starters, 3 hot dishes, and a noodle item will be part of every buffet. And, as a nod to the strictly vegetarian crowd, there will be vegetarian sushi (which I sampled and found to be delicious; the crisp carrot and cucumber rolls with the signature seaweed wrap rivaled the seafood versions IMHO). Check out some of the daily menus (click to download) for a preview to whet your appetites.
Tempura, which refers to what are essentially batter fried veggies (or shrimp), is not-to-be-missed. The presentation, as with most examples of Japanese cuisine, is simple, refined and always features an explosion of flavor. Sushi is an acquired taste, but I think most people can enjoy the vegetarian version, though Sashimi (which is the raw fish served w/o the rice or seaweed) will probably be looked upon with suspicion by many. It is hard to find the quality and variety of fish I am used to, here in Bangalore, but I thought the chef did a great job with what he had on hand (crab, tuna, salmon), making simple and tasty sushi.
Of the non-sushi items, the standouts were the Deep-fried potato with minced meat starchy sauce, with thick cut potato wedges, and a very light and fresh Grated Daikon with Mushroom. Less to my taste was the Fried Chicken and Onion, which looked beautiful, as with all the dishes (Japanese food always takes presentation to a different level – it is an art form!) but was too gingery for my taste and since it was served cold, a little too chewy for me as well. The braised vegetables, which featured an abundance of mushrooms (yay!) was quite spectacular in a delicate and understated way. Suffice it to say, if you love Japanese food, this festival is a must! And if you’re curious or even just in the mood to indulge, you will get the chance to try Japanese cuisine and also eat a whole lot more at FEAST. So, get thee to the Sheraton, I say!