Wa Tofu at 400 Asian Stone Grill Lounge

Wa Tofu is a new entrant to the tofu scene in India. Made locally and priced far lower than imported varieties, it promises to deliver value for money to the Indian consumer. We were invited to try it out. The tofu got full marks, though our experience could have been better.

[singlepic id=1725 w=80 h=92 float=left]Deepinder and I went to this new-ish place called ‘400 Asian Stone Grill Lounge’ (What’s with these crazy names anyway and the trend of putting numbers in front of the name?), the story being, we had been invited to check out the restaurant and an ongoing food festival. It turned out to be an ambush, as the real reason seemed to be to promote a new brand of Tofu – Wa Tofu. Probably a good thing, as the restaurant itself (food, service and ambiance) was best forgotten and filed away with other traumatic memories.

To begin with, I bow low to journalists who cover this sort of thing for a living. I mean, the levels of condescension were not only over the top, they were stratospheric. I’m sure the Pros get this sort of treatment fairly regularly and still have to keep cool. Three chaps from Wa Tofu were in attendance – two Indians and one Japanese. One of the Indians, a director of the firm, was acting as a translator for the Japanese chap and also ejaculating part of a sales pitch every few minutes, punctuated with lavish praise for the many praiseworthy qualities of the Japanese gent.

I recall one of his many such sentences, “If you’ve tasted tofu before…”. Not only did this paragon of protocol not bother to find out more about the people sitting with him, he didn’t even take into account the fact that most people there cover food regularly and have probably have been fortunate enough to have tasted tofu before, not that it’s a rare commodity to start with. Nuff said.

Here’s the stuff we ate as part of a tasting menu – Vegetable Miso Soup with Tofu (250), Shiraae Salad – tofu, spinach, carrot and soya dressing (275), Vegetable Tofu Nimono (Tofu stew)  (475), Lava stone grilled tofu steak with spicy soya (575), Fried tofu stuffed with assorted vegetables (475), Strips of Wa Tofu served with Shiitake mushroom (475), Tofu cheese cake   (225), Tofu and Banana mousse (225). Predictably, all the dishes served to us used Wa Tofu.

Overpriced. Overstated. Overrated.

The tofu however, was the only piece of good news in the entire evening and it shouldn’t suffer just because of the company it kept. I haven’t actually used it myself, so I cannot comment on it’s kitchen potential with a great deal of conviction. I did however, handle it at the table and tried it in the food and liked what I saw and ate. Reasonably priced, easily handled and a very welcome addition to our diets, I look forward to Wa Tofu hitting shelves nearby and subsequently, will probably always have a pack or two at home.

– Sid