Restaurant Review :Matsuri – Kon’nichiwa Japan in Bangalore | India
Not only the Japanese cuisine (和食, washoku) offers an lavish choice of gastronomical delights with a boundless variety of regional and seasonal dishes , it is also one of the only three in the world to be recognised by United Nations’s cultural organisation, UNESCO for its cultural significance.
Its inclusion in the Intangible Cultural Heritage list, means that, “preservation of this way of eating” is paramount to the survival of the traditional culture and traditions.If you are curious who are the other two , well french was the first and recently Mexican cuisine has joined the list.
Like most of the world cuisines, the Japanese food includes its regional and traditional foods , that have evolved over times.The traditional food in Japan is rice based with miso soup and seasonal dishes. Fish, pickled vegetables, and vegetables cooked in broth are often served as side dishes. Seafood has been part of diet here for over 3 centuries there and it is often served as grilled and served raw sashimi or in sushi. Apart from rice, staples include noodles, such as soba and udon. Japan also has many simmered dishes such as fish products in broth called oden, or beef in sukiyaki and nikujaga.
Restaurants range from mobile food stands to centuries old ryotei, atmospheric drinking places, seasonally erected terraces over rivers, cheap chain shops and unique theme restaurants about ninja and robots. Many restaurants are specialized in a single type of dish, while others offer a variety of dishes.
Bangalore has its own share of some good Japanese dining places, from stand alone restaurants to fine dining at 5 star hotels due to presence of good expatriate community from the region, who are here to work at numerous Japanese multinationals.
The favourite among most of the Japanese populace in Bangalore is the MATSURI , situated at The Chancery at Lavelle road. Managed by one of the top Japanese automobile company, it is the place to savour truly authentic experience that will take you back to the land of rising sun.
“Matsuri in japanese means a solemn festival celebrated periodically at Shinto shrines in Japan.”
Recently I was here for my meal with few of my friends. We started off with vegetarian fare , mild wasabi flavoured Okra dish, Okura no wasabi-ae and Hourensou goma-ae , the spinach starter with sesame dressing. Among the non vegetarian starters, we tried the Dashimaki tamago , sliced sweetened rolled omelette and Nikujaga, (meat ” niku ” & potatoes ” jaga imo”) is the stewed beef and potato simmered in a sweet soy stock until tender.
Surprisingly for me , they had some pan fried dishes in their menu. Tori Na Karaage ,the Japanese fried chicken is a great appetiser for drinks, kids (and adult) friendly dinner, and also a perfect small lunch time dish that is usually seasoned with garlic and ginger along with soy sauce, coated lightly with flour, and deep fried. We also tried the Ika Na Karaage , the crispy fried squids and fried potato.
In the Japanese households and restaurants ,Tempura is a very popular dish of deep-fried vegetables and seafood that is coated in a very light and airy batter that is fried to perfection. We tried the Tempura no Moriawase , the batter fried prawns & vegetables.
For the main course , we tried their Yasai itame , stir fried vegeatbles , Tofu no teriyaki , grilled tofu with sweetened soya sauce , Chicken Nanban ,fried chicken with sweetened soya sauce and the Yakizakana teriyaki , grilled fish served with sweetened soya sauce and the Gyu beef steak.
No meal is complete with the sushi , and here we tried both vegetarian and non vegetarian sushi platters. Undisputedly the most famous Japanese dish world over , Sushi is specially prepared by rolling vinegared rice, usually with some sugar and salt, combined with a variety of ingredients like seafood, fruits and vegetables.
The traditional Japanese soup , Miso , prepared with mixing softened miso paste into the stock called “dashi” into which softened miso paste is mixed.It can be customised by adding ingredients of choice based on regional and seasonal or personal preferences.
Noodles form important dish in the Japanese cuisine and is the foundation of many iconic dishes as the workhorse of Japanese food. The types of noodles used in the cuisine are as follows:
- Ramen,thin and longer wheat noodles
- Udon, Chewy and soft, pale white thick wheat noodles
- Somen ,stretched thin wheat vermicelli like noodles
- Hiyamugi ,Thin light wheat flour noodles sized between somen & udon
- Soba,buckwheat flour or buckwheat flour and wheat mixed noodles
- Shirataki ,chewy high fibre konjacflour noodles
- Harusame , the glass noodles
Well here we could not try all for obvious reasons.However we did try their Teppan Yaki Udon , the fried udon noodles with pork & vegetables , the Ebi tempura udon, the udon noodle soup served with batter fried prawns and the Yakisoba, “fried buckwheat” in Japanese , is noodle stir-fry dish.
We rounded up our culinary experience with a Dorayaki pancake with ice cream , a bean -jam pancake served with ice cream.
If you are looking for authentic Japanese culinary experience , Matsuri is the place to visit. It is managed by leading Japanese automobile company and is the favourite choice for most expats from japan and south east asia.