Bangalore restaurant reviews Japanese


Friday, July 16, 2010Me! In words

It was my birthday and I wanted Sushi... For the indulge it was a toss up between Shiro and OKO. Having heard tons about Shiro, we decided to go the unexplored way - OKO. All that seems to be publicized about the place has been its decor with occasional rumblings about its food. And so we made the reservations and headed there for dinner. While in the process of making the reservations Sudhakar was asked if it was an occasion and he mentioned that it was my birthday. 

We drove up, valet parking, a lift ride and we stepped into the corridors of OKO. We were told there were three seating areas to choose from - the restaurant, the lounge and the outdoor. We decided to check the outdoors and found it nice and airy. It was divided into a deck and canopy styled seating. We opted for the deck hoping to catch a glimpse of the fabled view. Hmmm... all I got to see was the white wall that ran all the way... Those seated under the canopy too did not have much of view besides looking at us. Not sure if there is another way around... but so much for the view. There was also a live teppanyaki  counter which did not have much activity for the duration of the time we were there.

The wait staff had wireless headsets on and handed us thick menus. A Thai festival was in progress but we requested for the Japanese menu. Since sushi was the only thing on my mind I was really happy to see sushi and sashimi sets available for a reasonable Rs 545 - Rs 645. Each of the sets had around 6 varieties listed in them. I wanted to start with the sashimi set and progress to two others of sushi. As we were giving our order, the host informed us that of the 6 or so options in each set we could select only 3!!. I looked at the menu again... no where was it mentioned that a choice had to be made. Now that majorly put me off. The host suggested we have the sushi platter which again was a chef's selection of 14 pieces of sushi and sashimi. And that's what we finally went for considering that even in a place like this you look for value for money.

As we were waiting for this we ordered a Cosmopolitan for me and a Blue Curacao something for Sudhakar. I think it had a bit of white rum in it. Both the drinks were nothing spectacular. The bartender made a sudden appearance a few minutes after we were served, went down on his knees (the tables are really low) and asked us with all the plastic quality of Tupperware on whether we liked our drinks. Didn't have anything to say really.


The Blue Curacao based drink

And then came the sushi platter. I still had the Harima sushi platter in mind. It cost approximately the same but had more fullness to it than what was put in front of us. Now when I am paying Rs 2000 for a platter I am not expecting Nyotaimori, but what I expecting was something that didn't make me feel cheated. Here was a plate with a three bits of norimaki, and three without it, three varieties of nigirizushi (prawn, red snapper and salmon). We asked for unagimaki (eel sushi), well if it was there, we ate it without realizing that we did. There were 5 thinly sliced sashimi pieces, all stuck together in a lump. On the side was the gari (pickled ginger) and the wasabi. 

The soya sauce for the sushi

I know sushi is considered a delicacy, but when you are paying so much, you should at least come away feeling you have got your money's worth. I felt that with Harima and with the sushi brunch at the Leela. But here we felt plain cheated. There was no Gunkan maki,  the choice of nigiri may have been exotic by OKO standards, but it was plain boring. Though not exotic, even a few nigirizushis in tuna, cucumber and even egg would have made the platter have a feel good factor to it. The presentation did not help in any way. In fact, we actually thought for a while that another plate would be served. I don't hesitate in spending money where it is called for, but this hurt bad. While the sushi itself was fresh and good, it was done in less than 5 minutes.

The OKO sushi platter (plate!)

The sushi platter, the two drinks and plain steamed Jasmine rice for Anoushka set us back by almost Rs 3500. It would have been money well spent if the experience was worth it. But it wasn't. We also happened to notice another family voice quite strongly that they were totally unsatisfied with their Thai meal. As we were leaving... a member of the staff decided to try and play cute with Anoushka and said, "Hello baby, I won't open this door for you... you can't go!" and that was enough to trigger her. I mean! if you don't know what to say to children, why don't you just shut your mouth and open the darn door? Yeesh. 

The decor is pleasant enough and believe it or not, the restrooms are highly spoken of. Yes I do have photos of them, but I don't think this is the place for them. They are a neat piece of work though. But just having good decor doesn't cut it... you need to have food that will have one coming back for more. I, for one, will definitely keep driving past. 

And one final thing, even the staff at Pizza Corner break out into a jig if they know one of their patrons is having a birthday. Not that I expected diamonds and fireworks, but why were we asked if it were an occasion when making a reservation if it didn't matter?

Address: Lalith Ashok, Kumar Krupa Road, High Grounds, Bangalore

Phone: 30527777

Cuisine: Japanese, Thai

Cards Accepted: Yes
Parking: Valet

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