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Times Gourmet Week - Our meal at Harima

Thursday, July 25, 2013Me! In words

Every year we have a week or so picked out where some of the top restaurants put together unique prix-fixe menus for lunch or dinner or both for a phenomenally low price. The menus are a showcase of the restaurant and its specialties. The basic idea is to give customers - both regular and those who have been hesitating, a chance to savor the offerings without really burning a hole in their  wallets. So far we are done with the first edition of the Citibank Restaurant Week where we visited Baluchi and Blue Terrain. Food Lover Gourmet City gave us a chance to try out the Biere Club Chophouse and Tattv. Recently, Times Gourmet Week was announced and I did not want to miss a chance of trying out a restaurant. 

Scanning through the list I found that almost all the restaurants that featured in the other events were present here as well. Wondered a little on that since there are no dearth of good restaurants that could feature in a line up like this. The only one that seemed to be making an entry for the first time was Harima and I jumped on that. 

Booking online was simple enough with a booking fee of Rs 100 applicable. The meal was going to be  Rs 750 plus taxes per head for three courses. The only thing I would have liked is for the menu to be a little more elaborate in terms of explanation considering that it had all the Japanese names the dishes written in English. Sudhakar and I actually had a conversation that went like this when we were booking

S: Did you read the menu? *Excitedly*
R: Yes, I did *Even more Excitedly*
S: I didn't understand a damn thing! *Poker-faced*
R: Neither did I *Realization dawning*
And this sudden realization had both of us in splits. A simple explanation for the dishes would have been nice. Our choice of Harima was simply made based on our earlier experiences and not the menu as should be the case. 

So after battling horrendous traffic to Harima (I ended up getting stuck behind a truck towing another truck on the Richmond Flyover), I got to Harima where my date (which is what Sudhakar and I were calling this rare occasion of just the two of us) was already seated. He already had the menu with him and I got mine and this had all the explanations we needed. As we usually do, we got all the ordering out of the way right at the beginning so that our courses could flow across smoothly. 

We were first served a vegetable soup, which we were told was on the house. This was not miso, but more of a clear soup with finely chopped vegetables in it. Steaming hot, it really soothed my nerves which seemed to be in a traffic jam of its own after the mess I had been through. We ordered a starter each - Sudhakar asked for the Tsukidashi Sansyu Mori, a combination of 3-starters in small bowls and I had the Mushidori, which was steamed chicken, with leeks and a seafood sauce. I will go into a picture review from this point.

The vegetable soup

The Tsukidashi Sansyu Mori - an assortment of 3 Japanese starters: Ingen Goma Ae - blanched crisp beans served with sesame sauce. Sunomo - prawn served with cucumber and house dressing and Tori Motsu - assorted chicken organ served with a special sauce. The beans were really nice - blanched enough to retain their crispness while making them soft enough to bite through. The sesame sauce gave it a crunchy texture. The prawn too was boiled and paired well with the cucumber and the dressing, though I couldn't break it down. Maybe a prawn or two more would not have been asking for too much. The chicken organs were liver and heart if I am not wrong... more up Sudhakar's alley than mine, but the one bite I had was nice.

Mushidori - steamed chicken with sliced leeks and seafood sauce - though I like leeks, I found this a bit too much for the portion. The chicken slices below were a good quantity for a starter that is meant to serve one. Just as the description promised, the chicken was soft and juicy and the seafood sauce added a nice little punch to the fibrous texture of the meat. A nice cold starter. 

For our main courses, we could choose any four from the list of 11 non-vegetarian dishes that were there. We kind of instantly knew what we wanted. The sauces were brought on as soon as we had ordered and below you see dark and light soy as well as a tangy dipping sauce for the gyoza I had ordered. 

Sauces on the side

I was curious as to how they would serve the 4 entrees together. Silly me should have thought of the Bento Box. A neat idea and the portions were really great for each of us. This one above was Sudhakar's. He ordered the Salmon Hosomakizushi, the Ebimayo - batter fried prawns in wasabi mayonnaise sauce, the Yakiniku - Grilled fillet cooked in a peppery yakiniku sauce, Tori No Teriyaki - grilled chicken in teriyaki sauce. While the sushi was uniformly good, standouts were the wasabi prawns and the teriyaki chicken. Each of the little segments had their own garnish, wasabi and gari where it was needed.

My box had the Gyoza - chicken dumpling with a tangy sauce. The gyoza was ok, but it was the tangy sauce that lifted it up there for me, sucker that I am for all things tangy. I also asked for the California
roll with prawn. You could opt for crab, but I didn't like the idea of crab sticks. Spicy tuna rolls was there as well and were good. I found the Cheese katsu roll - deep fried rolls of cheese stuffed with pork to be a great choice - pork and cheese in this manner is definitely a winner. 

There were 4 options for dessert and I chose to be adventurous and went with the Uji Kintoki - shaved ice in a ball with green cheese syrup, condensed milk and bean confit. A pretty huge serving this was, and let me add here, a very acquired taste... and I didn't have enough of time on hand to do the acquiring part. 

Sudhakar had the Dorayaki with ice cream - mini pancake filled with red bean confit and served with ice cream. These were your regular breakfast pancakes stuffed with red bean paste... it was the ice cream in this that really stood out. 

This was a great meal and am glad we choose this restaurant from the list. The staff was courteous and except for a few minor delays, the whole experience went off without a hitch. 

Address: 131, Devatha Plaza, Residency Road
Phone: 41325757
Cuisine: Japanese
Cards Accepted: Yes
Parking: Not too difficult to find

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