Bangalore restaurant reviews Expensive


Monday, September 29, 2014Me! In words

There are a handful of Japanese restaurants in the city. While Edo is formidably expensive, it is in a league of its own and honestly cannot be touched. Harima has been around for ages now and is kind of a go-to place for anyone craving Japanese. Its Zashiki seating is an added draw. Teppan is a relatively new entrant and for me is all about the show - an entertaining teppanyaki counter and innovative sushi festivals make it quite a nice place to head out. And that's why, I needed to visit Matsuri - its the only one left on the list, barring Sake at Zuri in Whitefield I think (that is honestly another world away for me).

And so one afternoon, the Prabhu trio headed off to Matsuri at Chancery. The entrance to the restaurant is placed outside the main hotel, but within its gates. A small canopied seating area is available outside, but we chose to go past the sliding wooden doors inside. As soon as you step in you are greeted with Irasshaimase

Three choices in terms of seating area - a regular chair and table affair, a partitioned seating section to one side of the restaurant - 4 partitions that close to actually look like a wall, for 4 small groups and then one large seating area for a bigger group. Anoushka has made us promise that the next time we visit "we must sit in the wall".

We chose the regular seating area since it had sofa seating as well and that is Anoushka's latest obsession. We were handed multiple menus - a lunch menu - set and a la carte and a dinner menu. We had a free pick of it all. A lot of it sounded interesting, and I was keen on a ramen, but was told that it was primarily for dinner and was still in the process of being made. 

Copious amounts of green tea is served on the house. I was a happy puppy.

We started with Nigiri Sushi (but of course). I wanted to do a sashimi platter but felt that the price for 5 slices of fish was not really justified. The sushi platter on the other hand, felt like a good deal. So we had red snapper, tuna, prawn, egg and salmon. Pretty little oyster shell shaped bowls of soy, with wasabi that packs a punch and some pungent gari completed the platter. I liked the cut of the fish and felt the sushi was rolled well into bite sized pieces, good enough even for my small mouth. 

We felt like being a bit adventurous I guess when we ordered the Okuro no Wasabi ae - diced okra in a wasabi flavored dashi broth. To me, this was seriously more than an acquired taste. The okra still had a lot of its stickiness to it and even the dashi broth did not help it as far as I was concerned. But Sudhakar and his vegetable loving tummy loved it. It had a crunch, and a certain slimy bite to it, but I would perhaps chose tempura next time. 

We thought of ordering a Donburi for Anoushka, but our steward felt that the portion would be too much for a child. Brownie points scored! He suggested we go with Gohan (sticky rice) with Tori no karaage Shou yu - potato starch crumb fried chicken. We took him up on this customized meal and were very glad we did. A regular portion of sticky rice, with crispy chicken pops and a salad appeared for Anoushka. The chicken (we were allowed to touch only 1 piece each. that is how much she loved it) had a fabulously crispy exterior of crunchy potato and extremely moist chicken on the inside. This is actually in the starter section and am pretty sure will be a hit with most. Anoushka was a satisfied child. 

Sudhakar and I settled for set meals which seemed to pack in some of the best dishes on offer - Sudhakar's platter was the Deep fried crumb steak in pork. This massive tray comes with sticky rice, a massive bowl of miso soup, pickled cucumber, a little bowl of seaweed and dried fish that serves as an accompaniment, a big bowl of salad with a mayo dressing, the crumbed steak and a sauce boat with some dark soy laced sauce. 

Now this was a platter fit for a king. The miso soup packed some deep flavors and is something you want to curl up with on those cold, rainy nights like the ones we have been having off late. The Crumb fried pork is thoughtfully sliced for you and brought to the table. With each cut, you see three distinct sections - the crumb cover, the thin layer of fat and then some heavenly pork. Pour on the sauce and bite into it and all three come together beautifully. The seaweed and dried fish accompaniment reminded me distinctly of what we in Mangalore call Galmbi - a dried fish chutney. If you have tasted it, you know what I mean. 

Another look at Sudhakar's platter

Saikoro Steak Teishoku - This was a beef medallions based dish and I got pretty much the same in terms of accompaniments except for a sweeter sauce that you see in the orange bowl. On first impressions, I was kind of disappointed that I got a very western looking sizzler platter, but the beef made me forget all of that. The little white blob you see is shredded daikon. But, I was telling you about the beef - now that was a work of art - tender, could be sliced through with a butter knife and was medium done. It had been basted well in its own juices and that was evident with every bite. 

We were pretty stuffed by the end of our platters and declined the offer for dessert. But we were brought a plate of 4 ice-creams "for the child". Butterscotch, Green tea, wasabi and one that I could narrow down. The wasabi deserves a mention and the mild green tea too.

If you are looking at me comparing Matsuri to the other Japanese restaurants around, then my order may have changed a bit - Edo still stands right on top, but the price factor is a deterrent for regular indulgence. Harima is now at a been-there-done-that stage where nothing new seems to happen. Matsuri comes in now as a fresh entrant, with the entire gamut of Japanese offerings at prices that you will not cry about much. As I said earlier Teppan for me is only for the show and the innovative sushi that is made during festivals, the rest is a fairly good experience. I also love the sushi now being served at the Korean Hae Kum Gang. One major plus point with Matsuri is its child-friendliness. They even brought out a kiddie plate, cutlery and cup for A. 

The meal here, with very hefty taxes touched the Rs 3500 mark. The loo is clean and is quite the technology driven affair. Anoushka was most amused. 

Address: The Chancery Hotel, Lavelle Road, Bangalore 
Phone: 49652957
Cuisine: Japanese
Cards Accepted: Yes
Parking: Valet

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