Nippon Art on a Platter @Edo, ITC Gardenia

When you get invited to a special event at Edo, the authentic Japanese restaurant at the ITC Gardenia, one can expect hospitality and gastronomy par excellence and beyond. I was super excited to have been invited to this one in a million opportunity to dine with the select few by the one and only Vinita. The Nippon Art on a Platter is a dinner-only event hosted at Edo from June10 through 19 showcasing the best of contemporary Japanese cuisine curated by Chef Kamlesh Chandra Joshi. This was by far the most exquisite and exotic event ever attended by me and was the perfect treat on my birthday eve.

Edo at the ITC Gardenia has won numerous awards and accolades in the culinary world and Nippon Art on a Platter is yet another addition to its crown. To many of us, Japanese cuisine is mostly Sushi and Sashimi. The reality is however very different, and that is what this event focuses on. The dishes curated by Chef Kamlesh infuse traditional Japanese elements with a distinct urban contemporary feel to enhance the experience. It helps in creating new standards and defines a new forte in contemporary aspect dining. The ingredients so authentic and flavourful, the plating and presentation so unique one is mesmerized by the mere sight of the dish when served. The Menu comprises of a 6 course Progressive Meal with appropriate options for Vegetarians as well. Before delving deep into the Menu, let me brief you a bit about Chef Kamlesh.

Chef Kamlesh Joshi has always had a flare for Japanese Cuisine and was trained under Chefs Kozumi, Masaki Kobayashi, Daisuke Saitu and Masaharu Morimoto (of Wasabi fame) during his sojourns at various work locations earlier. In 2010 after joining the opening team of Edo, he has successfully fine-tuned the art of Kaiseki. Nippon Art on a Platter is the chef’s finest masterpiece to date where each and every dish bear his unique style and representation presented at his artistic best with emphasis on traditional and authentic ingredients. Each dish curated is a portrait of his soul, exploring contemporary boundaries and thresholds infused with traditional Japanese essential ingredients.

Let us look at course by course to grasp this concept cuisine better.

Our culinary journey began with a serving of Shochu Bomb, a traditional Japanese Alcoholic Beverage paired imminently with Yuzu and Mint Spheres spiked with Fresh Wasabi. Yuzu is a traditional Japanese herb and when mixed with Mint and mixed with fresh Wasabi creates magic in your mouth. The constituent is the Premium Sake in the bubble and the outer syrup consists of a mix of Sake and Mirin, a sweet wine from Japan. The eclectic mix of flavours originated in this simple dish is one that needs to be experienced and the entire bubble has to be consumed at one go to savour its taste entirely. Needless to mention, the exotic plating adds to the divinity of this surreal experience.

The second course is a notch above the rest when it comes to availability. The rare Sea Urchin and Monkfish Liver made into a fine pate in signature Edo style stands out in flavour and presentation. Monkfish is known as Ankimo in Japanese and its liver is made into a fine pate. The visual appeal of the dish is enhanced by the presence of Renkon, a dehydrated lotus stem and with Tororo Kombu, a rarity of Seaweed on top. The Sushi crispy Rice with Fatty Tuna is plated with Tobiko, roe of Flying Fish on the top to add to the authenticity of this dish. When presented in its entirety, the dish is an absolute culinare’s dream. One would probably think twice before tasting this beauty on a plate served by chef Kamlesh in his signature style.

The next course served was Sous Vide Muscovy Duck or Grilled grass-fed New Zealand Lamb with edible Charcoal. We tasted the Lamb Chop and I was impressed with the tenderness of the meat. It is served with shells of Garlic Sauce that need to be split open just like an eggshell to add to the pungent flavour of the dish. When tasted with the edible charcoal and dipped in the garlic sauce, the chops are a foodie’s delight. The plating simple yet elegant, and when presented with the garlic shells unraptured imparts a very predictable appeal to the dish, quite contrary to its original flavour and spicy notes.

The fourth course is Japan on a Plate served in the form of a traditional Plum and Sochu Sorbet which simply melts in your mouth. The bold taste of the Plum stands out and the tanginess of the Sochu adds an entire new dimension to this unique creation. Another feather in chef Kamlesh’s cap.

The Fifth and the penultimate dish is by far the most flavourful and exotic of it all. The essential mix of Chilean Sea Bass with Koshikari Rice and percolated essence of Katsuobashi and Kombu makes this dish the tastiest and closest to the average Indian palate. Katsuobashi, made in this case of Bonito Flakes is a dried, fermented and smoked substitute of the otherwise rare Skipjack Tuna and is a delicacy of mainland Japan. Kombu is an edible kelp belonging to the family of Brown Algae and when mixed with Katsuobashi, Onion, Ginger and the authentic Dashi, a traditional cooking stock over a table top Siphon imparts a strong and unique flavour to the Seabass. After the right mix is achieved the sauce is poured over the Sea bass and the Koshikari Rice to impart its unique strong flavour to the dish. This one is definitely not meant for the weak-hearted and is an experience in its own. The aroma of the pour imparts a whole new dimension to the fish and the rice and adds a whole new spectrum to the dish. A masterpiece to say the least!

The Final course arrived in the form of The Rain Drop infused with Jaggery and Yuzu Ganache served over a bed of Dark Chocolate Soil. Yuzu might be referred to the Japanese equivalent of Lemon and renders a citrus edge to this unique dessert. The Rain Drop Ganache with its unique appeal is one to be savoured till gone and is by far the best dessert creation ever tasted.

This unique experience is available at Edo, ITC Gardenia priced at Rs.3500 ++ for Dinner only from 10-19 June 2016.

For Reservations call 080 4345 5000 or email at mytable.itcgardenia@itchotels.in

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