The Last Place to Eat Japanese Food in Mumbai, and the First

‘Nigiri’ by Aaron Lloyd Barr *

What a pity there are so few places that offer Japanese food in this city. Besides a take-away (Sushi and More, Tel: 66157285) and a home delivery service (Sushi Spice), none of which I have tried for fear of freshness of the fish, the only options available are in the 5 star hotels.

Wasabi by Morimoto at the Taj Mahal is your best bet.

I’ve been there several times and they are consistently good. Their prices are outrageous but the food and the service atone for it. At least that’s what I’d like to believe at the end of the repast, almost as a sort of justification to mask the guilt of dropping 5 figure sums for a meal made up of, hmmm, mostly raw fish. Somehow you’d think that raw fish would be cheap. Haha.

There are a few other 5 star hotels that offer Japanese food as a selection on their menus but you couldn’t call them Japanese restaurants.

The pretender, amongst the 5 star ‘restaurant’ lot, would clearly be San-Qi at the Four Seasons. And this post is primarily dedicated to them.

I went there a few days ago with a bunch of friends, felt cheated, and left bitterly disappointed. The food is BAD. When I say bad, I refer to both the skill of the chef in crafting the dishes as well as the quality and freshness of the food.

You couldn’t even lift up the nigiri without the rice disintegrating. The prawns were slimy and beginning to rot. And I can get better wasabi from a tube for heaven’s sake. To top it all off, the portions ranged from small to miniscule and they only had two middling sake’s on offer.

After running up a hefty 5 figure bill, the chef refused to come and meet us and listen to our complaints, and the captain didn’t even apologise, insisting everything’s flown in from Japan and is super fresh and they have the best sushi chefs in town. All this when I almost puked on tasting the prawn.

Yeah right I believe you Four Seasons, like I’m ever going to go back to the dump called San-Qi again.

If I were called the sushi chef there, the honourable thing to do would be to commit harakiri.

On second thoughts, I think the food in general at the Four Seasons has been seeing a consistent downward trend. I say this after eating there quite a few times.

Maybe it’s time for a few more chefs to go down the harakiri route.

Sayonara, Four Seasons.

* Check out Aaron Lloyd Barr’s other wonderful illustrations here.


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