6 September 2016

'East meets West' at Akira Back, JW Marriott Aerocity

An 11-day long festival at Akira Back, JW Marriott Aerocity's Japanese restaurant, to celebrate the coming together of two Japanese chefs from the same background but different countries. Defining what their childhood and growing up was like, the festival named 'East Meets West' was brought about to emphasize on the cultural background of Chef Tomuyuki Kiga from Japan and Chef Corey Asato from Hawaii, USA. 

A six-course menu priced at 4200++ upwards, where the diners are also given an option to choose separate dishes from this pre-fixed menu on ala carte basis. Our first course was an amuse bouche- Kigo Nori Cracker. On a dried crisp sheet of nori, with spicy hamachi and dehydrated chilli. Hamachi is a type of fish, and this amuse bouche came on a very pretty looking platter, totlly setting up our expectations for what was coming next.

The second course was sushi- Samurai Zenbu Sake. The sushi was made using slamon, and according to what Chef Tomoyuki told us, the entire salmon was used in this and no part of it was left to go waste. The loin and belly of the salmon was used on top, with the salmon eggs to top it off and seal the deal. A delicious sushi with no extra stuff like sauces and mayo. Kept it authentic and superb!

Our third course was a vegetarian one- Western Coast Curry. came with noodles ina  thick luscious curry which was similar to the curries we made here according to Chef Corey. And that's because of the use of garam masala. A lip-smacking comfort food kind of curry, full of flavour, with sweet corn, onions, potatoes, mushrooms, snowpeas, tofu in a katsu style, tempura of mushroom (enoki), fukuzjinzuke (which is a Japanese pickle, and gave quite a lot of punch to the curry). Wiped off the entire plate clean. 

Next up was Cowboy Beeboop Braised Short Ribs. This was a dish with a potato puree that was incredible in taste, an equally delicious wasabi based poivre- a gravy with pepper and traces of wasabi, extremely impactful with its punch of flavour, and micro greens. The ribs, unfortunately, were a little undercooked and left slightly chewy. Would've been a completely great meal had the ribs been as tender and not chewy. 

The best best best part of our meal was the dessert. Meiji Macha Cake. A soft dome of macha flavoured cream on a bed of flaky crispy cake that was almost in granules. That beautifuly flavour of matcha and the gorgeous texture of the cream made for a perfect ending to our meal.

The festival tells you of the two chefs and their backgrounds. How they come to your table and give you the rationale behind the set menu is another treat. How the curries influenced and ruled most parts of their life, how sushi was a common man's everyday meal while they were growing up, how the festival was conceptualised and how they feel about food. It's all a treat to the ears for someone who thinks of food with a lot of passion. Listening to the chefs' stories always gives an edge to your food. Had the ribs been cooked well, I would have been an extremely happy customer. But the rest of the dishes were sure as hell every bit delicious. The sushi and the dessert are definitely something I would go back for. The festival is on till the 11th of this month, so see what the restaurant and the two chefs have to offer and make the most of it!

Non vegetarian set menu: 4500++
Vegetarian set menu: 4200++
Paired wine menu: 1500++ 

Time: 6PM - 11 30PM

Disclaimer: The review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. All views expressed are unbiased in nature but readers are advised to exercise their own discretion.

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