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YUZU SAKE BAR AND KITCHEN

When I received an invitation to check out the hottest new entrant in the culinary corridor, Yuzu, I was delighted as I love both sake and Japanese cuisine and before the launch of this sake bar and kitchen there was just Megu and Wasabi. Now, the mainstay of Yuzu Sake Bar And Kitchen is modern Japanese—and both the expansive menu and the pricing has been strategized accordingly by the well-travelled knowledgeable partners Aamir Siddhiqui, Haris Siddhiqui and Rahul Sayal. Walking in through the veiled entrance, the first thing I noticed was the quirky, lively interiors which stimulates conversation. Not just discussions, but relaxed chetter; for instance, the geisha painted on fire-engine red walls or the owners' message — 'Drink Sake, Stay Soba.' That's not all — once you've had cocktails or dined here, the ambience and interiors… quick service and fabulous dishes with its ingredients and accompaniments made in-house… will lure you back.

 

Aamir, one of the three suave partners, joined me for lunch and helped strategize the order when I was overwhelmed by the expansive menu packed with sumptuous dishes! Before I go any further, let me mention the attention to detailing, made an impression! The cocktails and lunch menu were attractively designed like a quirky passport… a passport to culinary satisfaction?! Hmm I loved it already. And, so, luncheon began with refreshing saketini accompanied by 'Avocado Tartare with Miso Toast'. You can eat the fresh avocado tartare on its own or spread on the toast—either way the creamy avocado, garlic flakes, rice crisps and tartar dip is an explosion of flavour and texture! If you're a vegetarian this would be a brilliant choice! Up next was 'Lamb Loin' — cooked with homemade Teriyaki sauce and flambéed on the table. Quickly capturing the Instagram-worthy presentation, I took a bite of the aromatic meat. A melt-in-the-mouth creation, which we acknowledged to be a superior rendering of lamb. The next dish was perhaps the best and one that ensures I return to Yuzu. 'Duck Hambugo'—the duck hamburger topped with fried egg, and served without the bun, just melted in the mouth and the gleam in my eyes said it all! This Japanese hamburger found in local restaurants across Japan was served with truffle fries. The chef has this one down to a science and if you like duck it is to die for — the patty was juicy and plump and the fried egg topping it made it scrumptious. Dont miss this one when you visit!!

 

Just when I thought I had maxed my palate, the star of the meal arrived, 'Seafood Okonomiyaki.' Okonomiyaki literally means 'grilled as you like it' — here, it was a Japanese version of pizza packed with seafood! The visual appeal, the large portion and the fresh flavours makes it a bestseller… I don't think it could've been better! Taking a breather with the flute of saketini, I sat back to indulge in trippy music and delightful company. I must mention here that the credit of enjoying the meal — modern Japanese was alien to me until this afternoon — goes to the co-owner Aamir Siddhiqui who went out of his way to make me relaxed and explained the history and ingredients of each dish served. Time flew by and then the entree, 'Teriyaki Chicken Donburi', was served: a Japanese rice bowl dish, donburi refers to foods served over rice in a bowl. Perfect comfort food! Time flew by and then dessert was served: strawberry and raspberry sorbet. Perfect for hot summer nights!

 

So it's no wonder month-old Yuzu has already become a favorite with foodies who have spread the word about the quality food and feel-good ambience. Reflecting back on the experience, the menu is well-researched and a welcome departure from the regular sushi-sashimi, the management is proficient and polite, and the interiors is luxurious, lively and quirky — it's worth every pretty penny, a must-visit. I'll be back soon. Itadakemasu!

— JASMEEN DUGAL

 
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Yuzu Sake Bar And Kitchen, Epicuria, Nehru Place, New Delhi

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