Bandra's foodscape gets cooler with a new sushi and sake bar that packs a punch with flavours that come at a price
A poster of a cute, rotund Sumo wrestler greeted us at the doorstep of the newly-opened Tatami — Japanese Kitchen and Sake Bar, sitting in the same site as Kofuku on Bandra’s bustling Linking Road. Kofuku fans needn’t be disheartened as it has just moved a few blocks away to a bigger space. We felt a sense of dejà vu as we entered the restaurant. The brightly lit space with wooden tables, along with a separate traditional Japanese-style, low seating section featuring tatami mats were reminiscent of its earlier occupant. However, the resemblance ended at the decor.
Sushi No Moriawase with assorted vegetarian and non-vegetarian sushi served in a boat, conspicuous by its absence during our meal. Pics/Suresh KK
For sake’s sake
Since we dropped by a weeknight, we had most of the space to ourselves, with a couple occupying a private room dining section. Plonking ourselves on one of the cushy and comfy mats, we peeked into the menu and within seconds, a range of Japanese sushi and sake (several tongue twisting names) were swirling in our heads. The extensive menu covers everything from thick-cut sashimi to nigiri, maki (rolled in bamboo mat) and hand rolls, rice bowls, lightly seared plates, mains featuring Chilean sea bass, lobster and Alaskan black cod as well as hot pot varieties served with egg congee. Equal options are available in vegetarian fare too.
The low-seating section with tatami mats
While the sake menu includes a vast collection, none were available when we dropped by, and so we had to settle for Hokkan Niko (Rs 250 for 30 ml), one of the only two stocked at the restaurant, recommended by the bartender. Served in a ceramic cup (locally known as ochoko), the neat drink warmed our throats.
Hokkan Niko sake
In order to get more bang for our buck, we ordered Sushi No Moriawase (Rs 1,800), an 18-piece platter featuring assorted vegetarian and non-vegetarian sushi. The attentive staff helped us identify the rolls.
While we found nigiri-style Hamachi Yellowtail cold and chewy, we liked the non-vegetarian rolls — Upstream Samurai and California Roll. The former included a thinly sliced salmon that took the vinegar-infused soft rice to the next level. Meanwhile, the tuna-and-avocado infused California Roll with chef’s sauce was melt-in-the-mouth. We gobbled it down while a popular English number played in the background.
We know this will sound odd but the vegetarian varieties impressed us more. The sesame-pecked Tatami roll packed silken tofu and pimentos and the crunchy Philadelphia Roll featured avocado, cucumber and cream cheese that added a dash of flavour to the bland rice. Needless to say, both were polished off within minutes.
Since most rolls packed a punch with flavours, we didn’t need the dollop of wasabi and soy sauce placed on the platter. While we were satiated with the sushi, the steep prices (mains starting at Rs 1,500) stopped us from trying other preparations that would make for a hearty Japanese meal. Instead, we called it a day with the sweet-and-spicy, thinly sliced, marinated ginger, which came close to make this one an authentic Japanese meal experience.
Time: 12 noon to 3.30 pm, 6.30 pm to 12 midnight
At: Level 2, Kenilworth Shopping Arcade, Linking Road, Bandra (W).
Tatami didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals.
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