Mumbai Food: Bandra's beloved delivery joint back with a bang!
Bandra's beloved ramen joint that downed its shutters in August is back with its authentic fare at a two-day teaser
In August, when Ronak Nanda and Ishan Bloch's labour of love, The Omakase Kitchen - a Bandra delivery joint cherished by its patrons for the authentic Japanese and Korean fare, and significantly, for its ramen - announced that they were shutting shop, the news was received with a heavy heart. "We still get calls asking when we are reopening," Bloch tells us, as she readies for their first resurgence since.
The husband-wife duo is back this month with celebrated dishes from the joint at a two-day pop-up in collaboration with food expert Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal at her cooking studio. "It was sad when they shut. We believe in inspiring food experiences and are excited about this pop-up. It will give the fans a chance to relish Omakase Kitchen's food again. Our large central table where diners eat together is ideal for this meal," Ghildiyal says, speaking of the nosh that along with great food, promises a community vibe. "In the past, our sit-down meals have teetered towards the fine-dining ethic, so we're looking to keep things more casual this time with shared plates for appetisers," Bloch concurs.
On offer will be starters like onigiri or stuffed sticky rice balls in spicy avocado and tuna variants, vegetable and seafood onomiyaki, and prawn and vegetarian takoyaki. For the mains, veg miso, chicken and pork ramen will be on offer - a sure delight for Bloch and Nanda's true-blue fans - and katsu curry available in vegetarian and non-vegetarian variants.
Bloch is correct when she says that Japanese food has gained in popularity and has a much more viable market today than it did a few years ago. A change the self-taught pastry chef welcomes with open arms. "When we started, most people only knew of sushi and there was little awareness about the cuisine in general," she points out. But even in the short period between August and now, things are quite different with the mushrooming of several Japanese haunts, including Nooresha Kably's enticing offering in Bandra, Izumi.
Rounak Nanda and Jahan Bloch
How then is the duo planning to re-enter the culinary scene against an army of veritable competitors? "We have tried to weave in local produce into our dishes, such as, using black rice from the North East for our sticky rice recipes. For the noodles, too, we use ragi instead of regular flour," she shares.
In the hope of re-emerging as a bigger player, Bloch and Nanda had closed their kitchen doors. Three months since, their plans for the future continue to be indeterminate with a vague promise of reopening. And yet, they are sure to pique interest among customers with this good news.
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