Say Irasshaimase to happiness!

Oct 05, 2012, 00:41 IST | Tanveer Bookwala

Happiness gets a new address -- and it's in Linking Road, Bandra. Kofuku means happiness in Japanese, and the restaurant ensures that the term is lived up to

We are greeted with a loud, friendly “Irasshaimase” (Welcome) as we entered Kofuku, and seated ourselves on swanky leather seats. Immediately, we are asked to try the more traditional low-seating Japanese style arrangement, to which we agreed.

The Philadelphia Roll Sushi. Pics / Neha Parekh.

The lower seating was a more ‘Japanese’ experience that involved a huge square wooden table and comfortable couches. Instantly, we were presented with two exhaustive menus, one that covered an endless assortment of sushi and sashimi, and another that lists soups, appetisers and mains.

At first glace, Kofuku looked like a giant rice bowl dish, with ornate thicket panels, opulent wall hangings, fancy Japanese mats, attractive lanterns, and flags bearing Japanese Kanji. There was also an extensive sushi menu comprising maki rolls, nigiri and temaki. The Lynchburg Lemonade (`550) dazzled us with its heady mixture of Jack Daniel, Cointreau, Sour Mix and Lemonade. The alcohol wasn’t scrimped upon and the aftermath wasn’t whiskey-heavy. Perfect.

Kofuku Mocktail

As a must with Japanese cuisine, we ordered the Philadelphia Roll Sushi (Rs 450). Pickled ginger and wasabi paste that arrived before the sushi complimenting the Kikkoman Soy Sauce intended as the main dipping sauce for the meal. The tube-shaped pieces of maki were studded with crispy pieces of avocado, cream cheese and smoked salmon, and are a Maki-zushi type of sushi. Our only regret was that we could barely distinguish the avocado, and even questioned its presence. Despite the reassurance, we were unconvinced. But at 450 bucks, it’s international quality sushi, so that’s got to count for something.

The lower seating section at Kofuku.

The Chicken Teriyaki (Rs 450) rendered a spicy, homemade teriyaki feel and was drizzling with soy sauce, cider vinegar, ginger and garlic in all the right proportions. The meat was dipped and brushed with the sauce several times during cooking and we felt it to the last bite. Also, this isn’t an Americanised / Indianised fast food version but it is as authentic as it gets.

The Kushi Katsu Pork (Rs 450) is a traditional speciality, we were told. Kushikatsu is deep fried meat, on a stick. After ten minutes, we were informed that the pork isn’t available; we opt for the chicken version instead. Lacquered in soy sauce, the chicken is of the melt-in-mouth variety. These bite-sized meats are breaded right too. Despite it being a deep fried dish, it doesn’t come across as oily. Though we wondered why it took ten minutes to figure the unavailability of pork.

The dish of the evening was the Prawns Tempura in Creamy Wasabi Sauce (Rs 450). Taking a leaf out of swanky global Asian restaurants, it showcased wasabi at its best using it in two sauces. The first was a creamy wasabi mayonnaise while the second was a soy, wasabi and ginger dipping sauce. The king-sized crisp prawns were simmered into the sauces and each bite made the tongue sing. A small issue was that the prawns weren’t festered, equally. Some bites tasted pleasant while the others sent shockwaves — reminiscent of the power of Wasabi. Kofuku offers no desserts, sadly.

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