Japanese Food Festival at Sofitel BKC, Mumbai
Do you know of one major advantage of having hotels all over the world? The vast Chefs and variety of recipes at your doorstep and this is exactly what the Sofitel group of hotels is doing. They’ve had a Tamil food fest, Sri Lankan, Lebanese, Malay and the most recent Japanese food festival (Ongoing.) We were invited by our host and friend Gitanjali to come and try out what chef Kazuhiko had in store for us.
The festival is being held at Pondicherry Cafe, and we must admit that the hotel goes that extra length in term of decor, entertainment and even service staff uniforms when it comes to their festivals. Kimonos and origami on the tables, soft Japanese music with a live singer set the mood for our dinner. This time around the food on the buffet was less, but the live counters were more. So the spread included (other counters like Indian, European were also there) a Pork and Miso soup, loads of salads, sushi counter, live Soba noodles and a few desserts with Japanese influences. Enough of this — LETS GO EAT!!!!
We started off with salads, in the Japanese section they had two salads with Chicken and a thick sesame dressing, and a Potato and Carrot salad. The veg salad was really good, and that thick sesame dressing was orgasmic! The Chef was licking it off his fingers! in their regular salad section, we had a smoked chicken salad, Pork and zucchini salad, Prawn and peppers salad and they were all to die for!! In the sushi section, the maki’s kept on the buffet were really big, felt like eating Golgappas (No offense!) That’s exactly why we asked the chef to make us fresh sushi, and those were good!! Case in point the SOFT SHELL CRAB sushi and EEL maki, oh my f*ck!! The size was perfect and we advise all you people to ask the chefs there to make them fresh and serve to your table, its worth it! In the vegetarian section they had a cucumber and avocado roll, asparagus maki and other sushi which you can ask the chefs to make.
After another round of salads (F*ck they were good!) we tried the items on the buffet. Now the problem with Japanese food and them being put on the buffet can go a little off in terms of consistency and appearance. Case in point, the breaded Pork in curry sauce. When you breadcrumb and fry pork and put in in the sauce, if not consumed in the next 5 minutes, the pork tends to absorb the sauce and eventually get soggy. Ditto for the friend Mapo-Tofu in Miso glaze sauce. The mix vegetables in a sweet curry was another good dish for vegetarians, thus making the veggie friendly crowd very happy. The Soba noodles were being done live, with an option of vegetables and seafood, we went for the vegetarian one and it turned out to be okay.
Chef Kazuhiko’s Words of Wisdom:
Did we tell you we got to meet Chef Kazuhiko and he made us the Soft shell crab sushi! He is quite the chiller when it came to giving a small interview and this is what we got to know about him — He was shocked at the beef ban!! He also said that the Japanese did not consume a lot of animals on four legs, thus Seafood, Vegetables and Chicken form a major part in their meals. He also added that in the high-end restaurants in Tokyo and Kyoto their food is generally less on seasoning and that’s why he had kept the levels of salt less on the buffet. They believe in tasting the flesh of the meat/fish and they anyway have a lot of add-on sauces and dips to flavours their dishes.
Sweet Endings and Final thoughts:
The desserts this time around at Sofitel had a lot of Japanese influenced treats, including Macha tea cakes and eclairs. The Berry and Mascarpone cake was both smooth and not too sweet, but the Panna-cotta seemed to lack the sweetness altogether and was like whipped-cream in a small shot glass. The soft flour-less cake with a topping of whipped cream was the best way to end this meal. Yes at 2900 (all inc.) this can be an expensive affair but it is the quality ingredients that charge a bomb and are worth a taste once.
Value for Money: -NA-
(The Bombay Foodies were invited to Sofitel BKC by our friends at Criesse Communications. Irrespective of that honest opinions and reviews have been posted by the reviewers. This festival is on till 14th June and is priced at 2900 for dinner and 2770 (all inc.) for lunch.)