Kofuku Chronicles – Sushi awesomeness!
Creative v/s Fresh
There appear to be 2 distinctive approaches to sushi creation – the no-nonsense one that relies on the freshness and quality of the seafood to see it through with basic rolls and the inventive, slightly showy artistic approach. Wasabi would clearly be of the former school while Kofuku clearly falls into the latter category. I am in love with this place and for the innovative, creative approach to crafting sushi!
Authentic flavours and taste
They also manage to get the balance right in almost every dish starting from the miso soup, right upto the green tea ice-cream – authentic flavors all the way. The spicier kimchi soup is lovely, as is the seaweed soup – my personal favourite. I can’t seem to get enough of the unusual taste-n-texture of the seaweed.
Do not make the mistake of skipping the salad section at Kofuku – some veritable gems here. We have never been able to resist the lure of the unctuous sesame goma dressing of the Horenso (spinach) salad. The buttery mushroom salad with 3 different kinds of mushrooms including snow fungus tastes almost meaty. The Tuna Tataki is beyond good! It consists of delicately rolled Tuna slices with slivers of onions and jalapenos, drizzled with an acidic Ponzu sauce. My son drank the juices from the bowl and the balance we wiped clean with some rice. The Salmon Tataki with a creamy jalapeno mayonnaise is great as well.
The butterfly thin pork slices of the Ginger pork – Buta no Shogayaki are moist, juicy, tender and highly addictive. Crisp yet tender tempura prawns with wasabi sauce – may sit a little heavy on the stomach though, not leaving enough room for the sushi goodness to follow. The soya and Japanese 7 spice grilled asparagus is a lighter, healthier alternate.
Focus on the sashimi and sushi
Fresh, fresh Hamachi (yellowtail), tuna and salmon sashimi (raw slices of fish)! The 18 piece chef’s sushi platter is a must order at Kofuku! The rainbow roll and the cherry blossom are truly food art – almost seems a pity to eat something so beautiful. The prawn tempura roll, James roll, Hollywood roll (stylized Prawn tempura) and the Spider (soft shell crab) roll are all good options. The generous dollops of cream cheese in the Philadelphia roll lift this to another level. The signature roll where the innovative approach to sushi creation is most evident is the aptly named Oh my God flaming sushi roll. The fiercely expensive Dragon roll with the new found love of my life, Unagi (a high maintenance relationship believe me) can at best be a rare treat.
For mains, throw caution to the winds and zero in on the black cod in miso. This is a Wasabi level priced dish but just has to be sampled once in the lifetime. The grilled salmon in Miso at half the price is the order for all the other meals. Or the salmon teriyaki or the grilled butter and ponzu (Japanese lemon) sauce salmon. Okay I admit to being a salmon fiend but would give it up for the Black Cod any day (and everyday) if I could afford it! The baked lobster is another interesting dish to indulge in – that killer spicy sauce!
A lot to chose from
Red meat lovers – the beef (now buffalo) bulgogi is excellent quality at Kofuku. The beef and eggs donburi rice bowl is another option for the rice lover. Beware the fairly large quantity and the bland taste which may not be every person’s cup of tea. The piece de resistance is the Hambagu steak – a minced meat Hamburger patty with a killer sauce. The husband is so obsessed with this that I have started making this at home. It is a favoured ‘low carb high protein’ lunch. The bento box meal is sort of like a Japanese thali. One deep fried and one grilled dish served with accompaniments is a great sampler beyond the sushi-sashimi.
After waxing lyrical, let me talk about the misses. The Tonkatsu or breaded pork cutlet is remarkably tasteless. The much touted kakuni (braised pork) is okay but could do without the fanfare surrounding it. The kakuni at Wasabi – now that is deserving of the whole shebang – trumpets, fanfare et al. The soupy noodles that the husband tried once (think it was the Shoyu Ramen) did not make the cut and was summarily dismissed by the son who has sampled ‘loads better’ versions elsewhere. The pork belly is surprisingly and distinctly chewy – strictly avoidable. The dashimaki tamago is the Japanese rolled omelette – cute enough but sweet omelettes are served at the Mad Hatter’s party, what?
Always room for dessert
Wrap your meal with the green tea ice-cream – better than the one at Wasabi and that’s saying a lot! I just can’t get enough of it and it reminds me of the Haagen dazs Matcha ice-cream that I had abroad. The over-sweet red beans topping the ice-cream are a distraction and are best done away with.
Kofuku’s signature dessert would be the mochi (not mocha) ice-cream and while Pa Pa Ya tries to take a shot at it, the Kofuku mochi is miles ahead. For the uninitiated, mochi is a pounded sticky rice sheet that is wrapped around ice-cream balls. The mochi ice-cream here is served in 2 flavours – vanilla and mango. You may love it or hate it but it’s definitely worthy of a try-out. The queen of the desserts though would be Kofuku special or the Green tea Kakigori. A shaved ice dessert with lots of fresh fruits and a mango sauce topped with green tea ice-cream.
If you haven’t made the trip yet and are wondering whether you should visit Kofuku, I will leave you with a “Yes, Yes, Yes” said in Meg Ryan style from the film When Harry met Sally’. The only difference would be that this ‘O’ne would not be faked!
If you are a sushi fiend, check out the Best Sushi places in Mumbai.….