26 varieties of Delectable Sushi From the Land of the Rising Sun

It is delightful as someone who is passionate about food to witness the rising popularity and acceptance of foreign cuisines like Japanese, Vietnamese and Thai among others. This was not the case few years back, people were reluctant to try the authentic foreign cuisines and often indulged in the ‘Indian version’ of the same.

The credit has to go to the restaurateurs who believed in their food and the diners. The constant promotions and the news in publications/blogs really helped push the envelope among the diners.
Today, I am writing about one such food which has imprinted its name in the heart of Indian food aficionados, I am talking about one from the land of the rising sun – Sushi.

Sushi is the Japanese preparation and serving of cooked vinegared rice combined with varied ingredients chiefly seafood, vegetables, and tropical fruits. Styles of sushi and its presentation vary widely, but the key ingredient in all cases is the rice.

The Leela Palace, one of Bengaluru’s most popular business hotels has created a niche for hosting distinct food festivals. This time they are rolling with “From the Land of the rising Sun – The Sushi Festival” at Zen, their Pan-Asian restaurant. The festival has started on 8th March and will conclude on 21st March.

This is not just any other Sushi festival, this brings one of the most exhaustive and distinct spread of Sushi to the diners. There are as many as 26 varieties on this special crafted menu with a good balance of greens and seafood.

I can vouch for the fact that all the varieties of Sushi presented had something unique to offer in terms flavour and textures. Having said that, there were five varieties of sushi that left me in awe.

Here are my top 5 picks:

Spicy Crispy Asparagus Roll: This is a veggies delight but the one which can sway the meat and seafood lovers to get their hands on it again and again. It wasn’t surprising to see everyone (mostly non-vegetarians) go gaga over this panko fried asparagus with spicy mayo. The toasted garlic and tempura dust plays along brilliantly to balance the texture of the overall dish. All credits to Chef Panchai and his team to create a wonderful vegetarian sushi. This only reaffirms that there is so much magic you can do with greens.

Unagi Ninniku Roll: All the fans of TV sitcom ‘FRIENDS’, calm down. I know the word ‘Unagi’ gets you excited but here I am talking about Unagi (which is the Japanese word for fresh water eel). This sushi made with fresh water eel and avocado topped with crispy garlic was a stunner all the way and a hot favourite among all (almost) the fellow bloggers. Water eel can be very tricky at times but Chef Boonlurah Panchai shows how to work around the flavours using avocado and garlic.

Ebi Tempura Roll: Another hot favourite on the table, this batter fried prawn tempura roll on the bed of soy flavoured sauce is a must have on the menu. The classic combination of crunch on the up and luscious prawns rolled in, reassures the delight it brings to your taste buds.

Sashimi Platter: This is an absolute eye-pleaser, the presentation really steals the show. This platter is a dream for any seafood lovers, with bite-sized pieces of raw Habachi, Salmon, Scallops, Tuna and Octopus. More than a food, this was piece of art from the kitchen of Chef Panchai.

Tuna and Salmon roll: Combination of Salmon and Tuna, do I need say more? Tuna is the love of my life, this is one fish that has a powerful and distinct taste. When combined with Salmon and a bit of avocado, it is evident to create magic on the table.

Well, these were my top five pick from the wonderful spread of Sushi. Having said that, there are lot more on offer from the kitchen of Chef Boonlurah Panchai. Other notable mentions are: Avocado and Kappa roll, Braised shitake and Avocado roll, vegetable tempura roll and Toro Sake roll.

What: "From the Land of the Rising Sun" – The Sushi Festival
Where: Zen – The Leela Palace, Bangalore
When: Till 21st day of March, 2017
Rating: 4/5


Dreamer, Blogger, Writer, Foodie, Movie buff, Public Relations. Contributor for The New Indian Express and recently started a news publishing website 'Unkrate'.

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