Saturday, January 8, 2011

Edo, ITC Hotel

Whoa! When did this open? How come no one told me about it?

That was my reaction, when I first walked into Edo. I’ve been living in Bangalore on-and-off for the past two and a half years and there were times when I longed for some good sashimi. Yes, of course there are other Japanese restaurants in Bangalore, oh heck, sushi is even served at some “oriental” restaurants in town, but more than often, the raw fish served tastes bland or fishy and sometimes even mushy.

Edo has a bi-weekly shipment of the best and freshest quality goods flown in from Japan, so yes, you can be sure it's not cheap to eat here. As I let the piece of toro melt in my mouth, I heard my guilty conscience reminding me of how much carbon footprint was created just so I (and you) can savor this little sliver of perfection.

Sushi is just a piece of raw fish on top of some compacted rice, right? No. It’s more than that. I heard that it takes years of daily practice of rice cooking AND fish-slicing before one can be titled a “sushi chef”. So, Mr. Sushi Chef of Edo, I hope you stick around, like forever, and not just to train the staff.

Edo interiors and Mr. Sushi Chef.

So, how did I know the fishes served here were fresh? I put my nose close to the uncut fish and sniffed. All I smelled was a slight hint of the sea. This smell shouldn’t be confused with “fishy”, which often means the fish has already lost its freshness. Another important thing about sushi is its rice. It should be sticky but not soggy, firm but not hard. Edo did it perfectly.

Some edamame to start.

Nigiri sushi and sashimi platter. We picked our own fish.

Wasabi root - not the prettiest-looking but is such a great compliment to sushi and sashimi.

Our waiter grating fresh wasabi.

Freshly grated wasabi.

Soft-shell crab rolls.

Spicy tuna rolls, which turned out to be not that spicy.

Prawn tempura, so very crispy on the outside but strangely soft on the inside. I say strange because fresh prawns are usually firm, not soft, when cooked. Nonetheless, it wasn't greasy and tasted perfect when slightly dipped into tentsuyu sauce.

We also ordered a few things from the robatayaki section of the menu. Traditionally, customers sit around the grill and pick and select vegetables and meat or fish to be grilled.

Grilled miso-marinated chicken.

Grilled garlic.

Hot soba noodles with seaweed.

Chanko Nabe - is a sumo wrestler dish cooked and served in a hotpot. Super yum!

Complimentary desserts from Edo. (L-R) Baby macaroons, white chocolates and matcha (green tea) cookies.

Edo claims to have the largest collection of sake and shōchū in Bangalore.

Also available is a wide variety of Japanese whiskey. My friends from New York City will be very pleased.

Overall Ratings:
Po's: 9.5/10
"A"'s: 9/10

Would we return?
Definitely. A says, "it was really f*&#ing good".

ITC Royal Gardenia, No.1, Residency Road, Bangalore
Phone: 080 22119898