Soi and Sake, which is the Chinese and Japanese restaurant by Taj, Bangalore serves the most sumptuous, authentic, fresh and delicious food I have had in a long time. So recently, when I was at Taj bangalore for my luxurious staycation (I surely would have easily gained 2 kgs of weight with the delightful treat I had, I’m scared to stand and check on my weighing scale now ), I had some deliciously tossed noodles, the tepenyaki and some lovely food. The name Soi and Sake is a mix of Japanese and Chinese, thereby denoting the kind of cuisine you can expect as you dine there. Sake means the alcoholic drink made from fermented rice.
Japanese, unlike westerns, serve the food in small plate or bowls so that the flavours don’t mix and the original taste of each dish is significantly noticed and enjoyed. So the food is not served on the table but is served in typical Japanese etiquette in a full course Japanese meal in seperate bowls one after the other. Either the plates have the division or even the leaves and such are used at the base of each dish to retain the flavour of every dish singularly. Rice is the staple food and it usually is served with many side dishes and main dishes in Japan and China. The experience at taj was an excellent one and I can swear by the food we had here at Soi and Sake and the hot green teas we guzzled.
The first course was the chilled choi sum wrap This was so refreshing that it made my taste buds alive.
Then the second and the third course were the Sushis and dim-sums (best of both the world).
The definite condiment for the Sushis, we all know, are the pickled Gari which acts like a palette cleanser and wasabi which has the piquant taste peculiar to it and has anti-microbial properties to save from food poisoning, in case be it. Also soya sauce and shoyu are other condiments which were served. We were served the spicy tuna sushi which includes raw tuna mixed with hot sauce infused mayonnaise. The other one was the Hawaiian roll that contains fresh Japanese Maguro Tuna, tamago, kanpyo, Kamaboko, and the distinctive red and green hana ebi (shrimp powder).
Seasoning is very important part of any cooking and specially Japanese. Japan is an island and most of the meals comprise of seafood. A modest number of herbs and spices may be used during cooking as a hint or accent, or as a means of neutralizing fishy or gamy odors present. Examples of such spices include ginger, soy sauce, vinegar and miso soups flavour the food and make it a magnificent treat to have. Japanese food is either grilled or braised and also served raw like in Sushis or as sashimi, or, the tempura which are deep fried and batter coated.
The next course were the exotic dimsums which were unparalleled and served in minimalistic style.
This was followed by the fourth course, that was, the chilli chicken which my kids thoroughly enjoyed while my hubby gorged on the delicious, succulent prawns seasoned with pepper and salt. Everything retained the fresh and original taste typical to it. I also particularly savoured the stir fried bak choi, which is a type of Chinese cabbage with a garnish of sesame seeds. This course’s most delectable dish was fresh water chestnut and lotus stem stir fry. Since the Japanese food is a lot about seasonal and fresh vegetables and seaweeds, we were served Fresh, crunchy, greens which smelt so crispy and great and made the best of the accompaniments with a green onion dip in oil, the chilli soy and the miso soup . I loved the water chestnut and lotus stems stir fried in honey chilli and it is a Chinese dish (I remember eating this as apart of daily ritual in the evenings in a desi stir fry at home when we were kids, time to adopt our food habits which we are leaving behind).
The fifth course was from the teppenyaki grill and we had some grilled vegetables braised in garlic butter and my kids tried their hands on the teriyaki chicken ( the chef was definitely patient man and also very witty trying to keep all of us in happy spirits). He not only threw in the sauces in the chicken but also his jokes in between and we had a hearty, happy meal, full of laughter and fun. The sticky Japanese rice (I love it so much), and the flat noodles were served according to the preferences ponzu napped prawn was served it was an ecstacy.
The sixth course of mains was the edamame beans flavoured chicken which was a stir fry which my hubby loved. Edamame beans were imported from Japan and were fresh, usually they are eaten blanched with some salt and they lose their freshness and flavour within a day, and these beans are a nutritional punch. I had the haricot beans in Shanghai style. (I was oh so full by now).
The last course was dessert which was amazing and we had it after some half an hour in our luxury suite. It was sesame Ferrero rocher, ginger nutty dumplings and fresh lychee ice cream. The food at SOI AND SAKE was perfectly balanced and each dish was flavoured and seasoned in the authentic Chinese and Japanese way. I realise my love for food and food tasting was catered wonderfully by the warm service, perfect flavours which were rightly balanced and great ambience, lovely people, and awesome chefs of Taj , bangalore. Thanks to the team Taj for the wonderful staycation.
=Location- Taj, bangalore=
Restaurant- Soi and Sake
Written and experienced by – Anuja Pandey