On a rainy day, I was a little reluctant to step outside the house to The Leela Palace, but it was totally worth it. Basking in the grandeur of this fine hotel is their Japanese restaurant – Zen. At Zen, they aim at giving you a taste of Japan like never before. So if you’re one like me who is a die hard sushi lover and expects to eat tons of sushi then you’d be surprised by the al la carte menu on offer.
The menu for the Zensations festival is specially curated by Chef Panchai, a visiting chef from Thailand and Executive sous chef, Chef Dominic.
To start off, we were served pots of warm Jasmine tea to beat those monsoon blues, and I also continued having cups of this tea throughout my meal (because tea lover). We were also treated to a few interesting mocktails on the table, there was a Gari infused cocktail, which was quite interesting, and this was the closest we came to anything associated with sushi that night. They also had a refreshing Cucumber and Wasabi cocktail, but I decided to stick to Jasmine tea, given how cold it was outside.
The first course was a creamy Miso Corn Soup with shimeji mushrooms and corn paste with miso paste, it was the perfect soup to warm up to, the ultimate comfort food. Next for some refreshing goodness, we were treated to some Crispy Tofu Salad, full of the fresh flavors of Arugula, Lettuce and crispy tofu in a soy dressing.
We were also treated to a decadent Lobster Salad that was abosolutely delicious, with poached lobsters with shitake, avocado, sesame and a citrusy Ponzu dressing.
The only appetizer I tried was the Tuna Tataki which was absolutely divine, seared to perfection, the tuna slices came with truffles and a wasabi flavored soy.
For Mains, the has a special Vegetable Katsu Curry which is a traditional Japanese curry with tempura veggies and some steamed rice. We were also served a super healthy broth of Asian vegetables with glass noodles, mushrooms all cooked in a delicious, aromatic broth. Another dish that I thoroughly enjoyed was the Pan Seared Salmon, the salmon was cooked to perfection and it was flavored beautifully with some Japanese vegetable puree and a nice dollop of caviar on top.
Now for Desserts, we had a refreshing Ginger and White Miso Creme Brulee which was simply divine. The mix of authentic Japanese flavors to create something out of this world. I loved the ginger ice cream that was light and went perfectly with the subtly flavored miso custard.
Overall I had a wonderful time at the Japanese Zensations festival and if you’re looking at tasting the best from Japan, head to Zen, The Leela Palace before 18th July.
Address: The Leela Palace, 23, Old Airport Road, Bangalore