When it comes to authentic, high quality Japanese cuisine in Colombo, Nihonbashi is the first place that comes to our mind. Everything from their use of the finest ingredients to the final masterpiece, this maiden venture of Dharshan Munidasa, has set the bar for Japanese food and we're in love with it.
Cafe Nihonbashi opened shop a couple months back in Kandy's newest boutique hotel, The Radh. We dropped in for a late lunch and here's how it went.
Situated smack dab in the middle of the Kandy town, The Radh is a 4-star boutique hotel that, from what we gathered serves more towards the foreign sector than the locals. Like the hotel, Cafe Nihonbashi runs a similar decorative style with vastly golden walls and similar palleted colour schemes running through the furniture and tables.
The only real indications that we were in a Japanese restaurant were the little bottles of soy sauce and the chopsticks. The picture above and the endless repertoire of the same Ed Sheeran songs playing in the background can vouch for that. Anyway, it's cosy and comfortable place that anyone can enjoy their meal peacefully.
We started off with a Tuna Salad Make (Rs. 700) and went on to get the Oyakodon (Rs. 1500) and the Chicken Okonomiyaki (Rs. 1500).
Tuna Salad Make (Rs. 700) was simply excellent. Everything from the creaminess of the tuna to the wasabi and just how beautifully crafted it was, totally blew us away. Rolled to perfection and stuffed with the perfect balance of tuna and rice, this was the perfect starter.
Moving on to the Oyakodon (Rs. 1500) – this is basically a rice-based dish with a thick layer of onions, chicken and egg placed on top of a bed of sticky rice.
Cafe Nihonbashi's take on this Oyakodon was really, really good. The Miso Soup on the side had little pieces of tofu just sitting at the bottom and was perfectly salty and went beautifully with the dish. With generous amounts of well-seasoned chicken, onion and gorgeous layer of semi-cooked egg, this was big enough to be shared by two very hungry humans. It's a must try if what you're looking for is some good old rice-based Japanese food.
This is the Chicken Okonomiyaki (Rs. 1500). As you can probably see in this picture it was huge, and more importantly, delicious. From the softness of the pancakes to the amounts of chicken bits to the sweetness of the teriyaki sauce, this was saucy, sweet and all in all, brilliant. We strongly recommend that you get this.
We asked for a portion of their coffee jelly, but The Radh's drink/desserts menu was given to us instead. So, without giving it much real thought, we decided to go with not-so-Japanese style dessert options – Strawberry Cheesecake (Rs. 530) and Belgian style waffle with Bavarian Ice Cream (Rs. 880).
Starting with the Strawberry Cheesecake (Rs. 530). The coulis was a strange mix between artificial strawberry and real strawberry puree. However, the Cheesecake itself was really sad. Why? because it tasted like yoghurt more than anything else. Furthermore, the biscuit base had sugar granules in it. All in all, we weren't impressed.
Lastly, we have the Belgian Waffle with Bavarian Ice cream (Rs. 880). This picture was taken as soon as it arrived, and to our surprise, the ice cream was almost entirely melted. They use Baskin Robbins ice cream in their ice cream based desserts.
However, the waffle itself was not very sweet, which is great, but, in terms of texture, it was pretty rubbery. Tbh, this wasn't worth the amount you pay for it.
We have a whole load of mixed emotions on this one. While they did serve every other foreigner in the restaurant before us (our food took ages to come), they were really nice when no one else was in the restaurant.
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