Okay everyone, here is the re-review of Sushi Kai y'all have been requesting for since our last review. I won't spoil too much, but I will say that within this review you can expect to read about: a lot of bonito flakes, weird stares, haughty observations and a brilliant Crispy Red. What does all this mean?
Read on, to find out!
I have a confession. I'm highly addicted to sushi. It's getting out of control. Soon, I might have wasabi and soy sauce running through my veins and my internal organs might turn into cuts of akami and salmon. It's bad.
My lust for sushi has resulted in me turning to establishments of all sorts for relief. I used to travel to and from China quite frequently and I hogged the local sushi parlour (Good Governance Sushi) in the city I was in so much, that they decided to give me a loyalty card.
But enough about my sad obsession with seafood. Let's dig in.
First up is a humble portion of Cucumber Hoso Maki. For Rs. 350 you get a portion of six, well-prepared rolls. The cut here is clean, and the sushi-rice and cucumber stuffing are tightly packed into neat rolls encased in nori.
The rice is fresh, without too much vinegar and produces a clean, refreshing flavour with the cucumber. A well balanced, and light starter.
It's laden heavily with julienned carrot, scallions, looooots of tiny tofu cubes, deliciously chunky shiitake mushrooms, and is garnished with scallions. The noodles are fresh and well prepared. I'm not sure if they're imported or of local quality, but they're good.
As for the broth, it had a heavy miso overnote, but also tasted of good vegetable stock. A hearty bowl that'll fill you right up.
Oh god, the Okonomiyaki (Rs. 720 for the veg option). This was an absolute treat.
Okonomiyaki is a type of Japanese pancake that's stacked with a load of astringent ingredients and sauces. The result is a magnificent umami blast of piquancy in your mouth. Ugh, I'm drooling as I am typing this.
Anyways, the execution was remarkably well done as it held its structure well instead of falling apart like a sloppy mess.
The vegetables (cabbage, carrots, scallions etc) give it a wonderful crunch while the egg layer on top balances it out with a wonderfully gooey texture. Lashings of soy glaze and kewpie further add to this flavour bomb.
This dish is typically served with a garnish of bonito flakes, but since my dinner partner is vegetarian, we opted for one without. However, our first server was incredibly nice and offered to let us have the flakes in a separate bowl so I could indulge. What we got was a small bowl practically spilling over with large bonito flakes. This stuff packs quite the punch and amps up the umami flavour profile, so make sure you try it out.
Look at this beauty. It's making me cry. This here is the Crispy Red- Sushi Kai's pièce de résistance, probably. It's a dish comprised of 6 California rolls containing salmon and some other mix I was too busy eating to remember.
It comes topped with tempura batter, and a fiery sriracha-mayo that only kicks in once your tongue is done registering everything else.
Again, the presentation was great. Each roll was neat in its craftsmanship and the overall design was executed neat and clean. Oh, it costs Rs. 900 and worth it.
They've got a wide selection of drinks, but we opted for two of the fruitier infusions.
The Lime and Sprite drink (Rs. 400) is rather clear in terms of appearance but is a highly refreshing albeit simple concoction. It's a good choice if you'd like a palate cleanser in between every bite.
The Kai Glass (Rs. 400) is Sushi Kai's signature drink, and is a heady concoction of lemongrass and ginger. Now, these are two flavours I absolutely love. However, the drink was a bit underwhelming on account of its achingly sweet aftertaste. It was a shock to my poor taste buds and lacked any tart zap that one might expect from a combination such as this. Avoid if you're not a sweet tooth.
Now this is where things get a bit rocky. Service-wise, the staff are alright. Our night started off by us being tended to by a really friendly and professional member of their staff. But he disappeared and someone else took over.
This dude made me an uncomfortable on account of his slow responses, excessive staring and obvious attitude problem. No thanks.
Their other staff members can get a bit annoying as well. I wanted to have a picture taken and I could very well see another waiter stop and stare whilst hiding on the staircase to the top. It's not like he wanted a quick look, he very clearly stood there for a duration of about two minutes until I felt awkward enough to get back to my seat. It didn't occur to him that I could see his reflection on the window.... Ugh.
On our last review, Bhagya stated that the place had the same ambience as the Kami Maki outlet that inhabited the premises before this. It hasn't changed one bit. It's small but cosy and charming nevertheless. Plus, we especially enjoyed the street view.
Sushi Kai has sufficiently upped their food game, and is now on my list of favourites. Perhaps don't wear shorts when you go here, and definitely try the Okonomiyaki.
Sushi Kai has sufficiently upped their food game. We approve!
Sushi Kai is the new Japanese restaurant that's taken up the former location of Kami Maki. It may look familiar, but they fall well short when it comes to flavour and quality.