What’s more Japanese than a Honda? – Miyuki @ DoubleTree by Hilton, Chinchwad #FTW

For all its stunning panoramas and rich culture, the land of the rising sun is known also for its awe inspiring food. The Japanese are sticklers for presentation and detail and it shows, especially when you visit an authentic japanese restaurant that draws Japanese regulars from across Pune by the half-dozens. Why ‘half-dozens’, you ask? ‘Coz Miyuki only seats 7. That’s why. And yes, Miyuki is about as authentically Japanese as it gets.

Cooking Sake and Miso
Cooking Sake, Miso and other traditional Japanese Ingredients

Chef Amarjeet, who has been cooking up Japanese food-storms for some eight-odd years now, hosts the exclusive kitchen that serves all of 7 guests per sitting, in a cozy corner of the DoubleTree by Hilton (Chinchwad). On offer is everything ranging from Sushis to Sashimis to Tempuras to SAKE !!! #AwwYeah

I’ll get to the what’s what but for now, let me re-emphasize that Miyuki is all about an unadulterated Japanese experience, that’s to be shared with only a handful other adventurous gastronauts at a time, and is not for the faint-hearted (I’m talking raw fish, here).

seating arrangement
So the restaurant is a snug little place that’s comprised of but one L-shaped serving table surrounding the Teppan, or the iron girdle. This serving style is called Teppanyaki, where the food is cooked on the gas-powered flat iron girdle and is often served to guests, piping hot, right off the cooktop. Not all the food was cooked in front of us but a lot of it was, and the dexterity with which Chef Amar did his thing was a sight to behold.

Sake
So our evening began with a chilled sake – it was dry, a tad acidic, and there was a faint aroma that almost lingered for a second or two…kinda like wine. Maybe because it is wine; rice wine, that is.

Italian rose
We also had an Italian Pinot Noir – Rosé, – a delicately fragrant, mildly floral and very smooth wine. What was even more appetizing was the color of the wine – a gorgeous pink !

Mojito
One of us even had a good ‘ol Mojito – an absolute classic ! The barman sure knew his Mojitos !

CUCUMBER WRAP SUSHI
Next came the cucumber wrap sushi – typically served during celebrations, this sushi can be prepared in a number of ways. Ours came packed with saku tuna and Philadelphia cheese; a rather interesting medley of tangy-creamy and a clean, smooth flavor of the tuna. What was I celebrating? The end of world hunger – starting with me.

NASU DENGAKU
What was served after that was probably my favorite, that evening, the Nasu Dengaku – a miso glazed eggplant preparation that’s served during summers. Why? Why do they serve ‘aamras’ in Summers? ….exactly ! The preparation had a lovely mushy texture and the sweet-tangy miso married with the baked cheese really well. This is something you’ve got to try !
Oh, and miso is basically fermented soybean paste. A rich, dense, flavorful paste that forms the base for a lot of Japanese preparations.

maguro tataki
The Maguro Tataki followed, which was basically a Sashimi (very fresh, raw/near-raw meat) of tuna that was seared on an open fire and served with a refreshingly citric Ponzu (Japanese lemon+soy) sauce. Kinda reminded me of West Bengal’s ‘Gondhoraj Lebu’ because it was so beautifully aromatic !

veg tempuraseafood tempura
We also called for Tempuras : Vegetable and Seafood –
Deeeeep fried crispy, crunchy veggies, prawns and fish served with green tea salt and tempura sauce. This is how you spend a Saturday night, if you ask me !! What was interesting to note was the deep-fried soba noodles held together with seaweed, garnished alongside the tempura platter…that cute little broom was edible !!

cheese balls
For our vegetarian friend, there were cheeseballs that had nothing to do with Japan, but they were served nonetheless and were just as awesome as the rest of the food on the table.

So all of the preparations so far had come from the kitchen. The rest of it was made in front of us, on the teppan, in this order –

grilled seabass
Grilled Seabass – a teppanyaki-style cooked seabass in lemon butter garlic sauce that went very well with the meat and the pak choi as well.

tofu steak
Tofu Steak – Grilled Japanese Kinu Tofu blocks that were surprisingly soft despite the tempura flour coating. The sweet soy sauce glazing rendered it a nice zing, too !

YAKI MESI WITH MISO SOUP
Yaki Mesi with Miso soup –
Fried rice made on the teppan. Not as awesome as the other teppanyaki preparations, but more elaborate and elegant. The miso soup, though, was delish !

cut fruits and mango ice cream
We ended the meal with a beautifully creamy Mango ice-cream and fresh, cut fruits. They did have other dessert options but given that we’d been dabbling in the exotic all evening, we thought something simple would be nice !

All in all a great experience – the exquisiteness of it all was what really won it, for me ! Definitely a great place for a change of palate for when you’re bored of the conventional.

Food – 45/5
Service – 5/5
Ambience – 4/5
Value for money – N/A (invited)

Miyuki - DoubleTree By Hilton Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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