5 Star, Asian, Chennai, Eating out, Japanese, Slider, Sushi

Pretty as a Japanese

What do you do with a plate of food that looks pretty? I mean, like not just pretty, but a little too pretty. Like really really pretty! It took a while for me to take my eyes of the plate and think about all the things on it. The salmon looked beautiful. With nice fat lines this clearly was an expensive salmon. I don’t know where it stacks up on the world’s best, but while it may not be the best, it appeared to be among the top few. A pretty pink slice on tuna shone through. A couple of more sashimi, half a dozen tuna maki sushi, some pickled radish along with the ginger and wasabi completed the really pretty plate. I might have gotten full simply staring at it.

It felt like tearing into a piece of art, but once I was convinced that the art was how the food tasted and not how it looked, taking that pair of chopsticks was slightly easier. When something looks as pretty as this, you might be forgiven for judging it well even if it tasted a notch lower, but the chef at Leela clearly didn’t leave it to that. I’ll have to rephrase that. This is something that the chef’s had little role to play, since it was great quality sea food that wasn’t adulterated by anything. Not even the chef. The chef only made it look pretty and I must admit that he did a great job of making fish look pretty!

The single piece of salmon left me wanting for more. While I am a terrible eater of fish, sushi and sashimi, though paradoxically, are things that I’ve really learnt to enjoy. This salmon was simply brilliant. There is no other way to describe it. The flavours of the sea were intact without even a whiff of fishy aftertaste. The fat lines made sure the flavours were enhanced beautifully. A tamogoyaki, a kind of rolled omelette, was just the perfect thing to break the monotony of the sea. The pink, almost untouched tuna was beautifully fleshy!

The platter of sushi and sashimi simply took everything away from the rest of the meal. Yes, the tempura vegetables were nice, yes, the miso soup with the sticky rice was comforting, yes, the salad was fresh and had the Japanese flavours ticking the right boxes,no, the fish in the main course wasn’t my favourite, but the Bento box at Spectra, Leela Palace is simply about the platter. Nothing more, nothing less.

Priced from Rs 1200 onwards depending on what main course you choose, I would be super happy to simply get two such platters instead of a main course. 

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