Saturday, July 30, 2016

Engaging in an exotic Sushi expeience at Yaki Zushi, Sangolda, Goa

Sushi is ultimate comfort food. What can beat the feeling of tasting the freshest sushi that melts in your mouth? Trying to locate the best sushi in Goa, we found ourselves at Yaki Zushi, a restaurant specializing in Oriental Cuisine located in an  antique villa. The place is along the main road from Panjim towards Calangute, and can be easily spotted. As we pulled up, we had a little difficulty trying to find parking space, since the parking area gate was locked. So we parked across the street and entered this exotic Portuguese house.

The main door was shut and we entered from the side. The place was completely silent and we were wondering whether it's open. I looked around and saw this brilliantly done place - everything was made of bamboo, it looked like a sushi mat. Literally. The weather was exceptionally good for a July afternoon, and the place emanated a great vibe.

We were soon ushered into the main restaurant by the waiters. As you cross a narrow alleyway, you pass by the exotic bar counter and tastefully done rooms. The entire villa is converted into a restaurant and each room and verandah provides ample sitting space. The tables are lined with metal cushioned chairs and the bar has high stools. The theme being red making the entire place seem very romantic. Great for a date. I'm sure the place will be lit up in the night and be even better. So if your partner is an Oriental food lover, you know where to head for your next date night!

The ambiance is particularly great - the place is silent since the main road is a few meters away. There is soft music playing in the background which is just appropriate to have a conversation and enjoy the music at the same time. The decor is really fancy. It has Asian themed decor with subtle fine details. The large Japanese hand fans on the wall caught my fancy. I love Japanese and Korean culture, so it was really great being at this place.
Coming to the food - the menu looks really impressive. They serve a range of soups (yes! They serve my favorite Japanese Miso soup too, that's the first one on the list), a variety of sushi and dimsums, rice, noodles, amazing variety of appetizers and loads of Asian delicacies. They serve a list of beverages and juices. The bar seemed pretty stocked. They had a variety of options in red and white wines, cocktails, mocktails, beer and other drinks. (P.S. They do serve LIIT). Sadly I did not try anything, since I wanted to focus on my dining experience. Also they have really fancy desserts to try!

Even though I was set on having the Miso Soup since it's my favourite, I decided against it and thought of trying tofu instead. So we asked for Tofu in Chilly Basil. We wondered whether it'd be really spicy, but what we received was surprising. We were served sliced tofu seasoned with red chilly, flavored with basil and an assortment of sauces. The tofu was crispy and just cooked right. I loved the flavour - it was kinda spicy sweet. My friend found it sweet and balanced it with the paper thin sliced veggies. Also, the quantity was enough for two.

We were also served pickled cucumber and beetroot. The crispy cucumber and juicy beet was finely sliced and infused with ginger, thus making it flavoursome and absolutely amazing. Next we got sushi since we went there specially for sushi. I let my friend order and we got the Spicy Salmon Rolls. In a while we were served the delicious looking sushi platter. I remembered the common phrase - Art on a Plate at this instant. What intrigued me was the wasabi paste served along with strands of veggies and chopped sweetlime. The wasabi paste was thick enough to coat heavily onto the fish so that you can experience 'the rush' when we ate each bite of sushi.

After a little bit of research I found that the wasabi paste is made out of the stem and used as a condiment and has an extremely strong pungency more akin to hot mustard than the capsaicin in a chili pepper, producing vapours that stimulate the nasal passages more than the tongue. Yes, it hit the nose! We were also served a special Japanese Soy Sauce called Kikomann which apparently is a well reputed brand in Japan. I picked a blob of wasabi in my chopsticks, lifted the sushi, coated it in the soy sauce and eventually put it in my mouth, I knew this was an experience I'll remember for a bit. The flavours literally melted in my mouth and was a gastronomic delight. There was so much happening with just one bite of sushi.

As we were recovering from the sushi experience I decided to order a platter of chicken dimsums. I love momos otherwise, and you don't easily get them in Goa. In Delhi or Bangalore, you get momos at every corner street food stall. But in Goa it's a rarity. Might as well get a dose of dimsums when you're at an Asian restuarant. I still can't tell the difference between momos, dimsums and wontons, so I don't mind either. For me they're just dumplings that gives me an instant feeling of goodness. That's what good food is supposed to do to you right? Give you an instant high in a way not imagined or thought otherwise!

We were soon served out Chicken Dimsum platter along with a few dips. Precisely there were three dips in three colours and varying textures, and they didn't look like the normal sauces served at Indo-Chinese restaurants. The honey coriander dip was a dark greenish in colour with a sweetish taste. The red coloured paste - sesame tomato sauce was quite flavoursome too. The black pepper sauce was kinda a bomb. Trust me, the dips are amazing. I loved the dimsums. Okay well, sounds like me! Signing off for now. Until next time, join my food train on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Zomato, Roposo and Snapchat @flexcia_dsouza.

 Yaki Zushi  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 
Text and Photographs: Flexcia D'souza | Food Blogger | Goa, India
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