Japanese flavours in Pune
Japanese food is slowly catching on everywhere. Pune, unfortunately, has not really brought in some good Japanese food to the city, except for a few stray cases. Double Tree by Hilton in Chinchwad has made attempts to capture this fascination by starting Miyuki, a fine dining Japanese restaurant. Miyuki which means Royal Seating in Japanese will be all about the food and the culture it comes from. It is complete with a Japanese Master Chef, Shintaro Fujisaki, who is an expert in Japanese cuisine for more than a decade. It recently got launched and the chef, along with Sahdev Mehta, GM, Double Tree by Hilton, spoke of the new venture.
Speaking about his cuisine, Chef Shintaro rued about the fact that Japanese food is considered to be luxury food. “It is all about steam, rice and Asian cuisine. This makes the food different. You can eat a lot of side dishes. Since it is not spicy, it can go well with a lot of people. I did not realise that there are so many veg people here and also in non-veg food, you don’t eat pork or beef here. I have to work on that.” He spoke of the fact that due to the authentic factors, certain items will be costly.
The variety ranges from Chicken Negima with Yakitori Sauce, Buta Kakuni (Stew Pork), Suigyu Tenderloin with Yakiniku Sauce, Humburg infused with Red Wine Sauce, Chicken Teriyaki, Kinu Tofu Steaks with Sweet Soy Sauce, Yasai Itame, varieties of Sushi and Sashimi, etc. Chef will also include street food to some level, while keeping the fine dining concept intact.
Mehta, spoke of the new-age Indian traveller who has gone everywhere, who knows about Japanese food and has discerning taste. “So we want to be authentic at Miyuki. Many like this cuisine and we also have a Korean population here who loves the cuisine. We wanted to create an unmatched experience for the very significant Japanese community in Pune along with all our other guests. And I can tell you it has been received with a bang as we found out during the simulation trials.” Miyuki is pitched as the cheapest restaurant around with personalised service.
Chef Shintaro came here through agents and reveals the fact that Indian culture and food is very big in Japan. That was reason enough for him to come to the city. “I have experience of cooking Japanese food in the US. I first came here to check on things like availability of material. As I am a Master Chef, I tried to recreate the authentic flavours. So I imported things.” Adding to the GM’s statement, he added that about 40 Japanese people are in the city that keeps coming. Indians do come but ignorance is still present. “They will take time to get use to it. This is only after they come and try the food.”
He calls the Japanese food in the US served there as a fusion style. “The Americans accepted it as a healthy food. But many years back, it was not the case. But when I went there 16 years back, it was on the verge of getting accepted. We modified it to their culture, like sushi. Here, Indians do not mind sushi, but do not know about certain things. Come to Miyuki and speak to us. We will recommend you what to eat. Once people start coming, they can chat with us and once the chef knows what s/he wants, he will even make it out of the menu. But I will make it only if comfortable.”
All those who want to try this experience must know that Miyuki, a seven seater restaurant with live counter, has a four course meal for lunch (Rs 1,500 plus taxes) and dinner (Rs 3,000 plus taxes). You can go there between 11.30-3pm for lunch while dinner is between 6-11.30pm. Prior reservation is necessary, courtesy the limited seating arrangements.