ITADAKIMASU with URUTORA
Look carefully and you will find that people in Japan tend to say “Itadakimasu” right before a meal. Saying itadakimasu right before you feast is an important part of Japanese etiquette. It’s a polite phrase meaning “I receive this food.” It’s an expression of gratitude to the person who prepared the food in the meal. It’s important to learn how to do it right. Usually everyone will say the phrase together, but it’s also normal for each person to say it individually as they begin to eat. Sometimes you might see some people put their hands together and bow while saying it. That’s what we learnt about Japanese cuisine at Urutora, Balwatar.
Urutora is a Japanese restaurant which has numerous branches scattered over Japan and has recently it made its way to Nepal. The name translated means “Strong Tiger” which sounds pretty impressive. They have an incredible menu range as they also include our traditional Nepali Khana Set and Continental dishes despite having Japanese cuisine as their specialty. From what we observed, their use of high quality and fresh ingredients were evident in the meticulous artistic presentations and the exquisite tasting dishes executed with excellence by the chefs who are highly experienced. Let’s get a glimpse of what Urutora has in store for Nepal.
SEAWEED ROLL SUSHI
You can say that sushi’s the mascot for Japanese dishes. So naturally we had a certain level of expectation for this dish. And we weren’t disappointed. The sushi was absolutely exquisite. The salmon along with the assortment of vegetables blended in so well. The drizzle of soy sauce made for a fine salty and sour combination. Just by looking at we could clearly tell that the chef had put in a creative touch into the presentation. The wasabi being decorated as a herb is a proof of that.
CHICKEN TERIYAKI SET MENU
The Chicken Teriyaki Set Menu comes with Soy Sauce Glazed Teriyaki Chicken, a bowl of Japanese Rice, couple of Egg Rolls, the Japanese traditional Miso Soup, and Radish Pickle. It’s clear that the rice and the teriyaki chicken are meant to be eaten together and dare I say it, it was a great way to break my “daal bhat” streak. The Miso soup itself was delightful (and I’m not even a soup guy). The egg rolls were gone in an instant and the Radish Pickle added an extra flavor which made us savor each moment of the Chicken Teriyaki Set.
RAMEN HOMEMADE NOODLES
There was something about the Ramen Homemade There was something about the Ramen Homemade Noodles that gave it a certain aura. I could instantly tell the level of authenticity the Ramen had just from the aroma. The traditional presentation of the Ramen came paired with chicken pickle called the “Tsukemono”. The noodles were homemade and had a savoury flavor that clearly stood out from all the noodles that I’ve had till date. The stock, made from fresh chicken, blended with the noodles like yin and yang. The seaweed with the egg and noodles were all so much to take in. The Ramen can easily fill a healthy human adult with a big smile on his face.
DASHI ROLLED EGG SHAPED MAYONNAISE
This was personally our favorite pick. I’m not sure if it was the bright yellow glow of the Dashi Egg Rolls or it was the creamy mayonnaise glazing that stole my heart. The taste did not disappoint. The textures of the eggs were supple and had a natural feel of sweetness. It’s something you put it in your pallet and it instantly melts to give you a culinary hug.
WORDS: SHAQUILE S. GHOTANE | PHOTOS: GAURAV XHOMPATE SUNWAR