However much I like to call myself a foodie, the idea of trying new things is always exciting but also a little daunting. The opportunity to try authentic Japanese food a few months ago made by Chef Ashish Singh and his team at Pan Asian, triggered my curiosity but also made me a little sceptical because of the pre conceived notions I had about Japanese food and the nature of the flavours used in its cooking. It turned out that the scepticism was completely unnecessary. The food he made us took us by storm and exceed our expectations. Recently, we had the pleasure of being blown away by his food once again with the “Obento” another ingenious idea of his to take the concept of a Bento box and convert it into a fine dining masterpiece.
To start with, a Bento box is essentially a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. Chef Ashish has taken this concept and created a Bento box which come with 6 broad components for both Vegetarians and Non- vegetarians alike. We both had the non veg obento but one was a little different from the other, because of our differing tastes. What impressed me the most was the flexibility of the menu. Chef Ashish explained to us about how he did not want to limit the variety but rather, eliminate the rigidity of a traditional menu and accommodate different tastes.
The Bentos served at the Pan Asian Consist of six elements
ZENSAI : Assorted Appetizers
SASHIMI : Palette of Premium and Select seafood with fresh Wasabi
SUSHI (for vegetarians) : Imari Sushi and California Aramaki with fresh Wasabi
Grilled Fish and meat for the Non Vegetarians
Grilled Mushroom and Asparagus for the Vegetarians
Pan fried Chicken Dumplings
Pan Fried Soybean and Quinoa Dumplings (for the vegetarians)
Deep fried Seafood and Vegetables
Deep fried Vegetables
Sushi Rice Topped with Seafood accompanied by Endamame Truffle soup
YASAI YAKI MESH
Fried rice with vegetables served with Endamame truffle soup (for the vegetarians)
Stir fry Udon noodles with either Chicken or Greens
Matcha Raisin Ice cream with Valhrona Chocolate
The food in itself was (needless to say) spectacular. What adds to this, other than the chef’s skills is the sourcing of the ingredients and how much care is taken in terms of making sure that the ingredients are of best quality. Right from the Wasabi to the pork (which was incidentally sourced from Holland) to the Chilean Sea Bass, Chef Ashish makes sure that he uses the best and most fresh ingredients possible.
This particular “Obento” will be served till the end of this week ONLY (though it may come on to the regular menu in some form ).
Although a lot of people hesitate when it comes to Japanese food or authentic Asian food in general, this Obento is a good start to the Japanese food journey.
The Vegetarian Bento is priced at 2650 + taxes
The Non Vegetarian Bento is priced at 3000 + taxes