|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 67, Tuesday May 12, 2009|
Let's zero in on some of the eateries of the city that offers a delightful experience.
Samdado, the authentic Japanese restaurant, offers a delicious menu with an ambience that goes well with the flavour of Japanese cuisine. This place will provide you with a complete Sushi bar, Tatami room, Hibachi tables, and cocktails.
Other than the usual sushi, noodles, sashimi and tempura, a lot more can be found here. Sukiyaki is a traditional Japanese dish usually consisting of thinly sliced beef or a vegetarian version made only with firm tofu, slowly cooked or simmered in a shallow iron pot in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin. Before being eaten, the ingredients are usually dipped in a small bowl of raw, beaten eggs.
Shabu-Shabu is related to sukiyaki in style, however, it is starkly different in taste; it is more savoury and less sweet than sukiyaki. Besides there are sushis of different styles to choose from like the sushi rolls and combination dinners with different toppings such as tuna, smoked salmon, tamago, mackerel, scallop, octopus, squid, eel, etc.
Japanese and Korean cuisines almost go together. Kimchi is of course the best-known Korean dish. It is vegetarian and highly seasoned with pepper, garlic etc. Served with every kind of Korean meals, it stimulates the appetite like pickles do.
Another common dish is the Kimbab, made of vegetables, beef and egg rolled in rice and seaweed. Bulgogi is generally called Korean barbecue marinated with soy sauce, garlic, sugar, sesame oil, and other seasonings, which is cooked over a fire. A similar dish is the Kalbi.
The most distinctive feature of Korean food is the spiciness. Maeuntang is a spicy, hot seafood soup that includes white fish, vegetables, soybean curd, red pepper powder. Twoenjang-guk is a fermented soybean paste soup with baby clams in its broth.
There are many other different kinds of soups such as Miyok-guk and Kimchi-cchigueto, to name a few. With more and more Korean residents in the country, a lot of Korean restaurants are gaining prominence. Sura, a Korean restaurant with a simple décor is widely identified for, marinated tender beef BBQ in a bona fide way. Other dishes include Eun Caodfish Jo Rim: braised codfish marinated in spicy seasoned soy sauce.
Talk about turmeric and many will think of Nasi kunyit, those lovely, sticky grains of glutinous rice tinged yellow, served with chicken curry! Satay House in Banani specialises in Satay, which consists of diced or sliced chicken, beef, mutton or fish; the more authentic version uses skewers from the midrib of the coconut leaf, although bamboo skewers are often used. These are grilled or barbecued over a wood or charcoal fire, then served with various spicy seasonings. Besides Malaysia, it is also a very popular dish in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.
A close analogue in Japan is Yakitori. Satay is usually dished up with ketupat (rice cake) and fresh cucumber, pineapple and onion salad. Sweet, spicy peanut sauce accompanies this dish. Other popular dishes are Nasi lemak, rendang, roti canai, murtabak, laksa, chicken rice and fried noodles. Coconut milk is ubiquitous in Malaysian cuisine, conveying a delicious smoothness to curries and other dishes.
Famous for its lively, fresh flavours and artfully composed meals, Vietnamese food and cooking is the true 'light cuisine' of Asia. Abundant fresh herbs and greens, delicate soups and stir-fries, and well-seasoned grilled foods served on, or with, rice or noodles are the mainstays of the Vietnamese delicacies.
Le Saigon came up with an authentic line of Vietnamese cuisine, originally cooked by Vietnamese chefs. The cooking also reflects its Chinese and French influences and it has numerous regional differences.
The popular selling appetiser here is the Goi Cuon: rice paper rolls of vegetables, herbs, noodles and steamed prawns. From soups, Canh Tom Chua: a tangy South Vietnamese soup consisting of shrimps; Pho Ga and Pho Bo are also especially well-liked.
The other enticing items offered here are Com Nghe: flavoured yellow rice, Ca Bo Lo: whole fish stuffed with lemon grass, herbs and topped with shredded vegetables, Chicken escalope with cheese sauce, Bo Xao Dau Hao: stir fried beef in oyster sauce and Bo Nuong Sot Mat Ong: grilled beef smothered with honey. The Hanoian banana cake is the most wanted dessert item at the restaurant.
Apart from the food, the interior here is done very neatly with a huge bell carved out of rocks from Vietnam placed at the entrance, delightfully welcoming you!
So, get out of your regular chores and liven up your life by experimenting with what you eat. For once lets dine with the essence of Asia…Bon Appetit!
By Zion Ara Hamid
check it out
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