So a few nights ago, I was at Joss for their Robatayaki Festival. It all sounded so Japanese to me, I had to find out more. An unusual side to Japanese cuisine, Robatayaki (more popularly known as Robata) refers to a method of cooking, similar to barbecue, in which items of food on skewers are slow-grilled over hot charcoal.
An opportunity to try out Farrokh Khambatta’s twist to the art of Robatayaki couldn’t be missed and I am glad to have made it despite a busy schedule.
As per traditions, meats and vegetables or a combination of both that can be grilled in a certain manner is what the art of Robata really signifies and that’s what made our evening a lot more intriguing.
Some dramatic and wholesome flavours came together with the few but distinctive preparations that arrived at our table. Since majority of the dishes were grilled, I’d say this festival is a lovely opportunity for the weight-watchers to indulge. #justsaying 🙂
(Australian Dark Grape, Rambutan and Delicate Cinnamon)
The evening began with a lovely concoction by the name of ‘Enigma’. Ideal for the summers, it was refreshing and easy on the palate despite the Australian dark grapes’ enticing flavour. Give it try if you like experimenting with your drinks.
Spiced Tofu in Sesame Red Bean Paste
The vegetarians have a reason to rejoice because whatever it is that we tasted, was exceptionally good! We began with some Set Tofu in Sesame Red Bean Paste (Rs. 530) – where the tofu was the freshest I’ve ever tasted and crumbled beautifully in my mouth. The red bean sauce was perfectly tangy and spicy and the sesame seeds added a wonderful texture to the overall preparation.
Robata Grilled Asaparagus and Shiitake Mushrooms with Spicy Yuzu Miso
The Robata Grilled Asparagus and Shiitake Mushroom with spicy Yuzu Miso (Rs. 780) – Deliciously succulent, not overdone (yes, it looks like steak but it’s not) and served as skewers, the mushroom was a delight to bite into. Although I don’t fancy asparagus, this one was truly and simply tasty and went well as a combination. Definitely worth a recommendation for the mushroom lovers.
F2T Vegetables with Miso Chilli Parmesan
Presently on a hot plate, this beautiful mess of a dish has a lasagna-like appeal due to it’s baked approach. The chilli parmesan brings about a delicious flavour to the grilled vegetables and makes for an interesting appetiser. The F2T Vegetables with Miso Chilli Parmesan (Rs. 490) is where you can have your veggies and eat it too without a fuss!
Turkey Bacon wrapped Prawn Maki with Toban Jan Glaze
Bacon? Check. Prawns? Check. Do you think a dish that has the best of both meats needs any appreciation? What of course is interesting is that it’s not regular but turkey bacon that makes this preparation unusual. The prawns tasted fresh and juicy too so yea, the Turkey Bacon wrapped Prawn Maki with Toban Jan Glaze (Rs. 680) easily becomes a TGLP Recommendation from my end. 🙂
Grilled Pork Belly in Cracked Shiso Seed Glaze
Another favourite of the evening, I don’t think I’ve enjoyed eating pork belly as much as I did this time. Maybe because the original flavour remains intact and the sweet aftertaste of the shiso seed glaze turns it into quite something! Make sure you try the Grilled Pork Belly in Shiso Seed Glaze (Rs. 980) whenever you plan to indulge at the festival.
Cookie Jar Yakitori Chicken with Schimichi Pepper Mix
When presentation is on par with flavour, you have a whole new kind of winner. Served in a cookie jar, these juicy chicken skewers were smoked to perfection (quite literally!) and tasted even better once you took a bite. There’s something about slow cooking that makes all the meats taste better than ever and the Cookie Jar Yakitori Chicken with Schimichi Pepper Mix (Rs. 590) appetiser was no exception.
Korean Dolsot Bibimbap
Available in both, vegetarian as well as non vegetarian versions, we checked out the one that included the supremes of chicken and a dollop of egg (with reference to the image above). The shiitake mushrooms, crystal jade vegetables with sprouts adds the much needed texture to this main course. A burst of flavours is expected on your palate, once your server tosses it up and serves you the Korean Dolsot Bibimbap.
Chocolate and Walnut Creme Brûlée
I’m not a die hard fan of creme brûlée, but I am pretty sure that I might have changed my mind after tasting this one. A combination of chocolate and walnuts reminds me of the fudge we all love from Lonavala, right? This one came very close to THAT flavour – but in a more custard-like texture. I thoroughly enjoyed the Chocolate and Walnut Crème Brûlée, and I’m pretty sure you will too unless you don’t really have a fudge fetish; then this may not be your bowl of brûlée. But hey, I suggest you give it a shot anyway like I did and come out smiling. 🙂
The Robatayaki Festival at Joss is currently on until the 31st of March, 2015. The menu may seem limiting but everything is almost worth checking out. Go for it and let me know about your experience. Yes?
Address: Savoy Chambers, Linking Road Extension, Santacruz West, Mumbai 400054