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Yokoso restaurant review: Japanese food in Delhi gets a new lease of life


Yokoso is located in the old Elan bar/lounge of The Lodhi

When the iconic Wasabi at the Taj Mansingh closed its doors earlier this year, I was desolate — my regular fix of authentic Japanese food was no more. One hotelier saw at it as an opportunity. Vikramaditya Singh, GM of The Lodhi (previously The Aman) was quick to capture Shubham Thakur, chef at Wasabi, and open Yokoso.

Ebullient and with a boyish charm, Shubham, despite not having lived or trained in Japan, is a master in the kitchen. Thankfully, he believes that Japanese food does not begin and end with sushi or tempura, and this is reflected in his menu. Of course there are some old favourites from Wasabi, like the Toro Tartar (tuna belly tartar) and the Eggplant Miso, but a majority of dishes are new and original creations, and it is here that he excels. He has a great understanding of flavours, textures, balance and above all restraint.

Yokoso restaurant review: Japanese food in Delhi gets a new lease of life

The vibe: Yokoso is located in the old Elan bar/lounge of the hotel and unfortunately, for now, it feels like a pop-up. I do hope DLF (owners of the Lodhi) invest in upgrading the space.

Do try: All that I put in my mouth from the Omakase (“I’ll leave it up to you”) menu was exceptional. The Hamachi Usuzukuri, thinly sliced yellowtail with a citric soy, just melted on the tongue and the sea kelp served with it cut through the sweetness and acidity with a punch of umami (the ‘fifth taste’ after salty, sweet, sour, and bitter).

The White Asparagus Carpaccio, not only looked like a piece of art but was sweet, crunchy, buttery, full of umami and just delicious. The Shira Ae (mashed tofu) and Kale and its non-vegetarian counterpart which had spicy salmon, were dollops of happiness — served in individual kale leaves which glistened and felt as if they were just plucked from the garden. It was creamy, salty and to use a childhood expression, yum. The Scallop Chawanmushi (egg custard) served in a shell was beautifully delicate although I would have preferred the scallop slightly raw.

Yokoso restaurant review: Japanese food in Delhi gets a new lease of life

For mains, to the increasing tribe of Delhiites (me included) that love pork, the 18-hour braised Pork Kakuni, is what fantasies are made of. The pork just disintegrates on the plate and disappears in your mouth. The Miso Eggplant, which is presented in a style different to that at Wasabi, remains divine. Whilst the menu does feature the popular Black Cod Miso, do try the Seabass Mustard Soy — perfectly grilled, peppery and sweet.

For desserts, the sesame ice cream is a must and finally there is a tofu cheesecake in Delhi which is done right.

Skip: The mushroom miso soup —way too salty.

Go with: People who like Japanese food.

Space bar: 44 seats over 1,500 sq. ft.

How much: ₹6,000 for two excluding taxes and alcohol.

Getting there: In your car. The Lodhi, Lodhi Road, Delhi

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 8:59:54 PM |

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