Delhi’s new modern Japanese masterchef has a new menu out, with some surprises on it
MEGU, Delhi’s luxe modern Japanese restaurant, comes decked with a signature crystal Buddha, elevated over a pool of rosewater. An 800-pound Japanese Bonsho bell is suspended over it. We’re told that pouring water over the Buddha statue is a calming ritual, symbolic of cleansing the mind. In this state of Zen, we’re introduced to the new masterchef at the helm of MEGU’s kitchen—Chef Masahiro Kinoshita.
Chef Kinoshita brings with him more than three decades of experience that began in Japan, traversed through Korea and Dubai, went back to Tokyo and now comes to India. For Delhi, he has created dishes an inclusive new menu for the summer, involving a wide range of vegetarian fare.
Starters begin with the Creamy Wasabi Tofu, where the silken tofu is enhanced with heritage tomatoes, kinzanji miso and MEGU dressing, packed with flavours of fermented barley and wasabi. The Sweet Corn Miso Soup is light and summery. The real star, however, is the Dobin Mushi, introduced in India for the first time. The seafood broth is served in a ‘dobin’ teapot with chunks of sea bream, chicken, shrimp, eringi and ginkgo.
For an indulgent sampler, you can get bite-sized portions of the chef’s signatures—Crispy Rice, with hand chopped tuna in wasabi mayonnaise, topped with tobiko; and Crispy Unagi, with shrimp tempura, eryngi mushroom, tobiko, crab meat and sambal sauce.
While he has experimented with modern techniques, Chef Masahiro’s roots lie in traditional Japanese cooking. Born in Kumamoto, Japan, he learned the ropes from basic Japanese techniques. His experience with modern Japanese led him to create some radical dishes as well. Baked Tomato and Avocado Tobanyaki is one such example. Topped with parmesan and cheddar cheese, one would mistake it to be of Italian or Mexican origin. But by adding white miso and herbs that are flown in from Japan (along with fresh seafood procured from Japan’s historic Tsukiji Fish Market), the comforting dish becomes inherently Japanese.
For mains, we recommend the BBQ New Zealand Lamb Chops from the Binchotan grill, served with a rich garlic soy sauce and creamy avocado mash; and the Grilled Chilean Sea Bass with barley miso and soy glaze. Don’t forget to save room for dessert—the salted caramel chocolate fondant with maple miso ice cream is excellent.
And before you leave, do remember to pour some water on the beautiful Buddha to carry a bit of the serenity with you.
Where: MEGU, The Leela Palace New Delhi, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi
When: 12.30 pm to 2.45 pm; 7 pm to 11.45 pm.
Call: +91-11 3933 1234
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