I’m always trying to keep myself up to date with the greatest Japanese experiences in the city and I’m so excited to share my recent experience at Yuuka with you. The food served at Yuuka is a modern interpretation of some Japanese classics and transcends the boundaries of just Sushi and Sashimi.
Yuuka is a dedicated Japanese restaurant located on the 37th floor of the St Regis Hotel in Mumbai. The St Regis is known for its stunning elevated views of the city and Yuuka does not fall short of expectation.
The setting of the restaurant is cozy with stunning views and warm dim lighting. The candles on each table and high ceiling add to the opulent ambiance of the space.
We tried a range of Cold appetisers, warm appetisers, sushi, sashimi and main course. Here’s what we tried. Some of my favourites are listed with Stars alongside.
This dish consists of fresh Hamachi, or what is commonly referred to as yellow tail cut into fine, delicate slices and laid on a flat platter with a delicate dressing. The dressing is light, fresh and has a strong citric and mildly sweet flavour. The slices of fish are also topped with miro crisps and sliced peppers adding a lovely crunch and background heat to the dish.
★ Salmon on Fire
This was one of our favourite dishes of the evening. It consisted of thick slices of salmon mounted on a stick and laid over a bed of fire. The cured fish was topped with rock salt, edible flowers and topped with Ponzu. It was served along with clear, flavourful raspberry gastrique. The fresh salmon with the slight char from the fire and toppings went unimaginably well with the sweet gastrique. I couldn’t have imagined a raspberry sauce going well cured salmon but Chef Swapnil truly has great understanding of flavours.
Tuna tataki is made with red part of the tuna fish. It is bright red in colour and has little to no fat content. The tataki platter served at the St Regis consists of skilfully cut slices of tuna topped with crunchy black quinoa and served with a citric-sweet sauce and a fresh salad. The dish is light and refreshing and makes for a great cold appetiser.
★Wasabi Hirame Shiso
The best way to describe this appetiser in my opinion is to call it a modern interpretation of sushi. It comprises of a flat nori sheet, coated with tempura crisps and topped with a layer of rice. The rice is further topped with Cured Hirame fish and Wasabi Crème Fraiche. The dish is innovative, soft, meaty, crunchy and zingy all at once. If that’s not a cracker of a dish, then what is? The perfectly crisp shiso leaf on the side is the perfect crisp to bite on alongside.
I think this is the only dish that I tried that I think has room for some improvement. The dish consists of taco shells filled with onions, capsicum, chillies and a chunk of salmon. The taco is laid on a spread of guacamole and drizzle of a sweet soy sauce. Unfortunately I found the onions and chillies in the tacos very overwhelming and I lost the flavour of the salmon completely. What I did enjoy however, was the guacamole on the side. If this could be incorporated in the dish in a better manner, I’m sure it’ll taste wonderful.
This is a warm appetiser comprising of a small portion of Black Cod marinated in a sweet miso dressing and grilled to perfection. The meat is flaky, fatty and absolutely delicious. The sauce itself is umami and mildly sweet and goes beautifully with the fish. I only wish that the slice of fish was a little larger in size.
Sushi and Sashimi
As the name suggests this uramaki roll consists of various meat toppings cladding a perfect sushi roll. The different colours of salmon, tuna and hamachi give the dish its special name. At the centre the roll contains crabstick, cucumber and cream cheese. If you’re someone that likes to have variety on a plate, this one’s for you!
Three words, one sentence. “I LOVED THIS’. I think this is undoubtedly THE BEST maki I have had EVER and I don’t speak casually when I say this. I’ve tried sushi at every Japanese restaurant I have dined at and my Instagram profile screams of my love for sushi. Hence, when I say this was the BEST, I mean serious business.
Let me tell you what I loved. The Sushi was served as a maki roll topped with a layer of pan seared toro(fatty tuna belly). This was further topped with freshly sliced, aromatic truffle and caviar. The centre of the roll had a beautiful prawn tempura served crisp to perfection. The truffle was so beautiful that the aroma reached us before the waiter set it on the table and I took at least 5 whiffs before I decided to eat it. An absolutely gorgeous combination of textures and flavour!
It costs Rs 2250 for 8 pieces but the ingredients are so premium and the dish has so much finesse that it is ABSOLUTELY worth it!
Sashimi and Nigiri Platter
Our sashimi platter came beautifully presented in clear bowl full of crushed ice and illuminated with a blue light at the bottom. The platter itself was generous, neatly plated and the colours looked stunning together.
The sushi platter came with 5 pieces of Nigiri and 2 slices of sashimi each. We tasted slices of salmon, tuna(maguro), chutoro(semi fatty tuna belly), ika(cuttlefish) and salmon roe. All the fish in the platter was fresh, well presented, flavourful and delicious.
We ended our meal with a simple main course. We decided to try Chef Tings Fried Rice along with a portion of truffle sea bass.
Chef tings fried rice is a simple, vegetarian rice tossed in a soy sauce. The highlight of our main course was definitely the Truffle Sea Bass.
★Truffle Sea Bass
This dish consisted of a palm sized chunk of Sea Bass seared to perfection and served with a truffle cream sauce. The meat itself was crisp on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside and was topped completely with shaved truffles. It was an absolute delight!
Our meal at Yuuka was sumptuous, bursting with flavour and truly extraordinary. Having tried Japanese experiences at various popular restaurants and hotels across the country, I can safely conclude that Yuuka does serve very premium quality food. The menu is beautifully curated and the flavour combinations are well paired. What really stood out for me was the chefs work with Truffle. I enjoyed the innovations and incorporation of truffle in sushi.
If you’re looking for a place to celebrate a special occasion, a truly flawless and premium experience, I’d say Yuuka should definitely be on your list.
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Review Credit: Sanskaara Lalwani
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