‘Bandra Encyclopedia’ – that’s what my friends call me. If you know me personally or have followed my blog, you’ll would know about my love for Bandra. All Bandra buggers like me have one more reason to love about Bandra. It is now home to Mumbai’s first Japanese Lounge Bar – Kanpai Lounge Bar.
I was recently invited for a Pre-launch Tasting Session at Kanpai Lounge Bar. One will agree that the taste for Japanese cuisine is something that one acquires over time, and frankly I haven’t acquired it yet. But boy, this was a different experience.
Launched by the Kofuku team, Kanpai Lounge Bar is located right next to Kofuku. The 6th Floor (above Shopper’s Stop) space at Suburbia Mall, is divided into two areas, the restaurant that serves authentic Japanese dishes and the Lounge that serves finger foods and drinks. The restaurant is very traditionally Japanese, while the lounge on the other hand is dark and contemporary with theatrical motifs from the annual Nebuta festival in Japan and comics by the Japanese artist Shohei Emura, reproduced on the walls in Manga style. The Bar counter is backlit and the overall feel is very different from that of the restaurant next door.
I started off with my Japanese bar experience with the Yuzu Kosho cocktail. I found this citrusy & spicy drink to be initially very refreshing, but after a couple of sips I changed my mind. I think it was too spicy for my palate, maybe.
Next up was the Ume Blossom cocktail. This is what I’ll define as the perfect post-office summer day drink. Do not go by the pink color of the drink. The peach & plum flavor makes you feel good about yourself. This drink is seriously refreshing, and is something I would recommend.
Soon our first dish was on our table – a gorgeous plate of Yellowtail Carpacchio/Hamachi Carpaccio. The fish was fresh and the dish overall wasn’t too fishy, but had a lot of flavor. The mildly spicy piece of chilli on the top, added a crunchy twist to the dish.
After we were almost done with the Yellowtail Carpacchio/Hamachi Carpaccio, we were served the Spicy Tuna Rolls. The spicy sauce went really well with the sticky rice and pickled Tuna. The caviar topping gave the dish a nice texture.
Both Veg & Prawns Dimsums served tasted super. The soft dimsum with a very mild flavor of Prawns did the magic for me. Everyone, including me, loved the Prawns Dimsums. I definitely wanted to order one more portion. Maybe when I’m at Kanpai next. Seafood aficionado like me? This is a must try then.
Next up was the Grilled Belgium Pork with Asparagus – one of my favorites from that evening. This was another favorite for me, from that evening. If you like pork, this is a must try.
Who ever imagined a Pork – Asparagus combination? Similarly, who would have ever imagined a Tuna – Avocado combination? The next dish served on our table – Tuna Avocado Tartare was very beautifully plated and was served with crisp-fried wonton chips. The dish had interesting textures, including that of the caviar topping. The Tuna – Avocado combination was a total hit
Next was the Rock Shrimp & the Scallops in Dynamite Sauce. I will order both these dishes again. Not only because my love for seafood, but for also how the meat was rightly cooked and flavors right. The dynamite sauce complemented the golden-fried scallops really well.
I’ve had Edamame Beans at a couple of Japanese places, but the one served here was different. This was served with a flavorful chilli sauce, giving you a mild spice while you try to take out the beans. This, in my opinion, is a perfect side dish one must order, while either waiting for their next dish or even next drink.
Another favorite for me, from that evening was the Crystal Prawn Cheung Fun. I’ve had something similar, when I was recently at the pre-launch tasting at Ruka, another Japanese lounge in Juhu, and I was disappointed. The outer rice coating was so hard that I couldn’t fork it, but the one served here had a soft outer coating and the prawns were flavorful and well cooked. Quite filling for a ‘finger food/bar food’.
All in all, Kanpai is definitely a wonderful addtion to the ever-evolving food scene of Mumbai. If you love Japanese cuisine or just want to try something different this weekend, you must give Kanpai a try!
Address: Kanpai Lounge Bar, 6th Floor, Suburbia Mall, Above Shopper’s Stop, Linking Road, Bandra West, Mumbai.
Contact: 022-66955105 / 022-66955106