It was a delight to return to the restaurant’s dynamic red & black interiors inspired by the East Asian cultures, which are only more pronounced by the afternoon sun. With that, our green teas, and their impeccable staff in tow we were raring to go.
Start Off On a Good Note
An array of dishes make a debut on MEGU’s revamped menu. Inspired from Japanese winters, Chef Takanori Fukuda’s seasonal dishes highlight cold water seafood, root vegetables, and dry vegetables. Powering through this intriguing menu we started off with a trio of appetisers, Tokyo Iri Hijiki and Vegetables with White Sesame Sauce, Hokkaido King Crab with Ikura, and Nanohana. The Tokyo Iri Hijiki is an assortment of simmered seaweed and vegetables served on a bed of roasted white sesame sauce, with the strong seaweed flavour effortlessly set off by the creamy sesame sauce. The Hokkaido King Crab is served steamed and paired with soya salmon roe, ie. Ikura. The ikura on top of the succulent meat pops in your mouth to leave a briny yet sweet tang, mark it as your next go-to dish if you’re a salmon roe lover. The Nanohana is the Japanese rapeseed plant cooked in wasabi, soy, and dashi sauce and served over bonito flakes (dried, fermented, and smoked tuna), the crunch of the fresh plant & the wasabi hit the palate bang on with their freshness and the hint of tuna adds the apt umami spike to it – making it the clear star of starters on our table.
Sushi & Sashimi
We levelled up to the Sushi & Sashimi platter next, their Namerou Chicken Miso Roll leading the pack. The chicken sushi roll is certainly closer home to our Indian palate, and is a treat for those who don’t savour seafood. The Peony Shrimp on the other hand is solely for those who relish ‘em sea critters! Unadorned, the pleasant Alaskan shrimp carried its natural sweet taste and tender texture. Next up was the Scallop Tataki, bringing us to a middle ground of tastes with lightly seared scallops served with a slice of yuzu lemon. The grill perks up the texture of the meat and the lemon cutting through the seafood taste we built up till then was refreshing. The last man standing was the Tiger Prawn Sugata Sushi – prawn lover or not, this tiny rice roll is a delight and we couldn’t help but order a second round! A shout out to the fresh wasabi grated onto our platter, making it go from hero to superhero in no time.
With that making our hearts and bellies swell, a soup was in order to pave the way for the main course. Enter Zoni Soup, a concoction of light dashi broth infused with yuzu, braised duck, spinach, and mochi rice cake. It was light yet flavourful, with the French duck offering a change of taste from its aquatic cousins, and the rice cake enhancing the broth’s piquancy and the fun factor of the soup.
Plat du Jour
For the main course we divided camps between the Arimayaki Glazed Chilean Sea Bass and the Cod Fish With Lotus Root, Tofu, and Wakame Dashi Sauce. The Chilean sea bass had a slight sweet taste from the soy sauce which was married perfectly to the hint of sansho pepper; while the bass made us hum, the accompanying ginger root and radish pickle held their own, doing a splendid job of complementing the fish’s flavour. The cod fish came with fresh tofu (#TofuGoals) and was topped by the chef’s version of mustard sauce, and it doesn’t get better than this if you want a taste of Japan! The seaweed spiked dashi broth adds zing to the dish, making it taste like essence of the sea in a bowl. With both camps earning equal points, it was tie for us between these stellar preparations.
With this palate-pleaser of a feast making getting up an unthinkable task, we chose to stay put and say hello to dessert. An assortment of tea snacks, the Petit Fours came with sesame & matcha macarons, truffles, mango soufflé with sake, lemon tart, and a raspberry mousse. That cracker of a sugar rush in place, we were smitten by the lemon tart – lemon filling encased within the tart, which oozed as smashingly when the tart was broken into as it tasted. The other champion was the chocolate truffle with a spice infused center, helping us reignite the sweet & spicy dessert trend.
Ending the meal with matcha teas, lunch came a full circle for us. A spiffing meal like that, we reluctantly kept down the forks, knowing we’ll be returning for more and, not without doffing our hats to MEGU’s constant reinvention of its menu. Move over Sarson Da Saag and Gajar Ka Halwa, Japanese winter fare is here to charm you like never before.
Reserve your spot by calling 011-39331360 and head to The Leela Palace, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi . Enjoy your meal and lose weight equivalent to Rs. 5,500 for two.