Wasabi – Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi

Long haul flights are never a pleasant thing regardless of how much leg room you’ve got or how much alcohol you’ve consumed. But there’s nothing like being greeted by dear friends at the airport who have their priorities dead on target – before the hugs and squeals the proclamation, “we brought champagne” set the weary traveller’s heart at rest. Technically, it was 5 am UK time, but what’s a few hours between friends!? Having settled into the hotel, and between taking a breath to talk excitedly, the rumbling of the stomach indicated that there needed to be some food sent its way. With luck being on my side, and having about 7 restaurants in the hotel to choose from, the common consensus nestled on some light Japanese.

Wasabi was our destination. A small and colourful, yet corporate feeling little restaurant at the Taj Mahal hotel, New Delhi. With an army of staff floating about, with good knowledge of the menu, charming you in the politest of ways that would shame the majority of front of house service in Europe, choosing dishes didn’t take us too long.

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Appetiser
Sashimi & Sushi

A little nibble of slow roasted tomato with a tuna dressing and spring onion tickled the taste buds with a hint of tingle, a tickle of a tang, whisper of a crunch before the grand Sushi & Sashimi platters arrived. Apart from the vivid display of colours, the eating itself was a pleasant enough experience as one would expect it to be. The crown jewel was not the wasabi that they served on the board, but the fresh wasabi that the waiter came and grated on a shark skin grater on your plate. There’s nothing like fresh wasabi to send shockwaves through your sinuses and head!

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Black cod
Chilean sea bass
Coconut-Green tea

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The Black Cod with Miso was a gorgeous hunk of perfectly cooked umami heaven, along with pickled yellow peppers and black beans. Mouthgasm with every bite!

The Chilean sea bass with sake broth, spring onions was a little less charming, possibly on account of it being the lighter flavoured dish. In hindsight, it would have benefited from a being eaten before the cod, yet somehow it didn’t seem that it might have been much different.

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The little gems of Aduki bean cake with green tea and coconut was a delight – chilled, slightly gelatinous and just a hint of sweetness to round off the taste bud that was feeling a bit left out.

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It was hard to tell what the personality of the restaurant was as there were only a couple of other diners there, yet there wasn’t a sense of a warm, comfortable ambience embracing you. The wonderful staff, however, did make up in part for the cold, corporate feel. As I mentioned earlier, being given this level and quality of service can initially be a bit unnerving as one in Europe and England is simply not used to such niceties.

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Overall Experience: 7
Food: 7
Recommend you go: 6

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