Set in the iconic New Indian Express Building on Queens Road, it’s no wonder that this new place is named for its address, 1Q1. Divided into three sections — an elegant dining area (perfect for dinner), an al fresco space used mostly for the robatayaki grill (ideal for a first date) and an island bar to fuel you up with everything from Asian Mule to Cherry Mojitos and Smoked New York Sours. Arches between high-ceilinged walls in striking green and red greet you as you enter, but let’s not stray away from the real star of the show — the food. Why? Because by now you’ve learned that top chefs Mako Ravindran and Manjit Singh are behind the menu.
Nikkei Cuisine is the highlight, and for the uninitiated, that’s a blend of Peruvian and Japanese cuisines, tweaked by Mako, who helms the kitchen, and inspired by his travels across the globe. We kicked things off with simple yet satisfying avocado rolls, and some divine tuna and scallop (a first in Bangalore) sashimi dunked in soy sauce and wasabi. What we were really blown away by though was the Chicken Gyoza — Japanese dim sum, pan-fried lightly to make it addictive.
There are two food menus — mains and starters, so pace yourself if you’re particular about having both. For this visit, we chose to load up the Tuna Poke Bowl. And we were not disappointed. A bowl of steamed rice comes topped with cucumber, scallion, avocado all tossed in poke sauce and shiso. Plus, raw chunks of fresh tuna. We ended with a pillowy soft Japanese cake accompanied with raspberry coulis and sorbet, to add that tangy zest to the dessert.