We started with a special brew, the Grape Sour Tripel which is a beer which tastes like Chardonnay and green grass. And some plain and spiced edamame to nibble on.
Then came the Cold Plates.
1. Okinawa Taco Rice - taco flavoured grounded beef served with Japanese rice, salsa, yuzu sour cream, edamame pods and topped with prawn crackers. It's a delicious starter and the beef is so well cooked, that it just melts in your mouth.
2. Hamachi Carpaccio - this was the best dish in the cold plate menu. This is called Yellowtail Carpaccio on the regular menu. It has the thinnest slivers of hamachi along with Sriracha onion vinaigrette, black garlic, black tobiko, Fujiko and chives. Loved the flavors in this one.
3. Avocado Carpaccio: if you like avocado you will love this one. Avocado is sliced very thin and is topped with ponzu soy, tomato relish, dried kelp, and garlic paste. I especially liked the crunchiness of the dried kelp.
Next came the Tartares
1. Tuna Avocado: I fell in love with this dish. It had everything I love - tuna, guacamole, caramelized onion, rice cracker, wasabi cream and hondashi sauce. Tip here: don’t mix the ingredients. Dip the tartare in hondashi and it tastes even better.
2. Deconstructed sushi with salmon: don't order this in front of a Japanese 😜 I loved it though. The spicy salmon with teriyaki sushi rice along with wasabi foam is a delight.
Then came the king of all platters.
The Gurando Sushi Platter has 26 pieces of sushi rolls, sashimi and nigiri. We loved it so much that we ordered a second serving with 12 pieces. 😍
By this time we had switched to the Smoked Amber Ale which is my favorite beer at XOOX. It has a bacon flavor to it which means it goes well with all food.
We ended this awesome night with three delicious desserts.
1. Tokyo Tofu Cheesecake: You have to eat it to understand what it tastes like. The chocolate crisp, the raspberry drops, and the edible flower only add to the deliciousness.
2. Japanese Lemon Drop: I'm not a huge fan of lemon drops but this one is yummy. And I loved the matcha cream on the side.
3. Red Velvet Parfait, a XOOX favorite, so I requested them to serve this and the chef was considerate in giving it to us post last order time. This is hands down the best red velvet dessert you can have in the city.
All in all the best Japanese cuisine I have had in a while. Hats off to Chef Sahil and thanks Neel for a wonderful evening.