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This Iconic Restaurant In Chennai Just Celebrated 25 Years Of Serving Authentic Japanese Food

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This eatery is Chennai’s oldest Japanese restaurant and they recently celebrated their 25th year anniversary! We’d like to think that Dahlia is Chennai’s Wasa-bae and here’s why.

Chow Down

Maki Rolls, Miso Ramen, Beef Katsu Set

Sip On

Wheat Tea

Lowdown On The Ambience

They have been in the same location, Kaveri Complex at Nungambakkam, for 25 years. Their simple, homely dining room like decor keeps you relaxed and comfortable. You’ll find a TV running in the corner with NHK {Japanese news channel} playing either children’s shows, the news or sumo wrestling and a lot photographs on the wall of Dalhia growing up- the first ever kitchen staff, their trips to Japan, the owners when they were younger, looking at these makes for a fun activity while waiting for your order.

Co Owners, Revathy and Naoki Yamauchi are always there whenever you visit, the former will be seen running around ensuring the orders are going out on time and the latter handles the billing counter. Their presence adds a dose of nostalgia for those who’ve been eating here for decades.

What's On The Menu?

If you’re craving Japanes food, it doesn’t get more authentic than this. Sushi or sashimi – take your pick. We particularly liked their Maki rolls – these {with any filling} will, guaranteed, “maki” you come back for more!

Their Don Buri concoctions {featuring ingredients like prawns, tuna, and deep fried pork} are worth gorging on. And sushi lovers, you must feast on Tekka Maki {tuna}. Also a must-try is their Yaki – Niku {Grilled Beef}}, Beef Katsu Set {Breaded and fried Beef}, Miso Ramen {Fermented Soya based noodle soup}, Age Dashu {Fried Tofu with Soya Sauce and Ginger Gravy}  and the Chicken Udong {Noodle Soup}.

They have just the basic soft drinks on their beverages menu, but you do get served a free Wheat Tea, that’s brown and a little bitter, as soon as you order, a traditional Japanese drink that helps with digestion {which you’ll need if you’re gluttons like us!}.

The Story

Their story is pure inspiration. Started in 1993, by Naoki Yamauchi and Revathy Nagaswami, Dahlia was basically a kitchen where the Japanese businessmen could come and order whatever they wanted. Over time, the word spread and they became a popular name amongst the locals without having to localise taste to the Indian palate. We love that they remain truly authentic. As the years went by the most popularly ordered items were permanently kept on the menu and that’s what you see at Dahlia today.

So, We're Thinking...

This place is almost like a heritage restaurant, come to think of it. It’s made its mark in the history of Chennai’s food landscape, and deserves at least one visit.