I recently dined at Miyuki, an exclusive 7 seater Japanese restaurant in the DoubleTree By Hilton hotel in Chinchwad, Pune. Miyuki offers a teppanyaki-style dining experience where the food is prepared on a hibachi grill directly of you. I've had sushi a few times before but this was the first time I had a 6 course Japanese meal and got to learn so much about Japanese cuisine thanks to Chef Amarjeet's vast knowledge about it. As you enter the dining area, the setup in front of you prepares you for an authentic Japanese dining experience.
Chef Amarjeet and his team do a fantastic job as utmost attention is paid to sourcing ingredients thanks to which each dish is as authentic as it can get. Cooking every dish to perfection is also a typical trait followed by all Japanese chefs, and he has followed the same throughout his career. For our meal, we were accompanied by Patricia, the Marketing & Communications manager, who is incredibly sweet and friendly. She made us feel very comfortable and at home. It was delightful to watch the chef prepare each dish as he told us about its ingredients and technique of cooking.
We started off with the Wafu salad, which is a Japanese salad made of mixed lettuce, radish, tomato boiled egg, cucumber with sesame onion dressing. Wafu (和風) means Japanese-style. Wafu dessing is slightly tangy refers consists of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame seeds and vegetable oil. This was a refreshing change to every other salad I've ever had in my life and was really good.
This was followed by chicken nigima and chicken tsukune yakitori. Chicken nigima skewer is made of with chicken breast and white part of spring onion. Tsukune (つくね) is basically Japanese chicken meatballs that are skewered and typically grilled over charcoal served in yakitori restaurants. Tsukune is usually seasoned with salt or sweet soy sauce – yakitori “tare”. Ingredients for “tare” are similar to teriyaki sauce, but “tare” is much thicker and saltier. Both were delicious and I particularly loved the Tsukune (pictured left).
This was followed by a mixed Tempura, a really popular dish in Japanese restaurants which is made of seafood or vegetables that have dipped in batter and deep fried. We had squid, prawn, carrot, lotus stem and eggplant tempura which was served with grated radish, ginger and tempura sauce along with green tea salt (I never knew that existed). Chef explained to us that we could either mix the grated ginger with the tempura sauce and did our food it it or sprinkle the green tea salt and lime on the tempura and eat it. I loved it both ways. Though I'm a staunch non vegetarian, the lotus stem tempura was really really delicious and worth a mention!
This was followed by Buta No Kakuni (角煮) which is Japanese braised pork belly, and it literary means “square simmered” referring to the shape of this dish. It’s made of thick cubes of pork belly simmered in sake, soy sauce and sugar/mirin. The pork is cooked for a long time over low heat and the meat becomes moist and extremely tender. And tender it was. The meat was melting in our mouth and was just so good. Since, the dish is on a sweeter side, it's served with mustard sauce to balance the flavors.
Next up waas Grilled salmon (さけ) with lemon butter sauce. The marinade is classic Japanese flavours – soy sauce, mirin and sake. It doesn’t get anymore “Japanese” than that! The fish really needs to be marinaded overnight (or 3 hours at the absolute minimum) because it’s not a “saucy” dish – all the flavor is in the marinade and it needs the time to infuse into the fish. This was again really good as the mild flavors of the marinade go perfectly with the fish and don't overpower its taste at all. Absolutely heavenly!
Last but definitely not the least was a bowl of mouthwatering Ramen (ラーメン) - a complete meal by itself. This version came with pork belly, cauliflower, boiled egg, broccoli and noodles in a slow cooked chicken and pork stock. I wish I wasn't stuffed so that I could have finished the whole thing. The hearty broth had a subtle pork flavor which I absolutely loved. The pork belly was tender and chewy at the same time and was just perfect with the ramen. If you love Ramen, you cannot miss this!
Photography - Akshat Bhatnagar
I had a wonderful time at Miyuki and loved the delicious food and amazing hospitality of the staff at the hotel. Though it is situated a little far from the heart of the city, if you're a true foodie or a lover of Japanese food, the drive is totally worth it. Also, since the restaurant only seats 7 people, prior reservations are recommended. Please note that larger groups will have to sit in 3 Spices, the multi cuisine restaurant next door, due to space issues.
DoubleTree by Hilton Pune-Chinchwad
C32, Tata Motors Road, Midc, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Maharashtra 411019
Phone: 020 6731 3333