5 years of Edo, ITC Gardenia

After 5 weeks of being on a strict no-nonsense diet owing to health reasons, I was delighted to get back into the food blogging scene with an invite to try out the special menu at Edo at the ITC Gardenia which celebrated 5 years of top notch Japanese food. This was the first time I’ve been to Edo. I’ve heard so much about it, so naturally, expectations were high. Giving me company for the evening were Ruth (here’s her blog) and Sudhakar, who’ve always been superb company for any meal where we all drool over food and music. Well, it was their anniversary, so it was more like I was crashing their party.

The meal started off with a Zensai. This was a platter that offered an assortment of dishes including Toro Renkon (Fatty Tuna on crispy Lotus chips),Mozuku (Stringy Seaweed),Tori Gyoza (Mince Chicken and Ginger Dumpling) and a Kani Salada (Japanese mayo marinated Crab and Flying Fish Roe). Staying true to Japanese cooking, every dish on this platter offered subtle elegant flavours. My favourites were the Kani Salada and the Mozuku. The former was a very summer dish with all the cucumber and mayo marinated crab. Light on the stomach, I was willing to order and entire bowl of salad of just this. While I have tried sea weed before, and wasn’t impressed then. This preparation however introduced me to some new flavours. Almost like light tamarind chutney, the stringy sea weed helped remove the unpleasant memories of the previous sea weed dish I had had.

No Japanese meal is complete without Sushi and Sashimi. This evening, we were presented with three varieties - the Chutoro, Sake, Kanpachi (Fatty tuna, Salmon, Young Yellow Tail). Accompanied with freshly done wasabi, every piece was elegant. Each of these offered the elegance you’d expect from a restaurant like Edo. Subtle flavours of the fish differentiating one from the other. 

Next up was my favourite dish of the evening. Straight from the grill, the Negima (Chicken and leek Yakitori) with the Ebi (Grilled Prawns) were the most flavourful dish of the evening. The light sweet sauce on top of the slightly crunchy chicken on the skewer, supplemented by the leek really woke up my taste buds after 5 weeks of hibernation. The prawns on the side were grilled perfectly and besides the meat, were consistent in flavour with the chicken. If ever there was a way for my taste buds to come back to life, this was probably the way to do it. Strong flavour, yet not overwhelming. 

Before we hit the main course, a plate of Agemono (Light and crisp Tempura with accompaniments) was served. Compared to what we had eaten previously, this was the weakest dish of the evening. The dish fell right in the center of familiar tempura territory. What I was hoping for was that the sauces would introduce me to a new flavour or something that made me go wow. Unfortunately, they were nothing new in terms of flavour. While the dish tasted good, it did nothing for me with the wow factor.

The main course was a relatively simple fried rice of vegetables and some egg. 

Dessert threw up some good surprizes and stuck with the elegant theme of the evening. We were offered a platter which consisted of Madagascar Chocolate Mousse, Yuzu cheesecake and a Kaboocha Kasutera. While the chocolate mousse ticked all the boxes in terms of flavour and presentation, the Kaboocha Kasutera - a Japanese sponge cake with guava on top was the winner in the dessert. This was a completely new flavour for me and the guava did a fantastic job of cleansing the palate after the meal.

My very first meal at Edo was everything I expected it to be. From good service, to elegant food and superb company, the evening was definitely a memorable one. I look forward to my next meal at Edo once I am fighting fit so that I can try out some of the more ambitious Japanese flavours.