KooX brings a whole new festival menu straight from the back streets of Japan’s many cosmopolitan cities

Chicken Yakitori, Innaniwa Chicken Noodles, and Sticky Pork Chops

Trust KooX to come up with a menu to delight the people of Chennai with new flavors from Japan and that’s exactly what they did at the recent launch. Japanese Street Food Festival which was presented by the Consul General of Japan in Chennai, HE Taga Masayuki. Needless to say the rooftop ambience of the open air restaurant (which also has indoor seating) did the evening justice and a few hellos and conversations later we were seated at our tables with nice plates hot from ebi tempurasticky pork ribs and chicken tsukune. “The idea is to introduce the concept of Japanese street food to the city and help people understand that Japanese food has bite-sized delights beyond tempura and Sushisaid Sous Chef Umesh Singh as we started the meal.

Lift the tempura
While the ebi tempura (shrimp) saw a new presentation with matcha salt added to create a bit more spiciness, didn’t really work for us, even when paired with the delicious tempura sauce. Sticky pork ribs in a teriyaki the sauce however was juicy and an absolute meaty delight. Nobody does pork better than the Japanese, we were tempted to say, and we’re sure many of you would agree. The chicken tsukune on the other hand was an absolute surprise and the minced chicken meatballs that came with a Yakitori the sauce had a subtle tangy bite that keeps us coming back for more. We have associated these three entries with a Toki Sour — a cherry-infused whiskey tokiwith almond orgeat syrup and citrus-cherry bitters — a brand new creation from mixologist Hiramon Paul.

Ebi Tempura
Ebi Tempura
Broccoli and water chestnut skewers
Sushi platter
Sushi Dish

yes to Yakitori
Our next set of starters included broccoli and water chestnut skewers in a garlic togarashi sauce which seemed like an unlikely pairing but worked well together. The mild grilled broccoli complemented the nutty notes of the water chestnut to give us an Asian take on the pesto flavors we were pretty much on board with from the first bite. This was followed by a chicken Yakitori (bbq) which was as good as you would expect and a mushroom pizza with wood ear and shiitake which has just fallen flat. Maybe keeping pizza off the menu might be a good thing, for now. The toppings didn’t work and the base left a lot to be desired, as far as the pizza goes. The saving grace was the Roku Highball with which these dishes were paired – a roku gin with White Martini, peach and lemongrass cordial, tonic and a rim of lemon curd – a drink we will definitely be back for. There were also several Sushi options available.

Udon say!
We ended the meal with a few Innaniwa (thinner udon) chicken noodles as a main and a pot of vegan chocolate fudge for dessert and while the former was delicious to say the least, the latter left us wanting more. We implore KooX to offer more dessert options and soon!

Meal for two: INR 4,000+ (including alcohol). Until November 6.

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