If your taste buds have been missing an exquisite Japanese meal comprising of sushi, ramen bowls, soups, dim sums, kimchi salad along with Asian culinary highlights, you must head to Kofuku in Ansal Plaza, Delhi or Kofuku at M3M IFC, Gurgaon to find your ultimate solace and high quotient of happiness. I visited the latter recently and returned with indelible impressions. Food connoisseurs based in Gurgaon and Faridabad will find it very convenient to visit. And once you are there, you will love it. First things first, the food is the center-stage here and when you sit down comfortably and savor the delicacies in horigotatsu style tatami seating space, (a traditional Japanese seating arrangement), the whole experience goes to another level. All those who wish to take a glimpse and build on their curiosity for Japanese cuisine and culture, Kofuku- an Izakaya style eatery is the place to begin with for high quality Japanese fare. I have been interested in knowing more about Japanese food and culture after my visit there.
What is Izakaya style dining in Japan? It is an informal Japanese eatery/bar where people come after-work for drinks and snacks.
This one serves Japanese Food and more
Even though Delhi NCR’s culinary scene and demand for global cuisines has been evolving quicker than one can fathom, not everyone seems keen on Japanese cuisine because they have been made to believe that there isn’t much for vegetarians and mostly, everything is served raw. We often limit ourselves to sushi and ramen but there is lots more to it. And I am glad Kofuku is helping in changing the perception. Also, the Indian Japanese restaurants have found recipes to keep the vegetarians happy by offering India inspired flavors. Personally, I quite relish the Kimchi, avocado sushi, Soba, Somen, Tofu bowls & Macha tea ice cream. My husband is a thorough vegetarian and I am a conscious one. I do not indulge in meat/fish until pressed for it. Kofuku had more than enough on the menu to keep us entertained and delightfully full. Full marks to Kofuku for offering a great selection to the vegetarians like us.
Also, if you are not very keen on Japanese, they have Chinese and Korean too. I really liked the fact that the menu is extremely elaborate and there is something for everyone, suited for those who may be beginning to experiment. And there are variety of dimsums and noodle bowls to choose from. The menu may seem confusing at first, lengthy too but its your way to digging into happiness. Do you know what ‘Kofuku’, means? It translates to ‘happiness’ in English.
The Kofuku Gurgaon Menu is a delightful read
The moment we entered, there was a happy and friendly vibe about the place. The warm lights complemented the contemporary decor. There were some traditional styled, enclosed spaces in horigotatsu style tatami seating where you can hang your legs below the table or fold them (cross-legged) as you do while sitting on the floor. I quickly slipped off my shoes, made my way to the elevated platform and seated myself in the wooden private space, though there were regular chair tables as well. Everything inside the room caught my eyes, especially the table setup. The chopsticks, the square plates, bowls, the wet napkin, bottle of sanitizer and a bell for ordering food made a neat first impression. I couldn’t wait to order food.
When the menu arrived, it served a delight in the form of number of dishes and information about them, both. The descriptive and pictorial format made it hands-on and interesting. For the uninitiated, the Kofuku menu guides you well and ensures that you know about your food before it arrives on the table. It also helps to understand and appreciate the food better. I enjoyed reading about the types of sushi, styles of cutting the avacado and the various noodle bowls before going for them. The pictures inside were beautiful and enticing. It is definitely one of the most interesting and engrossing menus that I have seen lately. Full marks for the effort and thoughtfulness behind its making.
The Elaborate Food Experience
The menu had impressed me and I wanted the food to be better than that. Without an iota of doubt, it turned out to be beyond my expectations. Let me decipher the flavors for you. The super spicy kimchi, creamy potato salad and radish pickle were served as side dishes in the beginning. Soon, we ordered for Avocado Carpaccio (Thinly cut avocado topped with tangy tomato salsa) which also introduced me to a new term ‘carpaccio’ which means a way of slicing meat/fish/veggie as thin as possible. We followed it up with pokchoi and mushroom dumplings, Gyouza dumpling soup and Wakame soup. (Gyouzas are Japanese dumplings and wakame is edible seaweed). The difference in the shape of the steamed dumplings and Gyouzas were visible on the table soon.
The avocado salad was soft and delicious, a combination with tangy tomato was something that I had eaten for the first time. The kimchi was super hot and I even dared to ask for a second helping. However, due to the rush in the restaurant, the server forgot to bring me more. Never mind, there was lots to come. The translucent wrapping of the dumplings got my eyes and then my taste buds. They were melt in the mouth for sure. The soups were tantalizing. I liked the Gyouza dumpling soup better. It had just the right flavors of sesame, veggies, broth that left me asking for more. I wanted to order a tofu dish as well but we were already half full.
Without taking much break, we went for the real deal, the sushis and the Ramen bowl. First we ordered a super crunchy roll (Uramaki type) with avocado and mushroom fillings. I must say this has to be one of the most unique sushi that I have had. The filling was fresh, the flavors were perfect (inspired by Indian flavors) but the crunchiness emerged as the winner. Every bite was mouth-watering. And the wasapi was apt to my liking. It felt close to Japanese nirvana. The noodle bowl was irresistibly delicious. It was filling, refreshing and very authentic in its feel, filled in with fresh ingredients and soba noodles.
The sushi was too good and we wanted some more. While turning the pages of the menu, I was intrigued by the different types of it -Nigiri, Temaki, Maki, Uramaki, Sashimi, Inari. What is the differentiating factor? They are named depending on the style of rolling, handpressing, inside-out roll, etc. and of course the filling inside.
To study the difference and add to my knowledge, I requested the manager to help me with two of each type. Except two, others were served to us on the platter in no time. And not only did we enjoy the fresh creations but also learned the difference between Maki, Nigiri and Inari type of sushi. After eating a heartful amount of sushi, I decided to skip the dessert and keep the hot pot for next time. Overall, it was a great experience and made for a warm and welcoming place to enjoy some truly delicious Japanese food. Looking at the busy Saturday evening and the magic that they serve, I felt Kofuku Gurgaon might need a much bigger space for themselves. And as you can see, the pictures speak for themselves and narrate the story of my good food day!
Have you visited Kofuku Gurgaon yet? Do share your experience too. What would you recommend me for my next visit?