Tokyo Bay has been drawing the crowds for its authentic Pan Asian menu!
Fort Kochi is the ideal blend of the old and the new, of colonial charm and Kerala traditions, of ancient heritage and contemporary art. Its magic lies in the confluence of many cultures, religions, traditions, art, architecture, commerce and cuisines. And rightly so, it is also a favoured haven for tourists, art lovers and food connoisseurs. Asian Kitchen by Tokyo Bay has found its place in this enchanting part of Kochi and it has been drawing crowds for its authentic Pan Asian menu, a first of its kind in Kerala that has to its credit seven different types of cuisine – Japanese, Chinese, Malaysian, Thai, Indonesian, Singaporean and Vietnamese. RITZ explores the delectable delicacies offered here with Roopa George, MD of Tokyo Bay and the Executive Chef, Amit Rai!
Words: Riya Sonny Datson
Photography: Arun A Menon
Asian Kitchen by Tokyo Bay was launched in the Cochin Club almost two years ago. The club that recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, was exclusively built for the British nationals residing in Fort Kochi. But after independence, as the colonial rulers left the Indian terrain, this beautiful property was opened to Indians. “For the Baby Marine group, this is our first venture in the hospitality segment and thanks to our marine export wing, we are able to offer the best quality sea food at our restaurant,“ says owner Roopa George. Guests are welcomed with a warm, friendly smile at this pleasing restaurant that scores high on service. The single floor diner opens out to well-manicured lawns that serve as a perfect party venue and the surrounding lush green trees lends itself to the cool ambience. Guests have the option to dine inside or along the open veranda. The colourful Chinese lanterns that line the portico and the light instrumental music playing in the background, all add to the whole Asian feel. Chef Amit Rai pops in between, in his cheerful demeanour to check on his guests.
“Being a Pan Asian restaurant, you must try the signature delicacies of each cuisine to understand the variety we offer. To start with, I recommend the Tom Yum soup which is a Thai speciality,” smiles Chef Rai. This hot and spicy broth with shrimp and mushrooms, has a citrusy tint to it along with the distinct flavour of lemon grass, Galangal (a Thai herb) and coriander roots. Just as we begin to sip into its taste, the Butter Garlic Prawns arrive, a luscious Chinese delicacy! This amazing appetiser is essentially batter fried prawns with the rich flavour of garlic, butter and Broccoli – an absolute must have!
Of course, the tantalising Japanese Sushi, one of the most popular dishes at the restaurant makes its grand entry next – Chef recommends the ‘Tempura Maki’ specially curated by him. This delicacy has cooked prawn wrapped in seaweed and vinegared rice and finally rolled in tempura crumbs. The Tempura Maki is served with Gari, (or pickled ginger), soya sauce, salad and the Wasabi paste, which is made out of horse radish. When asked about the popularity of the dish, Chef explains that though Tokyo Bay is known to serve authentic Sushi, which is really uncooked, guests often enquire for a cooked version.
The main course culminates in the much celebrated Nasi Goreng, an Indonesian speciality! This platter has a generous portion of fried rice, tossed with Sambal Belacan (a native Indonesian chilli paste), shrimp and fried egg and accompanied with the chicken satay. The dish served with crispy prawn crackers and a light onion salad is a full meal by itself! The rice has a sticky texture to it, is spicy and lightly sweet to taste, laced with the flavour of shrimp. The juicy peanut flavoured chicken satay compliments it perfectly along with the crackers and the salad! “While sea food happens to be very popular here, our vegetarian delicacies like the Thai green curry are equally divine and a big hit too. The credit goes to our Executive Chef and his expert team!” smiles Roopa. I couldn’t agree more!
The grand finale of course, is the refreshing double scoops of flavoured ice cream, a signature dessert crafted by the Chef. The first scoop is an exotic blend of Vanilla Ice cream with Japanese green tea called Matcha! And yes, the colour of this dessert is a beautiful tea green! The second is a scoop of vanilla ice cream blended with coconut and jaggery – the wonderful ethnic flavours of Kerala. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to the perfect Pan Asian dinner!