TV Times

Kyoto cuisine created in Colombo

By Sanath Weerasuriya

Japanese Cuisine has become increasingly popular in recent years in Sri Lanka. Though Colombo has not got many authentic Japanese Restaurants, the passion for real Japanese dishes grows with many Sri Lankans as well as expatriates based in Colombo.

The Ceylon Hotel School (CHS) has come up with a solution to the growing demand for the Japanese Cuisine. They have invited one of the most legendary Chefs Takuji Takahashi from Kyoto’s world famous Kinobu Restaurant to train the Sri Lankan chefs.

Chef Takuji Takahashi, third-generation chef/owner of the legendary Kinobu Restaurant in Kyoto is now in Colombo for one month intensive training for Sri Lankan Chefs in authentic Japanese cuisines.
When I met Takuji at the residence of Kunio Takahashi, the Japanese ambassador for Sri Lanka, he was busy preparing his first stately dinner for the invitees.

‘I am so happy to be in Colombo and this is my first visit to much loved Sri Lanka. I am sure I will be able to find relevant ingredients for authentic preparations’ he said Chef Takahashi started by establishing his philosophy on what’s at the core of culinary art, that almighty Mother Nature is the heart of all food preparation. ‘Quality ingredients are not simply manufactured, but are products of our nature working hard’ he added.

Chef Takahashi said that Japanese cuisine is simply based on nature friendly and healthy with a close relationship with ocean and water. ‘We have many fish preparations and use lot of sea weeds, green and leaves as based items’ he said.

The authentic Japanese dishes played a major role at the dinner that night and Chef Takahashi has explained his creations briefly to the diners at the table. Appetizers include Sesame bean curd with Wasabi and Dashi and Horse mackerel with marinated kombo. The soups comprise of Sea basses dressed with powered arrowroot, Bok Choy Shredded plums citrus fruit with clear soup.

Deep fried prawns with chopped potatoes fried sweet potatoes and Kidney beans, cucumber with grated radish and green onion dressed with sweet vinegar are some of the dishes I enjoyed in the midst of unknown Japanese delicacies.

Ginger rice with grilled Spanish mackerel , red-miso soup and pickle seems to be close to the Sri Lankan palette. The most popular is the Dessert- Shaved ice with powdered green tea and small beans and rice flour dumplings.

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