When Saurabh Khanijo, CEO, Kylin Premier, ate out of the hands of teppanyaki master chef Yasuhiko Otaka, at his restaurant in Osaka, Japan, he knew Delhi was missing something. “It was one of the best Japanese food that I had had, and I knew I had to get the master chef at Kylin to share his expertise,” says Khanijo.
And after two years of convincing, when Otaka finally arrived, he carried plenty of his favourite ingredients — fresh salmon, kobe beef and tofu with him and left everyone impressed with his splendid teppanyaki presentation and also held a five day extensive training session for the Kylin staff.
Talking about the newest trends in Japanese cuisine, Otaka says, “The best thing that’s happening to Japanese cuisine is that the focus is shifting to healthy eating. No one wants to get stuffed with fried food. Steamed and chargrilled food items are gaining popularity,” says the chef who doesn’t understand a word of English and talks through an interpreter.
Yakitori skewered food that includes poultry and non-poultry items, skewered and grilled over charcoal, has also become trendy, according to Otaka. “You don’t have to worry about piling up pounds, as yakitori is made from bite-sized pieces, and that’s why you see so many young and happening people across the world loving Japanese cuisine so much,” he says. As to what makes the perfect sushi, he says, “For the perfect sushi, make sure that the fish is fresh, and the rice is rightly steamed, and yes, do stay away from chicken tikka sushi.”