Teppanyaki king comes calling
For Chef Midorima, a first-time visitor to India, the country has been nothing but a bag full of surprises.“I knew India was very good in IT, but I was surprised to see big buildings and malls,” says the 34-year-old with bleached hair from Okinawa, Japan, via his interpreter. “I never thought there would be such big restaurants here! I’d imagined that no international dishes were available in India.”
Midorima, for whom this is also his first international trip, was in town for two days to dish out teppanyaki and sushi specialities for diners at Kylin, Vasant Kunj. It’s teppanyaki that he is a master of. While he studied French cuisine and even worked in a French restaurant for almost ten years, Midorima gave it up to don a teppanyaki chef’s hat five years ago. “I chose it because the customer sits before you and you can interact with him or her,” he explains. “Teppanyaki is a style of cooking. Teppan means ‘iron plate’, and yaki means ‘grilled or broiled’,” he adds.
At Kylin, he paired teppan-style chicken, fish or vegetables with garlic or sticky rice and miso soup.Explaining the USP of Japanese cuisine, the chef says, “It’s very light with less spices. The decorating style also differs according to the four seasons.” But the chef also has a palate for spicy stuff — we are told that Midorima is a fan of kebabs, so much so that an overdose of them at a Gurgaon diner left him with a queasy stomach! Ask him about his take on Indian cuisine and he exclaims, “Oishi! (tasty)”, before taking leave to go souvenir shopping.