Tuesday 15 March 2022

Dessert Club takes us to Japan - India for Flight 3

Will Travel for Food Flight 3: Japan-India just took place and it was another big win for the Dessert Club. With Grapes & Soda playing as host, everyone took their seats and eagerly awaited their trays of food. This time around, the menu was vegan/vegetarian focused. Just like a real flight, each patron could pre-pick either the Japanese Tray or the Indian meal tray. I went with the Indian meal while my dining companions opted for the Japanese trays. 

Grapes & Soda has been on my list of places to visit for years, but just never got around to it. The majority of the space is dedicated to the cocktail bar, so it was only fitting that there would be special drinks for the evening. Mixed by Kaname Yasui, there was the Black Sancho Gimlet, a Roasted Banana Coconut Lassi and an Apple Oolong Soda. Of the three, the Apple Oolong Soda was the cocktail for me as I love fizzy sodas and it was on the sweeter side. 

The Vegan Japanese meal was curated by Tomoko Tahara of Maest Food. Her strong appreciation for ingredients and using in-season fresh produce were key factors for her menu. In fact, she made several changes to the original menu. There was a vibrant citrus salad, a clear dashi mochi soup, flavoured rice, gisei tofu, stuffed mushrooms and matcha cookies with a fruit gummy for dessert. It was a simple tray that had subtle flavours. The portions were small in the Japanese tray and truthfully, paled in comparison to the stunner that was the Indian meal!

Do not let Chef Sam Shem fool you with his Instagram handle, The Dessert Club, because the pastry extraordinaire is no stranger to the savoury world of the culinary arts. Helming the Indian half of the flight, Sam drew on his 10 years of living in India to create an exquisite tray of delicious Vegetarian and Vegan dishes. The tray was a feast for the eyes with its vibrant colours and textures. The Kitchari (lentil rice porridge) had a drizzle of tamarind sauce and fried cashews which left me scraping the bowl with my spoon. The vegetable pakoras were steam hot on the inside and perfectly crisp exterior. The Pineapple Puffed Rice dish was an excellent play of textures and flavours. There were two different salads, carrot dahl (lentil) and a beetroot salad. Both again were excellent. To finish, a gorgeous jackfruit sorbet that was citrusy and refreshing and paired well with the Indian sweet Soan Papdi (a sweet threadlike texture). 

Needless to say, everyone at the table was envious of my Indian tray because it was downright magnificent. When it came down to it, the Indian dishes were without a doubt superior in flavour, textures, portions and variety. You could tell Chef Sam really pulled out all the stops for it. He clearly was cooking from a place of passion. 

Cannot wait to board Flight 4 to the UK and Italy! I am already wearing my stretchy pants in anticipation of the mountains of pasta I plan on consuming. 

Apologies for the average pictures. I have still not mastered the art of photographing in dim lighting, so I thought I would make it easier on myself and use my cellphone. Sadly, the Samsung S10+ camera just does not compare to the quality of pictures that my Nikon DSLR takes. 


No comments:

Post a Comment