Japanese Chef Hikaru Takahashi
- Reopens on Tuesday, 17 March
- New items introduced to menu
Ikoi Tei, the Hilton Colombo’s authentic Japanese cuisine restaurant, is reopening to the public on Tuesday, 17 March.
The restaurant, which has been deeply missed over the last year by Japanese food lovers, is celebrating its return in style with several all-new dishes on the menu, which features a total of 90 items.
Undoubtedly one of Sri Lanka’s finest Japanese food places, Ikoi Tei is able to shine this bright thanks to the man at its helm, Japanese Chef Hikaru Takahashi, and his dedication to serving up the finest food.
Takahashi, who has been with the Hilton for more than five years and been in and out of Sri Lanka for some 15 years, is deeply familiar with the preferences of locals and he combines this familiarity with authentic Japanese flavours effortlessly.
The restaurant was opened to the media for a private tasting a few days ago and Takahashi served up a tantalising combination of starters, mains and desserts.
Stars of the show on the day were undoubtedly the Salmon Sashimi, Teriyaki Seer, sushi platter – featuring Salmon Nigiri, Aburi, Spicy Tuna Gunkan, California Roll, Hot Night Roll, Spicy Salmon Roll and Tamago Yaki – and the Garlic Rice.
According to Executive Chef Robert Mujagic, Chef Takahashi creates his own signature soy sauce so Ikoi Tei doesn’t use “simple soy sauce” – “We use a signature soya sauce as well as some aged soya sauce that is around four years old. Soy sauce is like a good red wine – better as it ages.”
Mujagic added: “We have also re-launched the menu. We take traditional Japanese food and twist it by cooking and presenting it in a modern way.”
Simplicity is at the heart of the menu here. Typical of Japanese cuisine, seafood plays an integral part, with tuna sushi and sashimi lending elegance to the intricately plated selections. The Spicy Tuna Roll and Hot Night Roll are two of the top dishes and perfectly match local palates.
Tempura is another favourite amongst local diners and Ikoi-Tei delivers on all fronts with special attention to a large helping of fried vegetables with a dipping sauce that even a dedicated meat-eater would find appetising.
The dessert section continues to play with authentic but restrained Japanese flavours. The green tea ice cream fried a deep golden brown in tempura batter is a firm favourite. The dessert section is comparatively smaller than the rest of the menu but provides the perfect end to a meal.
Ikoi-Tei brings together all the best elements needed for an enjoyable meal. Whether it’s an intense working lunch or a laid back meal with family and friends, the restaurant, with its iconic landmark and warm setting, provides the perfect setting to create new memories.
Pix by Upul Abayasekara