Eest: An ode to Asian flavours

Last week I had the opportunity to visit the newly revamped Eest, an Asian outpost in Westin Gurgaon and sample their new menu by chef Hashimoto, chef Karan, chef Jatsalid and team.

The restaurant which opened its gates back in 2010, has recently revamped the space and menu and the renovation has given the restaurant a new lease of life — Chinese vases, dim sum baskets, spice wall, and a whole section dedicated to kettles. The cheerful bright space is a welcome change from the dark, almost dingy Asian restaurants one usually encounters.

The star of the new Eest, however is Chef Hashimoto, the expat chef from japan, who gives this place an edge over any other eastern eatery. We met the chef and in true Japanese style, he was quiet, humble, and smiling — an indication that he lets his food talk for himself.

Chef Hashimoto

To ensure you get the authentic Japanese experience, the chef also gets his ingredients all the  way from Japan.  The Tempura base comes from Tokyo, as does the fish, and udon, the authentic rice noodles.Impressed by the list, we requested the chef to serve us whatever he wanted to and he did not disappoint.

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The Sushi came first, along with Sashimi. While the sushi gave the heady kick of wasabi, and tantalized all our taste buds, the Sashimi won us with the quality of the fish — Salmon from Norway, Tuna from Tokyo. The tempura, with never ending prawns — also from Tokyo — was crisp mild and beautifully done. The chef’s soy meanwhile added just the right amount of umami.

Udon came next. In a mild broth, with a heady serving of tempura on top. The thick rice noodles, the mild watery broth, the meaty tempura together worked wonders. To say it was one of the best things I ate all evening would not be wrong.

 

I was a little unsure about the Saké and wanted to drink something more conventional, but when Roshan the manager insisted we tried the Sake, I agreed. The Sake turned out to be Sweet, cold, and very refreshing — a perfect accompaniment to the fresh flavours of the sushi, sashimi, and rolls. 

Dim Sums.jpg

Dim sums are my weak point and now that we were done with the Japanese, I had to try them. The versions served to us were made with fungus and cheese, asparagus and mushroom, shrimp, chicken, and pork — no I did not eat all, but I loved every one I sampled.

The Chinese starters and main course came next but despite the large spread and great ingredients they were not out of the world. I had expected more flavours and textures both of which were missing. The Pad Thai looked a little sad and tired, stuffed into a soup bowl (we had asked for tiny portions) so we gave it a miss. Over all, as Chinese fan, I was a disappointed.

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The main course however was saved by a flavourful and extremely well made Green Curry, Basil Chicken and Jasmin rice that the chef made specially upon our request. No, that is not in picture because we ate it up quickly.

If I have to call out a favourite from what the chefs fed us, I would go with the rolls, the Udon, the curry, and the coconut caramel custard. All of these were outstanding. .

Also learnt that Eest’s new menu has been introduced with great affordable prices with an expansive array of japanese, Chinese and Thai, and a vast beverage menu of teas, coffees, and of course sake.

Should you check it out? Of course.

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