Sample authentic dishes from Japan
May 9, 2018 | 6:40 PM
by Times News Service
Takara Restaurant

For those of you who have slowly started understanding the science of food and appreciating the art behind it, trying different cuisines and exploring the cultures of the world through food is an important experience. The authenticity of food is paramount to making this culinary journey true and real. While there are ample restaurants trying to do just that in Oman, very few have managed to step away from fusion and mixed cuisines.

One such restaurant that has successfully managed to bring the tradition and culture of another country onto its beautiful plates is Takara, which in English translates to treasure. Nestled cosily in the Intercontinental Muscat, the restaurant reveals the treasures of Japanese cuisine from different parts of the country, giving it a modern touch without hindering the authenticity of the original food. Similar to other Asian countries, rice is an important element of Japanese cuisine, the significance of which dates back to the wet rice cultivation in the region more than 2000 years ago. The cuisine has undoubtedly gone through tremendous evolution over the years to suit the tastes and preferences of not just the natives but also of people across the globe who have developed a strong fondness for Japanese food. Seafood, vegetables and seasonal ingredients are commonly associated with Japanese cuisine.

While many think that the cuisine is limited to sushi, which is just raw fish and rice, it is after a trip to a real Japanese restaurant such as Takara that one will understand and appreciate the variety it has to offer. At Takara, you get to try sashimi, miso, kushiyaki (grilled), tempura, and tepanyanki, apart from an array of sushi.

For those who aren’t accustomed to traditional Japanese or international food, the idea of having anything raw, especially fish, might be a turn off. But sashimi, which is slices of raw fish, when done with the right fresh fish, prepared the right way, and most importantly savoured with the right sauces, can become your next favourite meal.

Often served as the first course during a formal Japanese meal, in Takara, it is presented (and not just served) in a flat plate alongside fresh vegetables and a teaspoon of the hot and flavoursome wasabi and ginger. It can either be devoured with the standard soy sauce or some of the stronger sauces prepared according to the dish by the expert chef, Sofyan. Another highlight of Takara is the grill bar or kushiyaki built right at the end of the restaurant. Grilled skewers of beef, chicken, prawn and vegetables with the mouth-watering teriyaki sauce can fill your stomach and make your day.

Delicious platter at Takara Restaurant

You obviously can’t go to a Japanese restaurant and not try the sushi straight off the sushi bar. It will definitely be a tough choice amidst the raw fish and rice sushi or the slightly fried ones, the white fish or yellowtail sushi, and the avocado- or mango-filled sushi. Make sure your appetite is great and metabolism even better so you can try it all and have no regrets.

And if you are in an adventurous mood, try the wholesome platter comprising sashimi, sushi, tempura, and veggies seasoned with the pink or orange pearls, which are caviar-like eggs or flying fish roe.

Location: Takara, Intercontinental Muscat, Qurum

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