Kofuku, which means ‘happiness’ in Japanese, is a restaurant that is a testament to the power of word of mouth. Having opened in Mumbai several years back, this Japanese eatery has been doing brisk business with expats and celebrities alike – with no advertising whatsoever. In fact even when they launched, they did so quietly without the whole PR shebang that is nowadays so common. Having never been before, I was keen to test the authenticity of the culinary experience that so many of my friends have been raving about.
Done traditionally with delicate silk screens and cloth lamps emanating a soothing glow, this place has a lounge and eating area. I would recommend you book one of the cubicles where you are seated on pillows in the conventional tatami floor seating which is a unique experience and also gives you a wonderful sky view of Bandra. Orchids sprout outside the window whilst soft Japanese music fills the air.
The menu by Chef James Biaka is extensive and interestingly has several vegetarian options. In fact all the vegetarian dishes I tried were really good, whether it was the Wakame Sunomono salad – mixed seaweeds in a citrus dressing that gently floats on the tongue, the Rock Corn Tempura or the thin, delicate slices of Tofu in Tomato Sauce which were wonderfully flavoured. The Ebi Tiger Prawns Tempura is a must-try, made on the blander side with a Dashi sauce, whilst the Tofu Teppanyaki had a chunky tofu steak spiced up by pork mince. Make sure you order some of their warm Sake (the traditional sweet alcoholic drink that’s made from fermented rice) to go with your meal, and of course there is an extensive range of sushi and maki rolls with a sushi bar holding place of pride in this restaurant. Matcha Ice-cream gave the meal an interesting ending.
The Beef Bulgogi was simply outstanding, not allowing my fork to be put down for even a second. Do not leave this restaurant without trying it!
Chicken In Wasabi sounded interesting, but I frankly preferred eating the grilled chicken slices sans the sauce.
(Kofuku, 6th Floor, Suburbia Mall, Next To Shoppers Stop, Linking Road, Bandra West, Mumbai; Tel +91-22-30151018)
By Farhad J. Dadyburjor, Mumbai