Recent years have witnessed a marked upsurge in interest in Pan Asian food. Multicuisine restaurants and cafes now make sure to dedicate at least one section of their menu to these flavourful dishes. A number of establishments also take pride in specialising in Pan Asian cuisine – a broad umbrella under which the variety is nothing short of stunning. If you want a taste of just how wide-ranging Pan Asian delicacies can be, Yazu offers a great opportunity. The fine-dining restaurant opened in a new space in Lower Parel over the summer. This is their third location overall – the others are in Andheri West and Candolim in Goa. We recently had a chance to visit their Lower Parel to try some of their signature dishes and drinks.
One of the first things one may notice here is the thickness of the menu (approx. 20 pages) and then discover that it’s only for food. The bar menu is separate, itself crosses 15 pages. There is no doubt that Pan Asian enthusiasts are going to be spoiled for choice here. The food menu has some classic sections: soups, salads, dumplings, small/ large plates, rice, noodles, etc. But what also catches the eye are the niche ones: Cheungung fung, poke bowls and the multiple subcategories for sushi. If you’re someone who’s often indecisive about what to order, you’re going to need some help! But for others, this expansive range would seem nothing short of enticing.
We began our meal with Yazu Crispy Cottage Cheese, consisting of pieces of paneer coated with crisp oats and tossed with curry leaves and chillies. This became an instant favourite not only due to the softness of the paneer, but also the novelty of a non-fried crust – that too made up of oats. The other small plate we opted for – Spicy Lotus Root – turned out to have a similar flavour profile. Both had a delicate sweetness under the heat. But the crispness of the roots was a different type of treat. We also marvelled at the width of the slices.
If it’s veg dumplings you’re after, we recommend the melt-in-the-mouth Truffle Edamame Dumpling, which has a smooth filling with hints of white truffle. It was light and satisfying. Another subtle delicacy we liked was the Avocado Sensei Roll, from the Maki sushi category. It contains cream cheese, cucumber, avocado and truffle mayo. It made for a refreshing change in texture.
We couldn’t choose between the many non-veg dim sums, so we opted for the Yazu Non-Vegetarian Dim Sum Experience Basket – a selection of dim sums from the menu. The filling included chicken, duck and seafood. While they were crafted well, none really stood out in terms of flavour to us. If we had to pick one, we preferred the Sriracha Chicken over most of the others. But our non-veg cravings were aptly satisfied when we indulged in the Gai Pad Krapow. This is an aromatic Thai-style gravy with minced chicken and lots of basil leaves. We paired it with Yazu’s Signature Truffle Edamame Rice, which turned out to be an unexpectedly great combination. This specific medley of flavours and textures is one we would consider returning for.
Other treats we would return for are Yazu’s mocktails and desserts. We enjoyed the ‘Sober Cocktail’ called the Yoshi. This is a lychee mocktail, with a hint of coriander. The most memorable part of our meal was the Shojo – a concoction of non-alcoholic amaretto, coconut syrup, pineapple juice, cranberry juice and lemon juice. Served in a glass rimmed with cinnamon sugar, this mocktail won us over immediately. Each of the ingredients made its presence felt and we were extremely tempted to order another round. Among the alcoholic options, we liked the Komorebi (with Pandan-infused pisco, homemade umeshu liqueur, passion fruit sorbet, orange juice and pandan syrup). The strength of the spirit definitely stands out in this one. We also loved the Fu Penzi Signature Sangria. Fu Penzi is a type of Chinese raspberry. Not only was its flavour infused into the drink, but a few pieces of the berries were also added to the glass. A must-try for Sangria lovers!
Among the desserts, we relished the decadent Chocolate Hazelnut Log. If you love this particular combination in general, this sweet treat will not disappoint. The log itself was a combination of fudge, mousse cream and pieces of chocolate. The crunch of the hazelnuts within was the final step to dessert heaven. You also don’t want to miss the Cheesecake here. This time, the flavour was Blueberry – but it was nothing like any other cheesecake we’ve seen. The cake itself is presented like sweet soil for a small tree to take root in. Chocolate crumb forms the topmost layer, while the tree itself is topped with some cotton candy. The cold fumes emanating from the serving plate were a theatrical element that we didn’t mind – after all, it was a fitting precursor to an incredibly delicious dessert.
Yazu is a wonderful choice for a leisurely family meal or a brunch with friends. We can safely say it has something for everyone! The next time you’re in the mood for Pan Asian, do head to Yazu and try out some of their delights for yourself.
Where: 2, One Lodha Place, Senapati Bapat Marg, opp. Lodha Supremus, Upper Worli, Parel
When: 12 pm to 3:30 pm, 7 pm to 1:30 am