This young man, still unmarried, has sixteen years of experience in cooking. He passed out from cooking school in Osaka where he was required to study Japanese, European and Chinese food for one year, before specializing in one area. Uno decided to specialize in Japanese, French and – hold your breath! – vacuum packed food. From being an understudy at a kaiseki restaurant in oh so traditional Kyoto he worked in the European section of a large hotel in Tokyo and then in a French restaurant in New York. His background has made him what he is today: an extremely talented Japanese artiste who combines French techniques with Japanese ingredients to create magic. His current assignment is in The Claridges, Suraj Kund, where the small counter over which he presides is always booked by the city’s cognoscenti.
Upper Crust was treated to the full range of his genius at a lunch where there were four courses. Sashimi was the new style, that is to say, without soy sauce served alongside. Thus, there were four salty ingredients atop each piece of sashimi. The steamed shrimp was salty with caviar, the kampachi (yellowtail) with seasoned with sansho pepper marinated with yuzu, the “sandwich” of scallop and black truffle was sprinkled over with sea urchin powder.
Other courses consisted of foie gras chawan mushi, the delicate egg custard that is steamed along with two or three ingredients, followed by cherry wood smoked salmon confit. All Chef Uno’s ingredients are of the best quality, many hand carried from Japan. And because he is young, he has no preconceived notions about how the food of his ancestors ought to be eaten. Many is the time that a Delhi customer has come up to him and requested a “very spicy tuna roll” and Uno has delivered the best, tastiest and spiciest tuna roll possible.
With that kind of can do attitude, we think that there’s many an Indian lass waiting to succumb to his charms!