A stylish Japanese restaurant in the shadow of the Qutab Minar
Whether you want a spicy “Japanese curry”, a teppanyaki grilled chicken or a delicate chawan-mushi, it’s all here.
In a spacious heritage building with an immaculate lawn and a sprinkling of designer shops on the ground floor, En is pure zen with its plethora of rooms with as few tables as possible: here is one restaurant where you won’t feel crowded upon. There are three terraces, all with a view of Qutab Minar; the topmost has a cover charge. There is a Japanese chef and a few Indian ones. No prizes for guessing who cooks whose order! That apart, it is great that a restaurant caters to all segments of its clientele effortlessly.
Fish calpaccio (sic) with salad (Rs 1500) defines En: a stylish Japanese eatery with cooking processes and ingredients from elsewhere in the world, put together for a Japanese sensibility. The dressing had olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice in it, yet still managed to be overtly Japanese. Foie gras with scallop (Rs 2000) was a development on the same theme: goose liver is hardly a Japanese ingredient but paired with the optimally cooked scallop it presented an oriental view of a French classic. Most of the cold appetizers left me just that – cold, but the dashimaki (Japanese omelette with fish stock) for Rs 500 was an intensely savoury take on an uncomplicated omelette. All the hot appetizers, maki rolls and teppanyaki are made for an audience who likes spicy, fried food, so if it is the classic taste of sushi you are after, order the sashimi and nigiri: eel, scallop, tuna, red snapper, yellowtail, squid and prawn. Our teppanyaki tuna steak with teriyaki sauce (Rs 2,000) was sadly overcooked. On the other hand, if you do have a special request, it is the teppanyaki chef who is best placed to oblige you.
I didn’t spot chawan-mushi on the menu, but was told that it is available. This ultra-light egg custard with chopped shiitake mushrooms and crab sticks swirled into it was pleasant enough, but not as good as it elsewhere in the NCR. En obviously has a list of items that are not on a printed menu. The desserts are all western-style and not Japanese enough.
Must tries: Braised pork ribs, tempura udon, seafood tartar with caviar
Food: 3.50, Service: 3.50, Décor: 4.00
H 5/1 New Ambawatta Complex, Kalkadas Marg, Mehrauli
Open from: 12 noon to 3 pm, 6.30 to 11.30 pm
Alcohol served; credit cards accepted
Tel no. (+91) 11 26646471, (+91) 11 26646472, (+91) 9810363554
Meal for two: Rs 5000