(Guest post by Najia Syed)
As a food lover and an explorer, I have always been lucky enough to taste different cuisines of the world including European, Asian and African food – but it’s our Pakistani chefs who have always provided a sublime experience for my taste buds – and I recently have one such awesome experience while dining at Asian Aroma.
It was a foggy evening in Lahore- the city of fascinations – when on the recommendation of a close friend; I visited the new culinary wave in the city, a Japanese Restaurant – Asian Aroma at Park Lane Hotel.
On reaching restaurant, the friendly manager led us through the hall with a flexible layout for both bar and traditional table settings. The neutral color was complimenting the fine dining experience and was soothing to eyes.
I lowered my eyes on menu pages, which were thick with a variety of Japanese and English names. Despite of having familiarity with Japanese cuisine and after going through the menu thrice I couldn’t make my mind about what to order.
Chef Abdullah gauged my frustration from across the bar tables and came to my rescue. He recommended some of the hot favorites from the menu and also shared valuable information about the ingredients and origins of the dishes.
While I was busy chit chatting with my friends in the calm environment of the restaurant, a humble gentleman, Shehzad, served the aromatic and visually-pleasant dishes to us.
A wide variety of vegetarian and non-veg foods were served in small portions, using one of five standard cooking techniques as mentioned by Chef Abdullah. All foods were divided into five color groups (green, red, yellow, white, and black-purple) and six tastes (bitter, sour, sweet, hot, salty, and delicate).
Two uniquely Japanese foods are sushi (fresh raw seafood with rice) and sashimi (fresh raw seafood with soy sauce); both rely on freshly caught fish or seafood and Asian Aroma ensures that.
Dishes prepared in a single pot (nabemeno ) was the real fascination. Sukiyaki the dish made up of paper-thin slices of beef (or sometimes chicken), vegetables, and cubes of tofu cooked in broth was divine.
Shabu-shabu, the beef and vegetables, also cooked in broth but then dipped in flavorful sauces. We ended our dinner with a refreshing green tea session. Overall, it was a delightful experience of eating at Asian Aroma providing an unforgettable experience of enjoying the authentic Japanese food in the heart of Lahore.
(Pics are randomly taken from Asian Aroma Facebook page)