Hey, Foodwala’s…Welcome to another tale of Alfie Foodwala.
I was reading the fascinating story of Mr. Ali of the Shish Mahal who invented the Chicken Tikka Masala by accident, Legend has it that Mr. Ali was nursing the most eponymous of ailments that afflict the entrapreneurwala’s… the stomach ulcer.
Mr. Ali was enjoying some Campbells Tomato soup when a disgruntled Glasgow bus driver sent back his chicken tikka saying it was too dry, the quick thinking Mr. Ali instructed the chef to put some tomato soup and seasoning with the Chicken Tikka and serve it.
The rest as we say is history.
I then wondered what other foods were made by accident, well it transpires that Artificial sweetener was invented by accident, when a German scientist was developing an Anti Ulcer drug and he could not get rid of the residue forming in the bottom of a Petrie dish, the sciencewala being a curious chap tasted the residue and found it really sweet and Eureka…Artificial sweetener was born.
Another fascinating urban legend is how Worcestershire Sauce was accidentally created, Lord Sumly returned from his stint as the Governor of India and missed the spicy food he left behind so he instructed to cooks, John Lea, and William Perrin to recreate a sauce that was spicy yet sweet, the boys went on to create a concoction but they could not get it right and out of frustration the whole endeavor was scrapped and a few bottles were left on the shelf to gather dust, a couple of years later they stumbled on the bottles and instead what any normal person would have done and filed it in the bin, they opened the bottle and tasted the content and it was perfectly spicy yet sweet and the Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce was born.
The point of my story is that the Japanese Katsu Curry was created by an enterprising Japanese chap who listened to the moanings of Indian traders in Kobe who complained that the Japanese food was too dry, the chap put some spices in Miso Soup and voila Katsu curry was born.
To commemorate the Katsu curry the Foodwala family decided to visit the Nippon Kitchen.
The restaurant is decorated in an unusual pseudo-Japanese / Scottish style, which is an acquired taste.
We kicked off the proceedings with some Miso soup which is a traditional Japanese soup consisting of a stock called “dashi” into which softened miso paste is mixed along with tofu and seasoning.
The Miso soup was light umami taste and was a great palette cleanser for the main event.
I am a great fan of Dim Sum so I opted for the Japanese version, the dumplings are wrapped in paper-thin flour sheets and then steamed and finished off on a teppan grill.
the Gyoza was soft, crispy and delicious, the fillings were moist and well seasoned.
The chili noodle hit the spot, The chili sauce had a hint of sweetness and the peppers, onions, and noodles were stir-fried together, the noodle sauce balance was just right as I struggled not to stain my Lora Piana t-shirt.
The Katsu curry was not what I expected, the panko chicken was light and crispy, yet the Katsu gravy tasted as it was the gravy from the local chippy, it was dense and gloppy and with a thick unsightly film on top.
In Conclusion, Nippon Kitchen was authentic Japanese as PF Changs is Chinese.
The food was tasty but was not amazing.
The service was functional without being friendly.
Overall it was a middle of the road effort.