‘Kanpai’ to a good life!

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In a place like Mumbai, you never know what are you going to try next. So, my next experience was something really new for me. We were invited over to Kanpai Longue and Bar – Mumbai’s first Japanese lounge and bar. To be really honest, I really did not know this place even existed. Hardly on the papers, Twitter, Instagram posts nowhere to be heard off. Little do the people know that this place has some really amazing Japanese Food. Well, I am no expert in Japanese food as this myself was my second time trying struggling to cope with the chopsticks and food. The name too, is wisely set and translates to ‘Cheers’.

Located on the 6th floor of Shoppers Stop Bandra, Kanpai is nicely tucked right besides Kofoku. The ambiance to start with is amazing, a lounge like feel with some amazing characters to start with. Those fiery tigers, butcher demons and what not. The set up is almost like a normal lounge bar, dim lights and a cozy bar seat.

The playlist was a mix of both. What made my feet tap was some good soothing japanese music.

The Food:

1. Salmon Nigiri:

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We started of with the Salmon Nigiri, A decadent sushi with Norwegian Salmon. Well, I cant really judge how good or bad it is with the rest, but this was one definitely had me at sushi! My struggles with chopsticks continued even after some training by Afshaa and Mrugank.

2. Hamachi (Yellow Tail) Carpaccio:

Paper thin slices of Carpaccio with a zest of Wasabi, yuzu (citrus lemon) and mirane (rice wine) dressing. Everyone’s favorite dish on the table for sure making this a Must Try!

3. Crispy Prawn Cheung Fun:

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I am not so familiar with this dish, but to best describe this I would call it a noodle roll with a crispy prawn stuffed inside it and steamed. A pretty simple dish but very tasty indeed.

4. Yaki Tori Chicken:

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This was my personal pick out of everything I had so far. Grilled chicken pieces on a skewer marinated with a lovely sauce with soy sauce, stock, mirin and sugar. The sauce added a lot of flavor to the chicken giving it a sweet and salty flavor. A must try again. The skewers are called as kushi which is made by bamboo.

5. Rock Shrimp:

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If you smeeeeel what the rock is cooking? Yes, we did! The rock was cooking up some rock shrimp. Did not know how to describe this, but it was a golden yellow batter with rock shrimp inside with a tangy sauce.

Note: There are a couple of veg options which we tried a bit, did not write them down.
P.S – They have jain sushi too!

For Drinks:

1. Yuzu Martini:

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A concoction made with a mix of Yuzu – Japanese citrus fruit, gin and sweet and sour. My personal favorite.

2. Wasabita:

The strongest of em all! The wasabita had a taste that did not agree with me. It had a mix of Garisobha (pickled japanese ginger), Tequila and triple sec and with salt on the rims of the glass. A strong concoction and acted like a palate cleanser between meals.

3. Sake Politian:

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The Japanese version of the famous cosmopolitan. This lovely drink is made with a mix of the famous sake, prange liqueur and cranberry. A refreshing drink to go along with the food.

The Amuse Bouche at Kanpai ended up with a round of shots made by the Ninja bartender who made them all up in a matter of seconds. With a roar of Kanpai, we all gulped down our shots with a few non alcoholic ones too 😛

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The overall experience was absolutely fantastic!

I’d like to thank Ekta, team Kunsla and the entire staff at Kanpai for this lovely Japanese experience.

Doumo arigatou gozaimasu!

Kanpai and Tabete mimashou (Bon appetit) 😉

– Amrith

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