In a NUtshell
A Japanese themed restaurant in gurgaon frequented by the travelling Japanese population (we were the only Indians in the full restaurant), very good food (not indianized), good staff, very enjoyable experience
Address & other details: premium ichi zen
Meal for 2: ₹1500 onwards
Cuisine type : vegetarian & non vegetarian
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YUMMRAJ rates all the food items & then gives a final overall rating, which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster
Short description- in case u r in a hurry
How we got to know about the place & the Most hilarious situation.
We set off from home to go to a restaurant named kuuraku (read about it on social media). As we entered the almost deserted global foyer mall, we asked the guard about kuuraku. He did not understand. We said ‘Japanese restaurant’. He pointed towards a beautiful restaurant.
Outside that restaurant it was written ‘premium ichi zen’ in English & something else in Japanese.
So we asked the guy at the restaurant’is it kuuraku’? He said ‘yes’. We said ‘can we get a table for two’? He said yes.
At that point we imagined that ‘premium ichi zen’ might be the punch line & maybe the brand name kuuraku is written in Japanese.
We sat, we ordered, we ate, we loved the food. However all this while this thought was disturbing me – ‘is this kuuraku’? My partner came back from the washroom in the mall & said ‘there is another kuuraku near the washroom. There it is written in English kuuraku’.
When the lady at our restaurant was giving us the bill, we again asked – ‘is this kuuraku’? She said ‘no, kuuraku is a different restaurant’. We said ‘what is this place’. She said ‘premium ichi zen’!!!!!
We were ROFL on ourselves ……. the best part of this mishap was that we discovered a very nice restaurant.
Menu card was written only in Japanese (some pages) so that Japanese guests feel at home & we feel like in Japan!!!
There were pictures of food against every dish. The quality of print was not good – nowhere close to Japanese precision.
The entry to the restaurant is thru kind of a narrow lane with eating rooms (cabins) on one side.
The main dining hall had cabins on one side . The cabins were 3 sides closed & the fourth side view from outside could be restricted by rolling down blinds.
The center of the dining hall had dining tables with high wood walls around them. So one cud hear other guests but practically not see much of them.
On one end was the open view kitchen with a glass partition
On one corner was a bar.
The look & feel of the place was Japanese for sure.
As we sat in our cabin, we realized that there was no way to wave at anyone to place order / ask for anything. A quick scan across the table & we found the bell – to call the seeing person.
There were two menu cards. There was also a electronic menu card that cud be scanned on the phone.
The service was very good & warm.
We loved the food.
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
We started with assorted sashimi. there were three kinds of sashimi – maguro (tuna), salmon & himachi (yellowtail). the sashimis came in a very beautiful decoration. the soy sauce was given separately in a bottle. A ball of Wasabi was placed along with the sashimi.
We absolutely loved the sashimis (raw fish). Best sashimi for us was the salmon, followed by yellowtail. my memory says the sashimi platter at Wasabi was the best we have ever had. this sashimi at ichi zen was very good though.
The next dish we tried was Mochi buta maki – grilled mochi wrapped in pork.
Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made from a particular kind of short grained rice called Mochigome. The rice is pounded & moulded into different shapes.
In our dish, the mochi was in the form of a cylinder, around which bacon was wrapped. An orange dry powdered dip was given with this. Loved the dish. The mochi was soft, yet firm, a bit rubbery & fun to munch on. Rate it 4.25/5
Ebi butaniku yaki gyuoza – grilled shrimp & pork dumpling. The dumplings were pan fried. These were extremely juicy & were dripping as we bit them midway. The grilling led to a very interesting play of textures – soft vs. crisp.
It was recommended to us to have this with an oil that came in the bottle. Loved the combo.
Rate it 4.5/5
Aburi zuke maguro – broiled tuna marinated with soy sauce. In hind sight we cud hv skipped ordering this as there was much in common between this & the tuna sashimi , yet there was a big difference. The corners of the tuna was cooked, the mid area just marinated, almost raw.
The ginger paste added zing to the taste & flavor
Rate it 4.25/5
Kawa salt – chicken skin on a skewer , charcoal grilled. This came with pink salt on the side & a wedge of lemon. We tried it with this combination. Robust flavors, rich & oily (enjoyable) texture after chewing & crisp when it enters the mouth.
We also tried this with the oil & with soy. All different combos were very nice. Rate it 4.5/5
Reba salt – chicken liver on a skewer, charcoal grilled. We are generally fond of chicken liver. The reba was harder & drier than most versions we have eaten. The flavors & taste were spot on. The grilling with marinade was a new experience for us. Rate it 3/5
Next came Salmon harasu shioyaki – charcoal grilled salmon with salt. When it arrived in the tabke, it looked less impressive. Thin pieces of fish. A bite into the fish was enough to change our impression in seconds.
Robust flavors, juicy fish, very crisp outer layers. Great choice of fish. Perfectly cooked. Rate it 4.75/5
Butabara kushi – pork belly skewer was the last dish we had. Loved it as it is & also with the soy sauce. The sauce at the base of the skewer was sweet & excellent. Loved that combo too. The meat & the fat ratio was very good. Both the meat & the fat had a kind of crunch. Profusely juicy….. rate it 4.5/5
Overall rating of food at premium ichi zen averages out to 4.2/5
We started Japanese egg & crab meat. Super thin layers of omelette, topped with crab meat. Loved munching on it as it is & also by dipping a bit into the soy. Rate it 4.5/5
Went back to eat ramen. Found the picture of hot pot in menu card more interesting. Ordered it!!!
A miso based broth was brought to our table in a steel vessel, with veggies & raw pork in it. This was placed on a stove. we started picking portions in our respective bowls & eating …. the more it cooked, the flavors (due to the pork fat melting better & otherwise) were getting better but the textures (crunchiness of veggies) were getting bad. Enjoyed the meal. Remembered such meals at Korean restaurants in hongkong, from a decade back.
Rate this 4.25/5
Look forward to revisiting, to try the ramen & some set meals.