In a NUtshell
A Japanese themed restaurant in gurgaon, part of an international chain, frequented by the travelling Japanese population & also a sizeable Indian population, very good food (not indianized) with a super wide chicken menu, some pork & minimal fish & seafood offering, excellent warm & efficient staff, Japanese style seating, very enjoyable, immersive experience
Address & other details: kuuraku
Meal for 2: ₹1000 onwards
Cuisine type : vegetarian & non vegetarian
Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.
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
We had read about kuuraku on the social media. If you are our regular reader, you know what happened when we tried going to kuuraku last time – we ended up going to premium ichi zen!!!!
Well, this time we ended up going to the right restaurant.
Kuuraku is a global chain that started in Japan & is now in india, canada, Indonesia, Sri Lanka etc. in India, there are restaurants in chennai, aerocity delhi (with a different name), neemrana (huge Japanese population) etc.
Outside the restaurant, the accolades received by the restaurant were displayed.
Pamphlets of bento box were also kept.
As we entered, the kitchen team cheered & shouted out welcome (in Japanese language). They were also saying bye bye when guests were leaving.
The ground floor had a large kitchen area with glass cover – no fumes coming this way but one cud see the live kitchen. There was bar style seating all along the kitchen, on both sides.
Day 1 we had done a booking (recommended on weekends). We were asked to go upstairs. As we climbed on to the landing, we saw a poster – ‘please put your shoes inside shoe box’.
The ‘shoe box’ was essentially a locker with numbers & keys. After keeping the shoes in locker, we walked barefoot to the area assigned to us.
From The level at which we were standing (floor of aisle), we had to step on a cushioned sofa seat, then get down to the floor of the seating area. Then we could walk around the table & choose a spot around the table, & sit on the cushioned sofa. The seats were lower than usual chair height – so it was convenient to sit with folded legs.
The menu card had both Japanese & English description of food. The English font was super small – people with plus power wud not be able to read without glasses.
There were pictures of most of the dishes in the menu card. There were enough menu cards. So the one given to us stayed with us till the time we were at the restaurant.
Unlike premium ichi zen, kuuraku has a Huge chicken menu, Some pork, minimal fish & sea food on offer. That is probably why we saw A much higher proportion of Indian guests in this restaurant on a weekend, than at ichizen.
The staff members were super warm & hospitable. They were very efficient too. Excellent people who made us feel at home.
Absolutely loved the food. Went back again next day.
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
We started with Special kushi course (highly recommended):
It was an Assorted yakitori set with 5 items.
1. Kuuraku yaki – Chicken thigh & breast wrapped in skin. This was extreme juicy, bursting out with flavors. Super soft. Fab to taste. Rate it 4.95/5
2. Negima – Chicken with green onion was excellent. Super tender & juicy chicken pieces contrasting with crunchy green onion. Perfect balance of taste. Rate it 4.5/5
3. Bonjiri – Chicken tail was outstanding. Absurdly juicy, super soft, mouthful of flavors & really good to taste. Wow. Rate it 4.95/5
4. Tsukune – Chicken meatballs were excellent to taste. Juicy. Had a bite as the meatball was lumpy, not like a paste. Loved that texture. Rate it 4.75/5
5. Butabara oroshi – Pork belly with radish paste was awesome. Radish paste was layered on top of the grilled pork belly. Perfect fat to meat ratio. Perfect grill. Rate it 4.5/5
Shiro tonkotsu ramen – Pork stock ramen noodle. The pork stock made this dish insanely good. The flavors of good pork cud be felt for long. The ramen was excellent – it has a bite, yet it was soft & enjoyable. The egg had imbibed flavors of soy. The mushrooms added to the texture play. Overall – wow. Rate it 4.95/5
Oden – fish Cake, Pork sausage & veggies in Soup. This is what the menu card mentioned. However a little bit after we placed the order, the manager came & informed us that they are sold out on sausages. He suggested that we take chicken meatballs instead. In other restaurant we would have said NO but we agreed here as they were very good with their chicken dishes.
The soup was too good. The chicken meatballs were lumpy & had very good texture. The fish cake was soft & had a slightly sweet taste. Overall, loved this dish. Rate it 4.5/5
Nasu dengaku – roasted brinjal with miso sauce. Loved it. Reminded us of begun bhaja that Bengalis have – same texture. The miso paste on top added a new dimension to the taste. Enjoyed a lot. Rate it 4.5/5
Ninnikuma shio – chicken with garlic was very good. The garlic cloves were a part of the grill & had to be eaten together. Soft & juicy. Flavors of garlic & chicken complimented each other very well. Rate it 4.5/5
Teppan gyoza – grilled dumpling on sizzler plate. This was a very interesting dish for us. Never had in this form before. Dumplings were placed on teppan & grilled. The liquid oozing out solidified & the whole set was flipped & served.
Loved it as it is & also with the sauces. There was only chicken option on the menu. Pork wud have been intrinsically more flavorful.
The burnt edges were fun to munch-on. Rate it 4.25/5
Tompei yaki – egg roll with pork & veggies inside was another interesting dish. A thin layer of omelet wrapped around pork & veggies, a lovely sauce on top. Loved the soft & creamy texture of the egg. The crunchy spring onions on top gave a contrast texture. Rate it 4.5/5
Aka tonkotshu ramen – spicy pork stock ramen noodle. It was the same ramen noodle as the previous day but it was spiced up. Well – we surely liked the non spiced one better (previous day) since the flavor of pork in the broth reduced dramatically due to addition of spices. It was nevertheless a very good dish. Rate it 4/5
Shiratama zenzai – ice cream, sticky rice ball, red bean sauce with matcha powder. The sticky rice ball was soft, chewy & fun. The red bean sauce was super fun – rajma in a dessert. The taste & texture it added was too good. The ice cream itself was very good & matcha powder added a unique Japanese flavor. Loved the dessert. Rate it 4.5/5
Annin tofu – almond jelly with mango sauce was very good to taste. The texture of the base was nice. Rate it 4/5.
Fresh lime soda was what we had as palate cleanser – must say it was one of the top 5 in gurgaon. Not over sweet, not over tart, perfect balance. Excellent. Rate it 4.5/5
Overall rating of food at kuuraku averages out to 4.5/5
Look forward to revisiting.