When KM was invited for an Iftar preview offered by Atisuto, we were more than excited to try the Japanese influence to a light iftar meal traditionally prepared by Middle Eastern families. One gets to enjoy a 3-course menu boasting delicious exotic Eastern fusions for a creative Iftar feast.
As Ramadan offers kept soaring a month prior to the holy month, various restaurants are coming up with creative feasting options for both fasting and non-fasting people who would like to make the most out of Ramadan. For Muslims, it is more than just feasting; it is a ritual of abstaining from daily activities and focusing their whole mental stimulation on prayers and charities before breaking fast with family and friends in a very social, but reflective context. Traditionally, breaking fast should be done gently with dates, light bites, juices and water before the fuller Iftar meal.
So how did Atisuto make it possible to cater to those facets of an extensive ritual?
The restaurant is currently offering a light menu comprising of Shiro Bara and dates followed by Mushroom Cream Soup and Japanese Green Salad with Apple Dressing. Then you are served the Starter platter, featuring Atisuto favorites, including Chicken Yakitori, Nasu Dengaku, Gyoza, Spring Roll and Ebi Tempura. The main course is the ever-popular Yakisoba and Dynamite Prawn complete with a refreshing Matcha Crème Brûlée.
Upon arrival, we are seated on bamboo seating arrangements. The interior is mostly brown with elements of gold. On the large walls facing us, there are Japanese abstract paintings embossed with intricate red ink. As soon as we are settled into the cozy lounge-like ambience, the head waitress introduces us to Chef Aijiro Shenoda, the face and the co-founder of Atisuto.
Chef is delighted to see us and sits down next to us throughout the next 3-course meal that he has carefully prepared for us.
He gives us a brief history on his craftsmanship of making the perfect sushi and how Indian spices inspired him to create his signature crab sandwich roll that we were excited to try. Not only was he interesting in helping us understand the concept behind the Iftar preparations, but he also gave us a brief overview of Japanese culinary styles and each course that we were sampling.
According to Mr. Shenoda, “It wasn’t easy to design the perfect Iftar menu, but we knew that if we create a special date drink for starters and complete the offering with a very Asian Matcha crème brulee, all the spices would create a cocktail of a wholesome menu and our consumers will definitely feel that tantalizing shift of flavors without feeling too full.”
And we have to admit, our experience was just that!
From the starters, of Apple dressing salad to the Gyoza, Ebi Tempura and through to the main course of Donburi, we felt like we were diving into an ocean of shape shifting flavors that felt wholesome and made us relish what we were having even more. Each course took 20 minutes before the next course and we were overwhelmed by the great fusion of spices.
The only time we were a little underwhelmed was by the Matcha crème brulee. We expected more from it, but the flavors had more dominant caramel essence to them than matcha, but that did not stop us from enjoying our time, the warm ambience, quality service, a brief chat and the exotic menu offered by Chef Shenoda.
It was a very well planned and a well thought out menu for those who are fasting in the holy month of Ramadan so that they enjoy what they’ve missed out throughout the day and can have a great yet light culinary experience during the holy month.
And so our verdict remains that we are absolutely impressed by the whole experience and highly recommend it to our readers this Ramadan.