Everything Bagel, without the bagel, A2, The Park

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A dish that requires so much of technique and training to pull it off, sushi in India has probably gotten it's rather bad name from the dried and rather terrible sushi served in the buffets. So having a restaurant that has a sushi bar in Chennai is a welcome change, though that night, patrons decided to sit on the comfortable couches and get them served there, instead of taking it off the chef from the bar. I wouldn't mind starting off with the bar and moving to those comfy couches later, but that's me.









The O Fish sushi festival at the Park, breaks many barriers. Omkaar, the young, rather free spirited chef here, has mixed it up. While keeping the essence of the dishes, he has broken free the shackles of rules. The results? Well, the Japanese may not like this tinkering and some of the deep rooted sushi flavours are missing, it does appear that he wanted it that way. May not be a bad idea to play with what is available.

The chicken katsu sushi is a case in point. A nice katsu as the base and sushi rice on top! There was a chirashi sushi adaptation, with multiple fishes, there was a sushi burger, a sushi donut all taking inspirations from different sushi variations.

But the evening belonged to one dish, closely followed by the another. The everything bagel. I love the bagels. I love the cream cheese that go into it and love it even more when the salmon is smoked nicely and every bite gives a mouthful of salmon. Yes, the chewy bagels are a great, but what happens if you remove the bagel from this equation? Nope, I've never thought about this, but chef Omkaar decides to not just mess with classic sushi, but also mess with a classic bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon. After all, if you can mess with dishes, why not mess with two?

And he pulls it off in spectacular fashion. Smoked salmon, cream cheese and dil, rolled over sushi rice. It explodes in your mouth and suddenly, I'm wondering if the bagel plays any role in the classic dish. I might be in the infatuation phase right now, so I'm not craving for the bagel any more. Maybe I will start wanting the bagel soon, but right now, I want more of the everything bagel. Without the bagel.

A tempura spring onion sushi was another outstanding dish, but it stood no chance to win anything with the everything bagel around. Beautifully crispy tempura cased inside rice.

Without the kind of fresh sushi grade fish available in Chennai, I guess it may not be a bad idea to tinker with the original and offer good variations of it instead of attempting to serve bad imitations of the classic. A2 seems to have pulled that off. If they take off the remaining classics from the menu and have the restaurant serving only these fabulous recreations, this can become a destination, simply because there wont be any dish to compare with Japan. After all that is a battle which is rather impossible to win! 

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Grub Waz: Everything Bagel, without the bagel, A2, The Park
Everything Bagel, without the bagel, A2, The Park
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