Posted in featured, Food, Restaurant, Review

Sumo- A 失敗 (Shippai) Japanese Experience

After several months of waiting, I finally managed to try out Sumo, the Japanese fusion eatery located in DHA. Situated snuggly above Mandarin Kitchen, I was expecting to be blown away after reading rave reviews of Sumo on various online food groups and in Sunday magazines.

 

01 Exterior
Sumo is on first floor, above Mandarin Kitchen

 

Having arrived at 11pm, after having attended a Qawaali musical night out, the restaurant welcomed us in warmly and gave us great seating next to the front window.

For a few seconds, I felt like as if I were sitting in a restaurant somewhere in London. That feeling was merely a mirage as everything went downhill from here on.

We were given a welcome drink, which was basically Perrier and 7-up, with a lot of sugar in it. It didn’t really hit the spot as we were coming in from the cold weather outside. Maybe this welcome drink will work in the scorching summer heat.

10 Welcome drink

 

08 Menu
They go back as far as 1990, and aim to provide a “truly contemporary Japanese experience.”

 

From the small plates menu, we ordered the Edamame and Chili Calamari Salad. The Edamame, I ordered purely with the aim to relive my sushi experience at Sushi Samba in London, and yes, I truly did enjoy these Japanese beans. The Calamari salad, however, was a very average affair. Nothing to write home about.

 

12 Edamame
Edamame- My fav thing all evening!
11 Calamari salad
Calamari Salad

 

From the Sushi menu, we ordered Angus Beef Tataki and Crunchy Maki Tempura. On their own, both these dish were satisfactory and we enjoyed them. They tasted just fine but didn’t have the wow factor that one expects with the hefty prices. However, if we start comparing these dish to the sushi we’ve had from proper, authentic Japanese restaurants, then they fail miserably. I was reminded that Sumo is a Japanese-Fusion restaurant, so hence the taste not being entirely authentic.

 

13 Crunchy Make
Crunchy Maki Tempura

 

 

14 Angus Beef Tataki
Angus Beef Tataki

 

The real disaster happened when the Hibachi Chicken arrived. Bland, tasteless and full of oil, this dish was merely inedible. I had it because I was hungry, otherwise, I think I would have not eaten it at all. It made me think whether the restaurant was recycling their leftovers or not (mind you, it was almost midnight by the time the main course arrived).

15 Hibachi CHicken

What could go worse? The complimentary dessert. It baffles me that the eatery would actually serve their customers with a fruit trifle, which is as Pakistani as a dessert you can get. Not good. For a restaurant like Sumo, that claims to provide a Japanese experience, this dessert totally ruins the Japanese experience.

 

16 Complimentary dessert
The Ultimate Pakistani Dessert in a Japanese Restaurant! Hah!

 

The total bill for two persons came out to be Rs. 6345/- A rather pricey place to be for average food at the most.

 

17 Comment card
Comment Card– They didn’t give any option below average! Sigh!

 

I know I may seem a little harsh here. As my friend and I were recalling our sushi experiences in restaurants in the US and UK, we felt like Sumo failed on many levels.

So here’s the deal: if you are used to having proper sushi from eateries abroad (for me personally, my sushi experience at Sushi Samba was more than awesome!), then Sumo will disappoint you, and if your sushi experience is limited to Pakistan (Wasabi, Fujiyama etc), then you will like Sumo. As for me, this was my first and last visit.

Sumo, your experience has simply been “shippai” -ied.

Posted in Food, Restaurant

Che-Won: Korean Food in Lahore at its Best!

It had been more than four years since I went to Udon House, a small Korean eatery that had opened up by a cute Korean couple. The woman would prepare and cook the meals herself in the open plan kitchen, and I remember at that time how popular it had become with the Lahoris.

Last night, I went there again, though this time the two major difference are the name change- Che Won- and the fact it’s not a little eatery anymore as they have expanded the dining area.

Situated on the ground floor of Hotel One on Mehmood Kasuri road, there was a massive issue with finding parking space, but I didn’t mind since the food more than made up for the hassle.

Che Won

Che Won is simply a no hassle, no frills kind of restaurant. The menu is simple and straightforward and really only two major items that everyone seem to order. Right after we ordered our meals, they places two small bowls, one with cucumbers and the other with veggies covered with Korean spices.

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For starters, we got the veggie pancakes, which felt and tasted something akin to our omelettes, minus the Pakistani spices, and instead filled with Korean spices and mushrooms.

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I ordered the Bulgogi, which is basically under-cut beef that is marinated “to enhance its flavour and tenderness” and is eventually pan-cooked, and is served with rice. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed my meal. It has been literally months since I’ve enjoyed good quality beef that’s been cooked extremely well. I was able to finish my entire meal without feeling sick or overwhelmed.

IMG_1953
Bulgogi

My friend ordered the Bibimbab, which is apparently a very popular Korean dish. This is basically rice, topped with various vegetables, mushrooms, beef and fried egg, mixed with Korean chilli paste in a bowl. He added the soy sauce to it and mixed it all up.

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Che Won is a perfect place to have a quick, decent, good quality Korean meal with no frills and hassles that come along with eating at other restaurants.

IMG_1958
Please zoom in and read the details on the right side about idea behind the Korean Mask…..it’s used for exorcism purposes! Gasp!

We didn’t order any starters as the single starter and two main courses was just about right to fill our stomachs. Total bill for two person worked out to be at Rs. 2700/-