Inside Origami – Powai’s Japanese And Korean Stowaway | All The Deets
We are suckers when it comes to Japanese and Korean food. Give us good sushi or a decent bowl of miso soup and we’ll be happily satiated for the rest of the week. We heard of Origami in Powai but somehow never made our way to this gem of a restaurant. Located in an office tower in Powai, surrounded by hills, Origami is home to one of the finest Japanese and Korean restaurants our city has to offer.
Enter Origami and you walk into a terrace aligned with tables on either side, lit up by Japanese lanterns. Had it not been a hot, summer night, I would have ideally chosen to sit outside under the moonlight, given the rare opportunity to enjoy greenery and serenity in an otherwise crowded and noisy city. The indoor seating area is simply decorated. A kimono on the wall, Japanese lanterns, and the bar framed with Japanese dolls and origami work are gentle reminders of the experience you are in for.
To begin with, we asked the manager to run us through the menu. Familiar names such sushi, sashimi and hot bowls jumped out at us, but we needed help with a whole lot of confusing, difficult to pronounce dishes. To start with, we ordered the Salmon Nilgiri, two pieces of freshly prepared sushi were presented to us.The salmon was thinly sliced over the well rolled out sushi rice. Accompanied with a pungent wasabi and salty soy sauce, this was a delicious mouthful. Since we couldn’t decide between the soups, we decided to call for a small portion of both; the Tofu Miso Soup and Tonjiru Soup. Small, steaming bowls of aromatic soups appeared before us. The miso soup was light and full of flavor, the tofu was silky in texture and the entire bowl was wiped out almost immediately. The pork Tonjiru soup was different yet packed with flavor. The broth seemed to be a strong stock and pork slices (that we loved) added a great texture to this lightly peppered concoction.
The secret behind the unfamiliar aromas and the key to the restaurant’s authenticity is the fact that they import their ingredients, making the entire experience as close to Japan and Korea as possible. We then ordered the Tobiko Rolls. The ratio between the sushi rice, avocado, salmon and fish eggs were perfectly proportionate and the flavours were subtle and well-balanced. The fish eggs that were coated on top of the rice added a nice crunch to the rolls. The Gunjan Maki were our favorite, made with fatty, velvety tuna wrapped with sushi and seaweed. Since we loved the pork in our soup, we decided to ask for the Pan Fried Pork Gyoza which was probably the best gyoza we had ever eaten. Juicy, well-seasoned and lightly pan fried, these gyozas immediately hit home. This was served with a homemade sesame and chili sauce, which we also loved.
Vegetarians must call for the Sweet Potato Tempura. The texture seemed like one of a hash brown on the exterior with a lovely, soft bite of a sweet potato on the inside. The chef also recommended the Kkanpunggi Chicken. This Korean dish appeals to the Indian palette. It was fried chicken coated in a sweet and spicy orange sauce. The sesame seeds used as garnish added a crunchy texture to the dish and my friend and I really liked this as well.
I love noodles, so I decided to ask for a portion of the Yaki Udon Chicken Noodles. This was slightly on the sweeter side with lots of stir fired vegetables and crispy sprouts. My companion ordered the Jjajangmyun Noodles which were noodles in a black bean sauce. We really appreciated the consistency of the sauce and upon being asked, the chef revealed that it wasn’t the bottled sauces found in the market, but a black bean powder hence the texture was thick and creamy. We then ordered the Dolsot Bibimbab, something no Korean meal is complete without. Served in a hot pot; the fried egg, sautéed vegetables, rice and the crispy beef pieces are mixed together along with a hot chili sauce. Origami also serves a miso soup with it, just in case the rice dish is too dry for you. I’m glad I don’t live to close to Origami or I’d be here every night for this steaming bowl of deliciousness. We also had the Pork Kakuni (I think we ended up Googling every name we read) which was the highlight of our meal. Tender, juicy, braised pieces of pork along with caramelized onions and mildly flavored sauce made this a beautiful dish to have.
We ended our lovely meal with a Green Tea Ice Cream. From our first bite into the ice cream, we could tell that it was churned in-house. The chef confirmed our suspicions. This was served with some caramelized berries which are grown in house too. We couldn’t have asked for anything more appropriate to end this Asian fiesta of a meal.
For everyone who loves a good Japanese or Korean meal, Origami is a must visit. The food was par excellence and surprisingly, there wasn’t a single dish here that was a disappointment. The staff are well informed and extremely helpful without being intrusive. We recommend that you let go of any inhibitions if you are not well versed with this cuisine and give this place a shot. My companion and I went home with serious food comas but I think the only way for us to stop eating was to exit!