India has been hit by the sushi train. The little bite-size morsels are healthy, versatile and delicious, and when made right almost always hit the mark. Planet Hollywood Beach Resort in Utorda recently hopped on board with a tasting menu that checked all the boxes.
At the helm is chef Mano Ranjith who has been plating Japanese cuisine since he completed his culinary education at SRM University in Chennai. Here at Planet Hollywood Beach Resort, he brings together all his years of experience making some of the most popular sushi in India.
Mano Ranjith has previously worked at Teppan Grill and Sushi Bar and honed his skills under sushi master chef Atusushi Yonoha at Shangri-La in Bangalore. He has also worked in the Japanese restaurants at Ritz Carlton Bangalore, Leela Palace Chennai, The Park Hotels in Chennai and the Velassaru boutique hotel in the Maldives.
Recently, I had the pleasure of indulging in his tasting menu at Planet Hollywood Beach Resort’s gorgeous restaurant called Planet Dailies. It kicked off with a pretty kaisen salad, a mix of vibrant lettuce alongside fresh tuna, salmon and hamachi drizzled with a pesto vinaigrette dressing.
Next came the sashimi platter with options of cool slices of salmon, tuna, yellowtail and scallop with red snapper. The tori karaage was next – a slight departure from the norm. It’s the Japanese take on crumb-fried chicken – strips of deep-fried meat infused with ginger, garlic and soya. It’s now my new favourite!
The menu then moved to Japanese pizza or okonomiyaki. The dish, in fact, resembles a savoury pancake and at Planet Hollywood Beach Resort, it is topped with a generous helping of seafood, tonkatsu or deep-fried cutlet, sauce and Japanese mayonnaise.
This was followed by more popular Japanese dishes, including salmon harumaki, baked Californian roll and futomaki. The first was a crispy spring roll stuffed with fresh pink salmon, avocado, cream cheese and asparagus. The next was a makizushi roll – usually inside out, with avocado, crunchy cucumber and baked crab mixer.
The third was a beautiful combination of flavours and textures – a crumb-fried roll with carrot, cucumber, avocado, asparagus and cream cheese.
Finally, they rolled out the katsudon, a wholesome meal in itself. A beautiful fillet of crumb-fried chicken sat on a bed of perfectly cooked Japanese sticky rice, served with soy, mirin and dashi sauces.
Altogether, the tasting menu offered a delicious glimpse into the amazing sushi-making talents of the staff at Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Utorda. It’s totally worth it!