7 senses to tease you say? Well, you know about the first five, but if you follow my lead, you might just discover a couple of new ones this weekend. I’m not just tricking you, I promise. Last weekend, my senses were brought to the brim with gentle, unique flavours that stirred my spirit to happiness, and I discovered that there was more to a culinary experience than indulging our eyes, nose, ears, fingers and tongue.
If you ask me, I’m the kind of girl that loves her rasta chinese with the loud chatter of garlic and chilli, I also find comfort in a warm and creamy butter chicken, yet the soothing cheesy spaghetti carbonara is on top of my list. But sometimes, when the Chef is a genius, you need none of that. None of the chilli and garlic, no cream and no cheese, you can go into an mmmmm.. and aaahhh just with a simple, fresh and delicate ingredient.
I call Chef Asep a culinary genius because without manipulating the integrity of fresh salmon he managed to pair it with the most unlikely ingredients so effortlessly. You might have seen some of his creations on my instagram account. It was truly a meal that makes you want to shut your eyes and let the flavours do the talking.
A delight for the eyes
It’s true what they say, there’s beauty in simplicity. The minimalistic, practical style of plating food and simply pairing a soft pink of the salmon with a hint of pastel green coming from avocado or wasabi (yes, I said those two in one breath) made the dinner plate nothing short of a canvas. The artist was the Chef, who carefully constructed the thinly sliced pink salmon carpaccio flower with a pastel green center of avocado tartare, delicately sprinkled with the crunch of fried onion. The golden, glistening skin of pan-seared marinated salmon for main course was adorned with vibrant colours and clean cuts of bright green broccoli flowers, crunchy orange carrot and refreshing yellow squash. Eat with your eyes first, they say, and so I did.
Pleasure for the nose
You may have got the stench sometime but you must never have gotten the sweet scent of fresh fish. Have you? It is hard to understand when you think about the sweet aroma of fresh, raw fish but it is so easy to love it when you experience it. I’ve only dealt with raw fish on my kitchen table or at the fishmongers’. At my kitchen table, the fresh fish smells sweet and clean. Sweeter than that flavor was the aroma of the fresh, raw salmon that I ate at Trident BKC. Three in five courses in that meal were raw fish. And yet, the aroma of the salmon carpaccio, sushi, sashimi and salmon and fresh wakame salad was sweet and soothing.
A song for the ears
You know what is a Chef’s favorite song? The mmmms and aaahhs the diners make when they eat his food. If you ask me, it is music to my ears too, because it tells me just how delicious the food that I am about to taste must be. From the first course I put in my mouth, which was a salmon with caramelized onion and wasabi salsa to the, salad, sushi, sashimi and the pan seared salmon for main course, every step of the meal had the mmmmms attached to every bite. The buttery creaminess of rich avaocados were coupled so beautfully with the sweetness of the raw salmon and the kick from the wasabi, ponzu and soy.
The harmony of textures
It seemed like such an unlikely combination of flavours and textures had come together like a party in my mouth! There was the silky, smooth raw salmon with creamy, buttery avocados, the jelly-like light sweetness of caramelized onions and velvety mayo, which contrasted with a punch from the wasabi, a hit of the ponzu and soy sauce, and crunchiness from fried onion flakes, nutty sesame sprinkles and flying fish roe. The sushi and sashimi was the best that I have tasted in Mumbai city so far. Their quality of sushi doesn’t even give the others a chance.
Praise on your lips
It was the unique combinations that made us all, the Consul General of Norway and his wife, an importer from the food industry, a school principal, a world traveller and me, break into a wow song once we had unfolded the mystery of this meal. That, for me, is awakening the sixth sense. When a meal is so distinctive that it opens the door for new possibilities. A meal, that inspires a dialogue about food, its beauty and its simplicity.
Craving on your tongue
Did you know, that salmon is among the least addictive foods? Yet, the Chef managed to conjure up my craving for salmon. The 7th sense, after a divine culinary experience is that each time you think about that meal, it stirs your spirit to crave it again. It’s been four days since I enjoyed the culinary creations at Trident, BKC, and yet each time I think about it, I want to enjoy that meal four more times, before their Salmon festival comes to an end. Power of cooking, I’d say it is.
Are you planning to go on a date this weekend? Or planning to take your girlfriend or wife to some place nice? Then you wouldn’t want to miss the salmon experience at O22 and Botticino at Trident BKC till the 15th of Arpil, 2017. All the opinions in this article are my own. I was invited by Trident BKC to try this meal and give them my feedback. I honestly enjoyed the menu that they have created for the Salmon festival. I believe that culinary excellence should always be appreciated and Chef Asep’s food pairings were exquisite. But don’t just take my word for it, try the food pairings for yourself and let me know what you thought about his work. I’d love to hear from you and know your opinion about this festival too. I would not recommend this festival to vegetarians, though I’m sure they have other wonderful options for the vegetarian connoisseurs.