Review: The Bento Box and à la Carte Japanese menu at Citrus, The Leela Mumbai.

I always wanted to visit Japan. Especially during Hanami- Japan's cherry blossom festival that celebrates the blooming of numerous cherry blossom (sakura) trees during the months of March and May. It’s a beautiful time where people gather to enjoy food and drink, play games, sing and dance under blossom-laden branches with friends and families to reminiscence old memories or make new. So when, The Leela Mumbai invited us to celebrate this colorful festival with a specially crafted menu in our bustling city, off we went happily. Nothing like experiencing the bonhomie of the festival so close to our home. And did we feel good cheer all around us? Read on to know more.

We love the lobby at The Leela Mumbai with its polished marble floors, beautiful fresh flower arrangements, carved pillars and the tall ceiling. After taking quick selfies (girls are very selfie-ish you see: D) we turned left to enter Citrus- the vibrant 24X7 restaurant located at lobby level. We settled down comfortably at a well-laid table and saw several guests enjoying the daily lunch buffet. Our eyes settled at the Japanese counter decorated with beautiful cherry blossoms, exotic Japanese ingredients and a few high chairs. 




The beautiful seating and exotic Japanese ingredients at Citrus, The Leela Mumbai.

The festival also announces the launch of the delicious Bento Box at a very special rate- apt for lunch or one can choose a selection of dishes from their à la carte Japanese menu.

First things first, we ordered a bottle of Sake (rice wine)- and chose to relish the Bento box. 

Enjoy a bottle of Sake at Citrus, The Leela Mumbai.
The Miso Shiru- a traditional soup made with mild flavors of tofu, seaweed and scallion was a perfect and light start! 

Miso Shiru- a traditional Japanese soup at Citrus, The Leela Mumbai.

Next we tried Shira Ae – a beautifully presented vegetarian salad made with tofu, spinach and sesame sauce. 

Shira Ae at Citrus, The Leela Mumbai
Finally the Bento box arrived with an array of Japanese favorites - Five types of Nigiri (Salmon, Cuttle Fish, Prawn, Hamachi and Madai), Yaki Zakana- Grilled Fish with Teriyaki Sauce, Tori karaage- Deep Crispy Fried Chicken, Tamagoyaki- Japanese folded Omelet and Ika Shogayaki- sautéed Squid with Ginger and Soy sauce, Yasai Nimono- spring Vegetables with Sake and Soya Sauce, Tsukemono- Japanese Pickle and Onigiri Ume- Japanese Rice.

The Non Vegetarian Bento Box at Citrus, The Leela Mumbai.

We loved it all but if we had to pick favorites it would be the Nigiri- little pads of rice and fresh fish topping wrapped in seaweed- just dip it in the soy sauce and wasabi and enjoy the taste of fresh fish and Ika Shogayaki (sautéed squid).

Though quiet satiated, we still tried a few à la Carte dishes from the Japanese menu. We tried the Hamachi Carpaccio, delectable thinly sliced yellowtail served with jalapeños and ponzu sauce.



The Pan Seared Chilean Seabass served with spicy and creamy sauce and Chili Crab and Salmon sushi- beautifully presented with fresh ingredients we would have had seconds if we were not so full.



Verdict:
Indulge your senses by dining on a variety of exotic Japanese dishes at Citrus, The Leela Mumbai. The fresh flavors, exotic ingredients and beautiful ambience of Citrus is a perfect way to enjoy a slice of Japan sitting in the heart of Mumbai. Prior bookings are recommended. The hotel provides valet parking services.

Where:
The Cherry Blossom Festival at Citrus ends on 31 st May, 2015 but...
Bento Box and À la carte menu for Japanese cuisine is available on request

Non-Vegetarian Bento Box: INR 1,999/- plus tax
Vegetarian Bento Box: INR 1,444/- plus tax

Where
The Leela Mumbai,
Andheri Kurla Road,
Sahar,
Andheri East,
Mumbai

Call # 022 6691 1359/60


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