Karachi is a city with an abundance of food treasures from different cultures and cuisines. This week, we ate at Makotoya, a recently opened ‘authentic’ Japanese restaurant. Now notice we are saying authentic, that’s because there are lots of fusion places which do serve Japanese food but they don’t really butter our toast, ya hear?
Japanese food is one of our favourites, a cuisine with poetry, if you may. The chef, Rie Mihara, was lovely enough to speak to us about her journey in Pakistan and bringing her family business to our home country.
“We are bringing 4 generations worth of family recipes at Makotoya, using organic, healthy materials produced locally so we contribute to local agriculture and livestock industries which also include cage free animals, less oil, less salt & less sugar.” – says Rie Mihara
Makotoya’s place mats really spoke to us. The grace of the printed words had us repeating them: “Before eating, we say ‘Itadakimasu’ which shows gratitude to the life that became provisions for us, including giving thanks to the person who made the dish for us.” They then say ‘Gochisousama’ after eating, which means the same thing. This is their version of ‘Bismillah’ and ‘Alhamdulillah’ which really struck us as beautiful.
To start, we ate the kale salad which was melt in our mouth perfect. Have you ever heard of a salad being described this way? It was filled with fresh, crunchy ingredients and delicious cheese.
Next up was the Goma Tofu, a must try for even non tofu lovers. The consistency was ‘close-your-eyes-and-really-taste-this’ kind of brilliant, and the freshness of the filling hit the spot with the sesame and hint of wasabi.
Next up,we had the beef tataki followed by the sashimi platter. The beef tataki was juicy, delicious and sliced to perfection. The sashimi platter was a pleasant surprise as the layout of the dish wasn’t aesthetically pleasing but when we tried the tuna and salmon, the meat quality and flavours were top notch! These two were our favourite dishes of the night.
Next up we had the tuna steak, called the Magro steak, which was not our favourite as we found it a bit overcooked. Though when we spoke to the chef she explained searing a medium rare tuna wouldn’t work with the population’s culinary demands. We actually suggested a medium rare with seared sides, but this was a good idea for those who enjoy their fish cooked well.
Lastly, our sweet tooth pulled us to two delights, one of which was the matcha pudding with red bean paste which was DELICIOUS! Scoop an entire spoonful of this and it’ll leave you licking the dish. The matcha crepe however, was a bit grainy and we didn’t enjoy it as much but it was a favourite for others.
Overall, the experience left a warm, fuzzy feeling and we would definitely go back. The price point is in the range of Okra and Sakura, but with authentic Japanese food which uses fresh and seasonal ingredients, one can’t expect less. We highly recommend trying it out!