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East Meets West: The Meaning of Fusion

An exceptional Japanese cuisine experience at Nara

What is the meaning of Japanese restaurants without sushi? You will find the meaning when you are in Nara. Not only a Japanese restaurant that doesn’t offer sushi, but every dish served by Nara is very unique and perhaps can’t be found at other Japanese restaurants. “For me, the meaning of fusion for this restaurant is combining the taste of Japan with Western cooking techniques,” said Chef Kevin Zhu, who began his cooking career in New Zealand since he graduated from middle-high school.

A few weeks ago, The Peak visited Nara, a name inspired by Nara Park, a famous deer park in Japan. We had the opportunity to taste the three items that are the signature dishes of this restaurant located in Senopati. First, we tasted Wagyu Teriyaki. The steak was cut into several pieces that melt in your mouth. The juicy meat topped with homemade teriyaki sauce brought out the savourly flavors. Not to forget the dish also came with a fresh Japanese coleslaw salad.

Next, we tried Creamy Miso Salmon. The pan-fried salmon steak was even more delicious with a creamy miso sauce poured under the salmon, and also added with sautéed mixed mushroom, tamagoyaki, and sprinkle furikake.

For the final, and one of the best dishes from Nara that we had was Japanese Chimichurri Crispy Pork, a twice-cooked crispy pork belly cut into pieces that are a little bit buttery but also very crispy and tender, and served with a slightly acidic Japanese chimichurri which neutralizes the taste of the pork. This dish one of Chef Kevin’s favorite meals to cook.

The three main signature dishes above were paired with Dragon Ball, a summer cocktail concoction of dark and gold rum mixed with Campari, pineapple juice and sweet and sour syrup served in an ornate glass, which was very suitable to accompany the menu.

Last but not least, we closed our lunch with Ice Coffee Pannacotta, a dessert you definitely must try when you come to Nara. The creamy pannacotta was very soft, served with coffee crumble and brown sugar boba, and poured with Bailey’s sauce that completes the dessert. The taste was fresh and not too sweet, makes you want to come back for more. In the end, Nara gave us the ‘save the best for the last’ experience.