Shizusan is not just another addition to the already diverse range of Asian food restaurants in Mumbai. Located at the High Street Phoenix Mall complex, Shizusan offers a Japanese and Korean inspired cuisine, with a good number of other south-east Asian dishes as well. The restaurant is located at the very end of the Phoenix complex, almost near the back gate and one has to walk all the way around to get to Shizusan. The restaurant itself is fairly reasonable in size, offering two storeys of seating along with a bar area near the entrance. The plates and glasses are uniquely shaped and add to the feel and decor of the restaurant.
We went to the restaurant on a weekday for lunch, and so it wasn’t as crowded as it might have been on a Sunday evening. First off on the menu were Asian coolers, including Vietnamese style cold coffee and Gingsing. We ordered a Gingsing and it was pretty good. We also ordered some starters like wontons, dumplings and a plate of mushroom maki rolls. The presentation on those dishes was nicely done, and the taste itself was pretty delicious as well. Another item on the menu which we did not order were baos. These bun filled starters looked pretty impressive. One member of our group wanted some soup, so we ordered a Kimchi Jijigae soup, which was also referred to as a “nose clearing” soup by our waiter, given its spicy tilt. Other soups on the menu were a Balinese soup and a couple of miso-based soups.
(Gingsing with a cucumber)
(Kimchi Jijigae spicy soup)
(Brie & Sambal Wontons)
(Edamame and Truffle Oil Dim Sum)
(Waterchestnut & Chives Dim Sum)
(3 mushroom Maki Roll)
While flipping through the menu, I came across Okonomiyaki, or Japanese style pancakes which I had loved eating in Osaka. Since this was the only place in Mumbai (to the best of my knowledge) which had an Okonomiyaki on its menu, I had to order one to try it out. Our server informed us that it would take at least 20-odd minutes to prepare one, since the batter too had to be made from scratch. After eating all the other starters, my Okonomiyaki finally arrived. Though it wasn’t like the Okonomiyaki in Japan, the taste and quality weren’t too bad. It was drizzled with lots of mayo, which perhaps could have been toned down a bit. It is also worth mentioning that the Okonomiyaki had no eggs in it, which is rare given that all the Japanese ones had eggs in them.
Already feeling a bit full eating all the starters, we ordered some main course dishes. There were all sorts of vegetarian and meat-based main course dishes on the menu, Malaysian, Indonesian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, etc. We were not very hungry and so we ordered some rice and a couple of vegetable dishes. One was a tofu-based dish and the other was something which the chef prepared specially for us. One aspect which Shizusan can improve on is having some vegetable options on its menu for the main course. Most of the stuff was a little too exotic or specific, and it would have been nice for them to just have a dish with normal vegetables like carrot, mushroom, bok choy or broccoli, etc. all cooked in some sauce which can go well with a carb or starch dish like noodles or rice. This might be a typical Chinese food-joint-type of a serving, but it nonetheless is something a lot of people still eat. If you are in the mood for some curries, then one can go for a range of curries on the menu, like Laksa, Masaman or the classic Thai curry.
(Ginger Lime Fried Rice)
(Kimchi Fried Rice & Ma-Po Tofu)
(Mix Vegetables – prepared by chef)
There was a wide variety of rice dishes on offer. You could order black rice, sticky Japanese rice, Thai rice, kimchi rice, Hainanese rice, or a bowl of Korean Bibimbap. Noodles too looked good, you had the thick udon types and the thin but tasty Singaporean noodles. It was a bit disappointing that we did not have enough room to try some noodles, as they looked really tempting. Perhaps we had to leave something for the next trip to Shizusan.
And finally, we come to the desserts. Most of the desserts had eggs in them. Since some of us did not consume eggs, we looked at the egg-less options. We only had two options, one was a Filipino sundae and the other was a peanut butter and chocolate pie. The egg-based options included a Singaporean bread pudding, a Vietnamese chocolate and banana cake, the famous Hong Kong egg tart, and some other sumptuous looking desserts. We ordered the peanut butter and chocolate pie, which tasted a lot like the Reese’s cupcakes, but pretty smooth and delicious.
(Peanut Butter & Chocolate Pie)
We must have spent about 2 hours eating all the wonderful food. The servers were prompt and quite helpful in answering all our questions. I would no doubt say that the overall experience was a positive one. We were about 8 people and each person paid an average of around ₹800 including tax. The most defining aspect about Shizusan is the cuisine. It is an interesting mix of south-east Asian dishes, but different from the typical Thai curry, a Chow Mein or a Burmese Khow Suey. Shizusan brings something different to its menu, and that will appeal to anyone who is either in Parel area or is simply looking to try some good Asian food which is not the typical stuff.
There are many more dishes and alcoholic drinks which I did not talk about. To explore the entire range of Asian spirits and other Asian food dishes, you can view Shizusan’s menu here.