The culinary scene is expanding in Gurgaon, and another new entrant is Nagai, a contemporary Japanese restaurant and sake bar in Sector 29. The fine dining restaurant is situated slightly away from the main market, which works well for it, as it provides a nice calm surrounding.
The place sprawls across two floors, with a huge bar in the basement, with a lounge-like seating, with more a more formal seating area on the ground floor, where they even have a section for traditional Japanese tatami seating. It is done up beautifully, with spectacular geisha paintings on the wall on the ground floor, and modern art on the walls in the basement.
For drinks, we went with their signature cocktail- the Nagai Mule, which was a concoction of vodka, honey water, ginger beer, and fresh lime juice, and was very well balanced. The signature mocktail though was very basic, and could have been more imaginative.
We started off with Miso Soup, which was a thin soup flavored with miso, which is a fermented soybean seasoning, and had chunks of silken tofu, baby spinach, and sea weed. The flavor was really unique and all the elements worked beautifully together to create a mild, delicious soup.
Next, we had the Salmon Carpaccio with Chili, Coriander, and Pomegranate Sauce, which is surely a must-have here. The salmon was really fresh, and the combination of the fish with the spicy, vibrant coriander sauce and the sweet pomegranate seeds was just an explosion of flavors in our mouth.
The Caramelized Lotus Roots with Soya and Roasted Sesame consisted of thin, crunchy lotus root slices tossed in sesame seeds, soya sauce and mirin (a Japanese sweet rice wine). The mirin provided a sweet note, which counterbalanced the saline soya, making this a great dish.
The Rainbow Sushi Roll was amazing. The sushi was stuffed with cucumber, avocado, and boiled egg, and was topped with different types of fish such as yellowtail, red snapper, tuna, salmon, and sea bass. With sushi, there isn’t much to hide behind, and the quality of the fish shone through, and the fish was sliced intricately. They were topped with beautiful edible flowers and soya sauce caviars which added to the flavor.
For mains, we had the Tuna Tataki and the Pork Belly Stew. The Tuna was encrusted with black and white sesame seeds, and seared perfectly. It was served with mashed potatoes (which were made really well), and a salad doused with wasabi honey sauce and sesame seeds. The dish was nicely made, but could have done with a touch more seasoning. The Pork Belly was slow-cooked for 6 hours which had rendered the fat and made the pork soft as butter. The stew had daikon, and was flavored with cinnamon and ginger, and had a slight sweetish taste which worked really well with the pork. We relished the dish with some steamed rice.
After our meal, we had a cup of Matcha Green Tea, which, aside from its health benefits, was also really tasty.
We rounded off the meal with the Coconut Panna cotta. The panna cotta had the perfect texture- it was nice and jiggly, and the flavor of coconut was definitely there. The panna cotta was served with mango sauce, ginger jam, coconut cream and coconut flakes, and this combination of flavors was brilliant.
What also impressed us was how professional and well-informed the servers were. This place should certainly be tried!
Overall Rating: 4/5
Location: SCO 305, Ground Floor, Sector 29, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 99580 22300