Cherry blossoms at the Leela, Mumbai

Mumbai, India

cherry blossom leela (1)

A bento-box in one hand, camera around the neck and picnic mats in the other are a common sight as hordes of tourists akin to locals  throng the Ueno Park in Tokyo, just one the many venues but a very popular one during the Cherry blossom season.  In a practice called Hanami or appreciation of the Cherry Blossom flowers (Sakura) which represent new beginnings and also transient life; Japan is happy and high. Cherry blossom themed colas, lattes, crisps, cakes, restaurant promotions, mall decors etc turn the city pink. The Sakura blossoms in the south in January and slowly moves up north to Tokyo and Kyoto before turning Hokkaido pink in May.

The Leela Mumbai is currently hosting the Cheery Blossom fest at Citrus and I experienced the same dressed up in the colours. As a vegetarian the choice of ‘sushi’ perhaps is universal in the country and all that matter is the quality of ingredients.  The pricing for the same at Rs 599 offered the best value in the city as Chef Constantine happily rolled us a creamy avocado and a crisp tempura variant. We snacked on the steamed edamame in salted and chilli garlic styles during the entire course of our meal.  The silken tofu in teriyaki could be scooped into and the crispy rice cracker fried Asparagus called for a wine with bracing acidity to match.  Spring brings exciting times in a continental region; it fills the heart with cheer and joy and so did it our Soba bowl. It exudes the warmth and the simplicity the Japanese culture is known for.

Cherry Blossom leela

A Mango and Mascarpone from the mango specials menu brought a delightful end to an evening which was gastronomic and of course incited the travel bug in me.  To endless discoveries in Japan, someday!!!

P.S: Miso ramen, katsu curry, yakitori are some of the dishes that non-vegetarians could look up to.

 

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