Just months after Jonaha��s Bistro opened in Besant Nagar, the crack team behind the establishment has set up business in Phoenix Market City, albeit with a twist: this time Jonaha��s Goes to Japan (JGTJ). Lest you start imagining continental-meets-Japanese fusion cuisine (I confess I did), ita��s actually continental served alongside Japanese cuisine. JGTJ is a collaboration between Jonaha��s and the ever-popular Momoyama in Alwarpet. a�?We wanted to introduce a slightly different concept and some variety,a�? says Sam Paul, the entrepreneur behind Jonaha��s (and the six-year-old boy Jonaha��s dad). For Momoyama, this is an opportunity to present a careful selection of their menu to a broader audience. a�?At JGTJ we will be offering a selection of maki and Japanese curries. We are very excited to have this opportunity to introduce our food to more of the Indian public,a�? offers David Kim, of Momoyama.
For Paul, however, this is just one more step in his plan to introduce Jonaha��s to the rest of the city. Coming up (probably by April) in Poes Garden is the opening of Doner Kebab, the franchise, alongside another branch of Jonaha��s that will feature food with an Australian twist (thanks to a new member expected to join the team). Also coming soon, Pan Asian and Malabar editions of Jonaha��s. Meanwhile, on the Sunday ahead of JGTJa��s launch, a friend and I enjoy a preview of Jonaha��s offerings. Chef Koushik (aka The Mad Chef), a fellow-hater of the ubiquitous basa drives in from Pondicherry and immediately warns us that a lot of food would be coming our way. I meekly ask for Ginger Ale and settle in. Around us at the 38-cover restaurant, preparations for the opening are underway and we are introduced to the young architect Akram, who designed the space, and also doubled as insatiable guinea pig. The chefa��s vision for the restaurant is informed by a devotion to fresh ingredients and subtle flavours. No ketchup, no basa, and no strong Indian masalas, is his motto.
On the cards
The food leans flavourful, and frequently a bit sweet, the only disappointments being the seafood (mostly the seafooda��s fault). We strongly recommend the Cheese Stuffed Mushroom (`165) and the Grilled Chicken Wings, available in varying degrees of heat, and all a�?finger lickina�� gooda�� (`170). Of the mains, Ratatouille a la Jonaha��s (`250) is a great way to introduce a fussy child (that would be me) to aubergine, while the chef has succeeded in producing a Chicken Parmigiana (`275) that doesna��t immobilise you. a�?I dona��t believe in stuffing food with cheese and butter,a�? he says and one tends to believe him. For dessert, we inhale macaroons and flan (`70 to `200) from the Pondicherry-based Bakera��s Home (by Bakera��s Street), despite an attempt at self-control. If this is the way Jonaha��s travels, wea��d be happy to go along for the ride.
Details: 43516374, 43526374
a�� Ranjitha Gunasekaran
Pics: Martin Louis