Togarashi at Red Panda

The fresh and gorgeous taste of Japan

Red Panda has been one of the goto places for some good Chinese food for a long time. Their newest venture into Japanese cuisine was launched recently and we were lucky enough to be able to experience this first-hand. Togarashi is a specialised Japanese menu offered at Red Panda, and at first glance, the hefty menu offers a wide range of seafood dishes – as this is what Japanese food is best known for. However, there is a healthy selection of meat dishes as well, along with some rice and noodle options that had my mouth watering! 

Togarashi Salmon Ten Katsu Roll (LKR 1350)

As the first dish we dug into, this fine roll of tender salmon, cucumber, ten katsu, and hot sauce offered both an adventure of flavour and the essence of something familiar. A mighty fine portion, paired with the soy sauce the flavours melded together to create an amazing culinary journey.

Chicken Katsudon (LKR 1030)

This dish delivered on all my expectations and offered more! Although it looked small at first glance, it was a dense dish, which was utterly satisfying. The Chicken Katsudon was the obvious star of the dish. The tender chicken was bursting with flavour. The condiments paired perfectly with the chicken and the fluffy rice. The addition of the egg amped up the protein; although a more runny yolk would have been appreciated.

Chirishi Sushi (LKR 1200)

This dish met all my expectations for sushi; the rice was perfectly seasoned giving a solid base for the dish and a perfect platform to the freshness of the fish to shine through. The fish was delicate in texture and flavour. The deep flavour offered by the Shitake helped add depth, increasing the range of this dish.

Togarashi Sashimi Boat 32 Piece (LKR 4400) 
Sashimi is a notoriously difficult dish to execute because it relies heavily on the freshness and quality of the ingredients, and I would gladly say this is one of the best Sashimi platters I have had. It was one huge portion. The assortment of fresh seafood which included Tuna, Mullet, Salmon and Cuttlefish offered a range of flavours and textures.
California Maki (LKR 770)

Another substantial and filling portion – the California Maki served quite an intense and rich flavour. The avocado added a creaminess which paired with the sweet tangy seasoning on the rice helped bring the dish together. The Kani sticks offered a robust flavour and the overall composition of flavour made this dish perfect for those new to Japanese cuisine or for someone who wants a less adventurous option. 

Tobico Roll (LKR 910)

Another personal favourite, the Tobico Roll was exciting both in looks and flavour. This is mainly thanks to the handsome amount of fish eggs which were served up. Once again the crab added a robust flavour but still the dish managed to stay light and fresh. This is a dish I will surely be coming back to and it’s one I highly recommend.

Tuna Tataki (LKR 1000)

This simple looking dish packed an intense punch of flavour making it a favourite among our team. The flavours were extremely robust, permeating throughout the dish giving it an almost meaty flavour. The tuna was wonderfully cooked, preserving its beautiful pink centre and the accompanying sauce with its fresh citrusy notes brought the dish to life.

Mixed Prawn Tempura (LKR 1000)

The prawns were gigantic and delicately cooked, and the accompanying vegetables were not too soggy. The simplicity in flavour is something I admire in a Tempura because it sheds light on its humble roots, and I was glad that this dish stuck to the basics. Although simple, it was served with a wasabi mayo which added a kick.

Salmon Teriyaki (LKR 1800)

This was the winner of the meal for me. The sauce was light, giving it the ability to be present in every bite and the grilled fish with its crunchy skin was perfect and rendered an extremely satisfactory mouthfeel. The cook on the fish enhanced the meaty experience and was in stark contrast with the more lightly prepared salmon, which was present throughout the rest of the meal.

If you are a fan of Japanese cuisine this is a restaurant I highly recommend! Although they have an inhouse bar it was not open when we went so if you’re looking to grab a drink with your meal there’s an option for that. All in all, their comfortable dine-in atmosphere and extensive selection of Japanese dishes make a great dining spot!

Tip – You have to try their Tuna Teriyaki, and they also have an interesting selection of Bento Boxes. 

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Author: Harith Wirasinha
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