PICS: MARCO POLO
'Youkoso mase!' Without fail the entire staff at Kotetsu cordially greets customers as they enter the sushi bar and teppanyaki in Lazimpat. For the last six years and counting, the former textile trader Kensei Tomita and his wife and retired schoolteacher Sumiko Tomita have given fish fiends and beef buffs a reason to splurge.
Free of the frills, flames and flying shrimps commonly found at teppanyaki chains like Benihana, Kotetsu is for the serious foodie. Its open kitchen atmosphere lends to transparent preparationsóvery neat, very clean. At its heart is the teppan, a wide iron plate where prime cuts of meat weighed to the gram like Australian beef (Rs 1400 for 180 grams) or Kobe beef (Rs 2200 for 100 grams) and seafood like full squid and salmon are cooked right before our eyes. Seared then covered with a metal bowl to ensure an even cook, the chicken at Rs 600 is on the lighter end of the billing scale but is nothing short of oishiiódelicious.
Dedicated to high quality, Kotetsu imports fresh fish, mollusks and crustaceans every other day to the valley. Raw or grilled, the ocean viands are sure to exceed expectations. For sushi the selection is standard and prepared meticulously by a veteran master of the art. The Ryan Maki is six pieces of spicy tuna and rice tightly rolled into perfect bites.
The sashimi platters charge a hefty toll but for good reason. A splurge at Rs 3,000, the Special Sashimi presents a rainbow of cuts of fish that left a neighboring Japanese patron highly impressed. But don't be deterred, sashimi plates like the mackerel for Rs 700 and the octopus for Rs 600 are available.
In a landlocked country, seafood is bound to be pricey, and Kotetsu's is worth every rupee. So when indulging in its sumptuous imports, be sure to order rounds of cold or hot sake and forget your woes.
Northbound on Lazimpat, bow to the Japanese ambassador, cross the bend and spot the white sign in Japanese
Born in Nepal, and with 'Arniko' as his middle name, Marius crafts hand-carved skateboards in Kathmandu for export to Switzerland