Dundee looking East
Far East cuisine provides a world of possibilities for city's palate
Chinese and Indian restaurants and takeaways may be long established staples of most British cities, the majority of them providing equally long-established and familiar styles. Over the decades, Dundee has enjoyed an array of less-conventional and intriguing cuisines from the Far East, sub-continent and elsewhere.
It’s no different today, with the range of international cuisines available in the city broadening to reflect the increasingly confident dining scene.
Recent times have seen a stepping up of Japanese food related activity in Dundee after years of doing without, after a Facebook campaign to bring the first restaurant in such a style to the city. First on the scene was DJCAD graduate Usman Malik’s Oshibori in early 2014, which is located in the basement of Indian restaurant Ashiana, and which serves a variety of typical dishes like ramen, donburi and teriyaki, as well as a wide range of sushi styles using fresh Scottish ingredients.
Not long after came Jushi, a small Westport bar created by local entrepreneur Sasha Amjadi, which – as the name may suggest if you puzzle it out for a bit – offers the distinctive but popular combination of sushi and freshly-made juices. Now the latest addition is Kobee, a bright, modern venue with a bustling open kitchen and an interesting USP. Using two head chefs, it’s both a contemporary Japanese teppanyaki and sushi joint and a more traditional Scottish restaurant serving steak, pizza, pasta and seafood. Boutique gin and vodka, craft beer and exotic wines are also on the menu.
Increasingly, the fashion in Indian dining has been not for the typically thick sauced curries like chicken tikka masala, which British diners know and love, but for a more exciting culinary trail into South Indian cooking. Rishi’s offers the best of both worlds, with a range of curries which encompass familiar chicken korma and lamb with a wide range of idli and dosa dishes.
Both use a combination of rice and lentil flour to create a doughy, cake-like texture, with idli typically dumpling-shaped and served with curried sauce, while dosa are fl attened into pancakes and filled with, say, potato masala or dipped in chutney. It’s a style of food that’s catching on fast, but at the moment Rishi’s are the first to break it to the diners of Dundee.