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The oldest Japanese eatery in Chennai, Dahlia has been quietly serving expats & enthusiasts alike for past 25 years. Do not let the decrepit location dissuade you, the food more than makes up for it. The sushi, agedashi tofu and tempura in soba broth are what I keep going back for.
All those Japanese food fans in Chennai city can rejoice and party because we have found an ideal little place to satisfy your sushi pangs. Coming to you is ‘Dahlia’ at Nungambakkam, a small cute Japanese place run by an Indo-Japanese couple right here in the city. To find the place it might take a little bit of search but we promise the end result would be worth it. This is as Japanese as it can get. Only large enough to accommodate thirty diners at a time the compact seating works because the food is sensational and all that anticipation worthy. The exteriors of the restaurant resembles a small Japanese dingy complete with oriental lamps and open ice boxes placed at the entrance. Inside the room is wonderfully light and brightly lit. For more conventional diners they have proper dining tables set but for those who want to experience Japanese all the way can enjoy the floor seating. A small television plays Japanese shows at all times so you really don’t feel detached from the reality.
Dahlia serves one hundered percent authentic Japanese cuisine and is quite popular for its food all over the city. The success of Dahlia is obvious by the amount of regulars coming in from the Japanese sector and even Indians who have a deep love for this particular cuisine. The best way to enjoy Dahlia is to go with a ravenous appetite and full wallet. Begin with dabbling into sushi which comes in sushi moriawase, matsu, take, tuna, ebi, hirame, ika, tai, aji, hata, tamago, inari and tekkyu maki. Out of all the Japanese starters’ tempura remains our life long favourite. Opt for tempura set so you can sample various sorts of tempura on one plate. For beginners the best way to enjoy Japanese food is through the set menu which lets you sample little bit of everything.
The main course of Dahlia is a selection of mouth-watering dishes. Seafood is the superstar here and is prepared beautifully. There are couple of dishes we would recommend you to try at Dahlia such as, katsu ni (pork, deep fried & cooked with egg in sauce), shio yaki (barbequed fish), okonomiyaki (Japanese pizza), dashi maki (egg rolls), gyoza (dumplings), oyako don (rice with chicken egg & onion) and tai chazuke (rice topped with snapper, Japanese spices & dashi). For dessert pick, coconut jelly with litchi cubes.