Sri Lanka’s famous Japanese restaurant, Nihonbashi, unveiled its first overseas branch, Nihonbashi Blue, in The Marina at Crossroads Maldives on Tuesday.
The restaurant was officially inaugurated by Ambassador of Japan to Maldives, Keiko Yanai, and State Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Khaleel, in a special ceremony.
The founder of Nihonbashi, Darshan Munidasa, declared that his brand strives to bring traditional Japanese cuisine to its customers, without the effects of western fusion cuisine.
“We want to show another angle of Japanese food and not just serve normal sushi”, he stated.
According to Munidasa, although Nihonbashi Blue will bring some materials, such as premium Japanese rice, from overseas, the restaurant will make use of local ingredients as much as possible.
“We are inspired by nature … we are inspired by the colours of your country”, he said, noting the recurring blue theme inside the airy, contemporary building where Nihonbashi Blue is located, with stunning views of The Marina’s lagoon.
"We want to bring a litte bit of Japanese beliefs and philosophies and marry them with the ingredients of Maldives”.
Munidasa also recommended Nihonbashi’s signature offerings which revolve around ‘wagyu’, the world-renowned premium Japanese beef. He highlighted that Nihonbashi campaigned against fake wagyu, assuring that customers will receive only the most authentic tastes from Japan.
Highlighting the pleasant atmosphere of The Marina, Munidasa expressed satisfaction with the location for his second Nihonbashi restaurant which welcomes “anyone who loves real Japanese food”.
Nihonbashi opened its doors in Sri Lanka in 1995, where it swiftly gained popularity for its quality cuisine, zen-like atmosphere, and private dining areas. It was featured on San Pellegrino’s list of ‘Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants’ consecutively from 2013 to 2018.
In addition to Nihonbashi, Munidasa also founded the Ministry of Crab, which also operates a Maldivian branch at The Marina.