Must not miss Japanese Restaurants in KL

Here are our top list of must not miss Japanese Restaurants, that are must visits, in 2014!

1. Iketeru @ KL Hilton

This is an oldie but a goodie. Iketeru has been around for ages – located in KL Hilton, this is one Japanese restaurant that has stood the test of time .

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Sashimi – Maguro (red tuna), Otoro (prime tuna belly), Uni (Sea Urchin), Hotate (scallop) are amongst my favourites

And one of the hallmarks of a great Japanese restaurant is that if the sashimi is not up to par, the place will tell you so. “No, not fresh today”. “Have it tomorrow, when the shipment comes in”, says the Chef. And if the Chef has spoken, so be it. At Iketeru, we don’t really need to think much about what to order, Executive Chef Ricky Kamiishi decides for us, and on the freshest items on the menu as well. How lucky are those, who do not need to order for themselves – theirs shall be the freshest bounty for the sea! And a sea, far, far from home, at that!

We start off the night with Sashimi of course, ordered by the Chef. Picking up the Otoro, and putting a spot of wasabi on it, then dipping the fish into my soy sauce, I am just happy to let it melt off my tongue. Many folks prefer the meatier chutoro (with less fat) but for me, I am happy to lay the fat on thick. Especially when it comes to the tuna.

Tarabagani with Mentaiko Cheese ( Red King Crab, marinated in cod roe or pollock roe). Tarabagani or Red King Crab is caught in Autumn and Winter. It is the most coveted of the commercially sold king crab species, and is the most expensive per unit weight. When grilled (robatayaki style) it tends to turn red or burgundy. The taste was rich and smooth.. even Cumi licked up every last drop of the Mentaiko with great enthusiasm.

Add:
Iketeru
Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
8th Floor
3 Jalan Stesen Sentral
Kuala Lumpur
50470 Malaysia
+6 03 2264 2264
Lunch: 12 noon to 2:30pm
Dinner: 6:30pm to 10:30pm

2. Zipangu Shangri-la KL

One of our favorite chef’s in the Japenese dining scene is Chef Ishii Takayuki. Chef Ishii worked in one of Tokyo’s most renowned traditional Japanese restaurants, before heading to Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, bringing with him a host of experience in preparing unique and healthy Japanese fare. This is also a great restaurant to experience food and wine pairing, a change from the norm for sure.

What’s there not to go ga-ga over, when it’s a tasty variety of salmon sashimi, in small, satisfying portions. Any superior Japanese restaurant would stock a decent variety of lustrous and tender raw fish and Zipangu happens to be one of them. It employs wasabi with restraint, so that it doesn’t overwhelm the flavor of the fish. And it proudly shows off the finished whole of these parts, in creative design and careful presentation. Which such a delicate starter, how would one find its wine-match made in heaven? Well, the Greywacke, Sauvignon Blanc, 2012 was a superb choice. This was a wine that was focused and precise. The flavour was penetrating and it showcased a medley of lychees and grapefruit laced with flinty minerality. It didn’t obliterated the fish, but rather it enhanced the sweetness of the pink flesh. The wasabi added a playful shot of mustard-like heat which complemented the flinty wine.

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Yellowtail sashimi, salted kelp and habanero sauc

Here we see a thing on beauty – layers of expertly sliced sashimi-grade fish and of course, the Yellowtail is one of my all time favourite fish. The right way to consume the taut, sweet flesh of the Yellowtail that was expertly flavored with salted kelp and some fiery (but not too fiery) Habanaro, would be in one swift mouthful. Perfect!

Another must order is the Grilled Eringi mushroom wrapped in Wagyu beef with Japanese seven-flavor chili. Melt in your mouth wagyu and the meaty earthy flavour of mushrooms.. hard to beat this one especially since the beef was a grade 9 wagyu.

Add:
Zipangu Shangri La KL
11 Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, 50250, Malaysia
Tel : +603 2074 3900
Location
Level 1
Operating Hours
Lunch
12noon – 2.30pm (Monday to Friday)
11.30am – 2.30pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Dinner
6.30pm – 10.30pm (daily)

3. Kampachi, Pavilion KL

One of our favourite Japanese restuarants in KL is Kampachi, because they always seem to be having some exotic promotion or other.

And Oshizushi (literally pressed sushi), is a compact form of sushi from the Kansai Region. While nigiri-zushi is something we are all familiar with, this is a rather interesting and less common form of sushi. It has a characteristically compact and rectangular shape that I found fascinating. It’s a lightly pressed piece of sushi, topped with raw fish and other cooked ingredients. Its distinctive shape was created by filling a square-shaped wooden box (called an oshibako) with sushi rice; the rice was then topped with raw fish, a light sprinkle of salt, and boiled shrimp, or eel or with other ingredients.

The Chef then presses down slightly on the cover of the wooden box compressed the sushi. He lays another layer of fine, clear seaweed over the top. Then the entire block of sushi is removed and cut into tiny bite-sized rectangular shapes.

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SAKIZUKE – Kaki no Ponzu Jure
A huge succulent, plump Fresh Oyster that’s slathered with Ponzu Vinegar Gelée.. delicious!

SUIMONO – Hamaguri, Uguisuna, Harinegi, Kinome
Clear Soup with Clam, Japanese Mustard Spinach, Julienned Leek & Young Japanese Pepper Buds. The amazing Kujyo Leek removed all the fishy flavour from the clam so that though the broth was clear and light, there was no trace of clamminess from the clam, if you catch my drift!

TSUKURI – Maguro, Akagai, Hamachi
Amazing cuts of Slices of Raw Fish.. they picked all my favourites.. the Tuna, the Ark Shell & the Yellowtail. Beautifully presented in half a section of an orange skin, it was too pretty for words.

Add:
Kampachi Japanese Restaurant,
6th Floor, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Bukit Bintang,
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +60 3 2148 9608

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Must not miss Japanese Restaurants in KL
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