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Category / Foreign Food

I think it’s safe to say that Japanese food is one of my favorite cuisine when it comes to heading out to a proper restaurant. In fact, this is the 100th entry on Japanese cuisine on this space – and for this occasion we head to Bangsar and look at Hana Tei Japanese Restaurant.

Hana Tei, Lucky Garden Bangsar
Hana Tei, Lucky Garden Bangsar

If you’re from Kajang and Cheras area, you may have heard of Hana Tei before. This Bangsar branch is their latest venture into KL city.

Personally, I thought Lucky Garden (the same row with 3 famous kopitiam) is a pretty good location to be at. It is in Bangsar, and parking situation at the area is usually pretty good during dinner time, though lunch can be a bit challenging.

The menu for Hana Tei is actually quite extensive, covering the usual suspects such as sushi, sashimi, to teppanyaki, teriyaki, nabemoto, tempura, as well as rice and noodle dishes. Well, on our review session, we got to sample quite a few of these dishes.

shake sashimi (thick cut salmon)
shake sashimi (thick cut salmon)

We started the night with shake sashimi (RM 35), or thick cut salmon. You get 5 pieces of fresh raw salmon at I think at least 1 cm thick. It was glorious. I also do like the fact that they use proper grated wasabi to go with the salmon here. It was definitely a treat.

tori camembert, gindara foilyaki
camembert cheese yaki, gindara foilyaki

Next up was something rather unique – Camembert Cheese Yaki (RM 15). Grilled Camembert cheese with baguette with a side of jam. I thought it was rather interesting and most likely will go very well with some sake.

Then there’s Gindara Foilyaki (RM 48), cod fish with mushroom wrapped in aluminium foil and cooked with a miso soup base. It’s not entirely unlike Chinese style steamed cod except with a Japanese touch & flavor. I thought it was executed quite well.

hana tei beef sushi
hana tei beef sushi

If you’re a sushi person, well, here’s some treats for you, starting with Hana Tei Beef Sushi (RM 25). Instead of raw fish like usual, you get Australian striploin with salmon roe and ebiko, all wrapping those sushi rice.

The combination works surprisingly well to be honest, I love the contrasting taste between the savory beef and the freshness and slightly salty nature of ikura.

foie gras sushi, hotate maki spicy sauce
foie gras sushi, hotate maki spicy sauce

Then there’s also the one of a kind Foie Gras sushi (RM 28). This is probably one of the cheaper ways to experience foie gras, and foie gras never disappoint. I can have 5 of these for breakfast if I get my way! I shouldn’t, but I want to!

If you’re a fan of scallop and spicy food, you can find that strange combination in Hotate Maki Spicy Sauce (RM 35). The roll comes with quite a big chunk of scallop in each of them and covered with this hot sauce that really gives the dish a kick. You definitely don’t need any wasabi for this.

wagyu teriyaki, hamaguri kimchi, seafood teppanyaki
wagyu teriyaki, hamaguri kimchi, seafood teppanyaki

Additionally, we also tried the Wagyu Teriyaki (RM 72), and while these are not the highest grade Wagyu beef, they do offer a pretty good value and tastes plenty good to me.

I would only recommend Hamaguri Kimchi (RM 22), or clam with kimchi sauce only if you need something spicy, I thought the kimchi base was OK but doesn’t really carry the aroma that I look for.

Seafood Teppanyaki (RM 38) though, is a dish that was well executed, give me a bowl of Japanese rice with this and I’m all good for dinner.

Overall I thought Hana Tei fills the gap at Bangsar area offering family friendly Japanese fair.

map to Hana Tei Japanese Restaurant, Bangsar

Address:
Hana Tei Japanese Restaurant
No.8, Lorong Ara Kiri 2,
Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.127546, 101.669614
Tel03-2202 1608
Web: hanatei.com.my

Isetan the Japan Store @ Lot 10 is turning 2.

How time has passed, it didn’t seem that long ago that the iconic departmental store reopened in the heart of Bukit Bintang with a focus on premium Japanese products.

To make this occasion more special, the exclusive Japan Local Speciality Fair is held in conjunction of the 2nd anniversary celebration from Oct 26 to Nov 4, 2018 from 11 am-9 pm.

There’s also the Lucky Dip activity happening this period, with 1000 Fabulous Prizes to be won with minimum spend of RM 100 at Japan Local Speciality Fair.

Japan Local Speciality Fair - Oct 26 to Nov 4, 2018
Japan Local Speciality Fair – Oct 26 to Nov 4, 2018

Over this period, The Market, Lower Ground Floor, Isetan the Japan Store @ Lot 10 is transformed to a bustling market with 20 of the best Japanese food products and 7 sake brewers from 16 prefectures and a city directly from Japan to KL.

organic miso paste, dried pickled radish, hariharizuke (pickleed daikon)
organic miso paste, dried pickled radish, pickled daikon, konnyaku jelly

Head down to the lower ground floor and start with some eat-in menu and you’ll find the Aichi Speciality with Seafood Kishimen Noodle, served with shrimp, squid, and sugiyo (imitation crab meat made from cod fish), or try the Royal Caribbean with Crabmeat at RM 3 a piece. I did sample both as my “appetizer” for the night.

Aomori apple, with apple soup, apple jelly, ringo otome
Aomori apple, with apple soup, apple jelly, ringo otome

As the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and what’s better than fulfilling that quote with some Aomori apple flown directly from the prefecture that is famous for this particular fruit?

You’ll find different types of Aomori apple such as Hirosaki Toki & Horisaki Fuji at RM 17 a piece, or try the rather unique apple soup or apple jelee. There’s also ringo otome, or thin-baked cookie made with apples mixed in with flour and eggs, sort of an exquisite “kuih kapit” type of product. I love it.

black garlic from Aomori, Shizuouka Hon Wasabi, ramen
black garlic from Aomori, Shizuouka Hon Wasabi, ramen

One of the other product that piqued my interest was the black garlic. Via the chemical reaction called “Maillard chemistry” between sugar and amino acid from the white garlic during the maturing process, the garlic became black and obtain its special unique taste. It is believed to have good antioxidant properties.

Jabara water, yuzu, ramen, grilled/smoked oyster
Jabara water, yuzu, ramen, grilled/smoked oyster

Then there’s also yuzu and jabara water for those who love the taste of these Japanese citrus, and if you like ready-to-eat oysters, they have these rather yummy grilled and smoked oysters in packets too, perfect with some sake or beer if you ask me.

green tea - matcha latte, houjicha latte, matcha kyo mukashi, iced macha
green tea – matcha latte, houjicha latte, matcha kyo mukashi, iced macha

No Japanese food fair is complete without proper green tea. Here the master serves up authentic version of matcha latte, houjicha latte, matcha kyo mukashi, iced macha using quality tea powder at RM 14 per glass. You can also purchase the green tea powder that won the 2015 Nihon Cha Award.

organic mirin, and a big selection of sake
organic mirin, and a big selection of sake

Then of course, there’s sake.

There are a total of 7 sake brands represented at the Japan local Speciality Fair

  • Gassan Sake Brewery, Yamagata Prefecture
  • Shibata Brewery, Aichi Prefecture
  • Matunami Shuzo, Ishikawa Prefecture
  • Umetsu Shuzo, Tottori Prefecture
  • Nikki, Fukushima Prefecture
  • Chigonoiwa Sake Brewery, Gifu Prefecture
  • Sumiya Bunjiro Brewery, Aichii Prefecture

more selection of sake, cold or hot sake for you?
more selection of sake, cold or hot sake for you?

Whatever your preference, be it sparkling sake, sake that’s specifically brewed to be drank warm, or cold, or even mirin,  you’ll find one that suits your taste here. The representatives from the brands are here to explain to you what their sake is all about as well.

various food at 4F Tthe Table with Japan Local Speciality
various food at 4F The Table with Japan Local Speciality

Instead of buying the products to be enjoyed at home, you can also head up to 4th Floor The Table Restaurants to enjoy some of these products during this period.

We sampled the pork fillet with plum at Tonkatsu Anzu, avocado wasabi with Camembert cheese, sweet potato fries, grilled tai fish and octopus, and my favorite of the night – tai fish ochazuke. These are as fine quality as they come and priced pretty pretty reasonably as well. Of course, fittingly I washed it down with a glass of yuzu cocktail.

If you’re a fan of Japanese goodness, don’t miss out the Japan Local Speciality Fair at Isetan The Japan Store, KL

For more info head their FB page.

#isetanthejapanstore #japanlocalspecialityfair

Lot 10 KL is one of the best places in all of KL if you are a fan of Japanese food, the lower ground floor the 4th floor of this building is home to some 2 dozens Japanese restaurants, serving up anything from shabu shabu, to omakase sushi.

Today, let’s look at one of their less glamorous outlets at Isetan the Japan Store’s supermarket section – Hirashima Sushi.

Hirashima Sushi, Isetan KL, Lot 10
Hirashima Sushi, Isetan KL, Lot 10

Hirashima Sushi is basically the sushi counter for the supermarket, with an open chiller section not unlike many grocery stores in the city – offering pre-packed sushi/sashimi cuts to go.

What’s different at Hirashima Sushi is that they happen to also have a small sushi bar offering sushi bowls and selected nigri sushi (menu below), priced from RM 36 to RM 88 and comes with free flow green tea.

toro kaisen don - tuna belly, uni, ikura
toro kaisen don – tuna belly, uni, ikura

Being a huge fan of toro (tuna belly), I went for the toro kaisen don (RM 88). The bowl of sushi rice comes with four slices of tuna belly, uni (sea urchin), and quite generous amount of ikura (salmon roe).

Quality wise it was rather decent, and definitely packs a punch above it’s asking price if you ask me. There aren’t many places you can have this sort of combination below RM 100. I was well satisfied.

hotate kaisen don, Elizabeth
hotate kaisen don, Elizabeth

My dinner date for the day, Elizabeth, chose the hotate kaisen don (RM 68), basically the same set with raw scallop instead of tuna belly. I had a piece of the scallop and was happy to say that it definitely did not disappoint.

I have a feeling I’ll be going back to this place again pretty soon.

menu at Hirashima Sushi

map to Lot 10, KL

Address:
Hirashima Sushi
Lower Ground Floor
Isetan the Japan Store

Lot 10 Shopping Mall
Jalan Bukit Bintang
GPS: 3.146462, 101.711758

A couple weeks ago I was invited to check out Mo-Mo Paradise at J’s Gate Dining at Lot 10. Do read up on J’s Gate Dining here if you haven’t heard about this fantastic new Japanese dining area before. It is literally a paradise for those who loves food from the land of the rising sun.

Mo-Mo Paradise at J's Gate Dining
Mo-Mo Paradise at J’s Gate Dining

Back to Mo-Mo Paradise, this latest outfit at J’s Gate Dining offers shabu-shabu and sukiyaki in a no-frill, all-you-can-eat buffet style within 100 minutes. In another word, eat as much as you want, or can, during a 100 minute period and pay one all inclusive price for the food offered.

At Mo-Mo Paradise, the asking price is RM 68++.

The restaurant is founded in 1993 at Shinjuku Kabukicho in Tokyo with the aim of providing the ultimate shabu-shabu and sukiyaki experience by focusing on a wide variety of fresh and high quality ingredients. On top of the traditional ingredients, they also aim to provide a modern and inviting ambiance with good hospitality to diners.

From our experience, I think they got it down quite well at this outlet.

all-you-can-eat in 100 minutes, with all these beef & pork slices too
all-you-can-eat in 100 minutes, with all these beef & pork slices too

Well, what do they really offer then in terms of food?

First off there’s a vegetable bar where you get all your greens in self served style. There’s a good selection of vegetables, tofu, mushroom, onion, and even fuchuk and some fish balls.

Then there’s obviously the most important ingredients – the meat. For this session we were served 3 different types of beef and pork each, with a total of 6 varieties. My favorite was the “bacon” cut of pork (probably isn’t the best for my cholesterol level?) but all 6 types of thinly sliced meat were all so delicious.

We had the shabu with ponzu and gomadare sauce, and raw eggs for sukiyaki.

great food is best enjoyed with friends
great food is best enjoyed with friends

We ended the night with a couple scoops of ice cream (included in the package), and I thought the experience overall was rather positive, good was very good, and while it isn’t the cheapest meal option, it does offer pretty good value and way above average in terms of quality. Will return.

map to Lot 10, KL

Address:
Mo-Mo Paradise
J’s Gate Dining
Level 4
Lot 10 Shopping Mall
Jalan Bukit Bintang
GPS: 3.146462, 101.711758
Tel: 03-2110 3588
Web: facebook.com/momoparadisemy

KL city has no shortage of places to choose from when it comes to classy restaurants offering quality adult beverages and delicious food, around KLCC and Bukit Bintang area, you’d be spoiled for choice – Mosto Wine Bar & Restaurant is one of such places, and one with a very important distinction compared to the rest.

Mosto Wine Bar and Restaurant, One KL
Mosto Wine Bar and Restaurant, One KL

Located at the ground floor of One KL, the condominium building with the tag line “94 units, 95 swimming pools“, Mosto is a restaurant with almost over-the-top fine-dine style decoration, and fortunately, not over-the-top prices for what it has got to offer.

For me though, the most important distinction this place has is the availability of some dozen or so free parking space right in front of the eatery, something that is rarer than pink unicorn in the heart of the city.

Gran Tegliere Di Salumi E Formaggi
Gran Tegliere Di Salumi E Formaggi

We started the night with Gran Tegliere Di Salumi E Formaggi (RM 99), the fancy name stands for Italian signature cold cuts served with assortedcheeses, honey & house made focaccia bread. The way the prepare this is a bit of a show, with the chef operating a semi-automatic type of meat slicer that churns out those delicious meat & salami with consistent thickness.

The type of cuts you get may vary as it depends on what the restaurant can its hands on. For our session, I particularly like the cut with embedded olives.

Cocktails & Risotto Con Salsicola E Vino Rosso
Cocktails & Risotto Con Salsicola E Vino Rosso

While we did not have wine at Mosto, we did sample two of their cocktails – Amaro Tonic, and Junglebird (RM 38 each), the former was a more masculine drink with Amaro Montenegro, Prosecco and tonic water, while Junglebird is made from dark rum, campari, pineapple juice, and simple syrup, giving it a sweeter, more fruity taste.

Back to food.

After the cold cut we had the Risotto Con Salsicola E Vino Rosso (RM 48), or Carnaroli risotto with salsiccia & red wine reduction. A comforting food that does well to fill up the stomach in a warm, fuzzy way. I do enjoy the chunks of cheese on top.

Rigatoni All' Amatriciana
Rigatoni All’ Amatriciana

If you are a pasta person, Rigatoni All’ Amatriciana (RM 38) should satisfy, there’s bacon, tomatoes, and pecorino cheese in the dish. It is proper al dente, so if you don’t like your pasta firm to bite like the Italians do, you’d want to specify it to your server.

Pancia Di Maiale; Cassoeula, Verza Maiale E Pollo
Pancia Di Maiale; Cassoeula, Verza Maiale E Pollo

Those who know me well would have guessed that Pancia Di Maiale (RM 58) is my favorite dish of the night, and that would be a correct statement. Roasted pork belly with apricot jam, honey mustard & garlic sauce perfectly executed with those super crispy skin and meat/fat layers that were done just right. Love it.

Cassoeula, Verza Maiale E Pollo (RM 78) or slowcook pork prepared in casserole with chicken, pork sausage & cabbage was a dish that I found perhaps packed a bit too much meat of differing texture, giving me a feeling of something with a sort of identity confusion.

Garlic Prawns, Deep Fried Chicken Parmesan
Garlic Prawns, Deep Fried Chicken Parmesan

For those who aren’t looking for something to go along with beer or cocktail and not a proper full meal, there is a selection of bar snacks as well. We sampled two from the menu – Garlic Prawns (RM 25), and  Fried Chicken Parmesan (RM 19), I can imagine both going very well as happy hour companion dishes for sure.

molten chocolate cake, tiramisu
molten chocolate cake, tiramisu

The dessert menu here isn’t extensive, we tried the Molten chocolate cake (RM 25) and Tiramisu (RM 20). The cake molten chocolate cake was competent, but if I have to pick one, the tiramisu would be the one to go for, they did not skim on the alcohol making this.

mosto KLCC map

Address:
Mosto Wine Bar & Restaurant
Ground Floor, One KL
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.156023, 101.710542
Tel: 03-2386 6029