Category / Foreign Food
A couple weeks ago I was invited to a short weekend trip to Johor by some blogger friends. I gotta admit that I’m absolutely not familiar with the food scene in JB, having only been there a few times mainly for work where mobility for meals is pretty restricted.
October Japanese Restaurant, JB
Our first destination of the trip was October Japanese Restaurant, located near Mount Austin, a more upscale area in Johor Bahru. The restaurant is a converted residential unit with nice lush lawn and plenty of parking spots at the back.
While we may still be in December, October Japanese Restaurant already came up with their Chinese New Year dishes, and we were lucky enough to sample some of them.
Prosperity “Yee Sang” Assorted Sashimi with Wasabi Sauce
We started out with the Prosperity “Yee Sang” Assorted Sashimi with Wasabi Sauce (RM 68/RM 108 nett) that came with generous slices of – Norwegian Salmon, Maguro (Tuna) and Hamachi (Yellow Tail). They’ve also added fried Gyoza Skin and Roasted Almond Flakes to give the dish more crunchiness. A good alternative to consider for your “lou sang” session.
Auspicious Flaming Nabe
Then there’s the Auspicious Flaming Nabe (RM68.80 nett), with Norwegian Salmon and chicken breast mixing in with Shitake mushrooms, leeks and carrots to make a pretty sweet tasting miso based soup. Generous amount of “KaoLiang” Rice Wine and sake were used in this pot as well, which contributes to the whole flaming spectacle.
Fortune Sushi & Sashimi Platter, maki
For those who likes it raw, there’s the Fortune Sushi & Sashimi Platter (RM58.80 nett). The dish is beautifully presented on a wooden platter and came with rather generous amount of fresh seafood including Maguro, Hamachi, Unagi, and Salmon.
We also tried the Flaming Salmon Aburi Maki (RM29.90++), with salmon and special crab stick plus spicy sauce.
Grilled Edamame, October Special Bento, Kushiyaki Moriawase
Grilled Edamame (RM9.90++) is a good starter if you like your edamame with a kick, which I think will go really good with beer.
For those who likes bento, October Special Bento (RM59.90++) is a worthy option and comes with a little bit of everything, including salmon sashimi, unagi, and more.
And if you like it grilled, Kushiyaki Moriawase (RM44.90++) comes with scallops, Shitake Mushroom, Enoki Niku Yaki and other greeneries on skewers, and you’ll also find bacon in this platter as well, which makes this one of the few non-halal Japanese Restaurants in JB.
October Japanese Restaurant
No. 6a, 1, 8, Jln Jaya Putra 3/15,
Bandar Jaya Putra,
81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
GPS: 1.574499, 103.776892
Tel: 011-1426 5993
Hours: 12pm – 11pm daily
The name Isetan The Japan Store is often associated with very high end products as well as rather expensive price tags, but thankfully when it comes to their lower ground floor food offerings, the quality is still there, minus the overly crazy price tags.
The other day I took a detour and check out one of their many food stalls house within the departmental store’s grocery area and checked out Shoya Sushi Bar.
Shoya Sushi bar, at Isetan the Japan Store, Lot 10 KL
Shoya Sushi Bar takes up only maybe some 100 sq. foot of area and offers a relatively small menu consists mainly of sushi platter, hand rolls, and sushi don. A sushi don is priced from around RM 26.50 (Special Bara Chirashi Don) all the way to RM 90 (Omakase Shoya Kaisen Don), with nothing exceeding 3 digit price point.
We tried the Salmon and Salmon Ten-Don (RM 35) which came with four pieces of raw salmon as well as another four pieces of tempura salmon on a bowl of sushi rice. The salmon tempura required a little getting used to (slightly soggy texture), but the raw seafood was pretty fresh and tastes rather good.
Salmon and Salmon Ten-Don
I also decided to try one of their more expensive options on the menu – Chef’s selected sushi (special) priced at RM 85.
What came was a collection of sushi that really is right up there with some of the more expensive Japanese restaurants in terms of quality. There’s fatty tuna, tuna, squid, ikura, amaebi, salmon, yellowtail, mackerel, and tuna belly roll. I felt that this offers quite a good value despite its asking price.
Chef’s selected sushi (special)
If you find yourself in Bukit Bintang craving for some good sushi, this place should be in your short list.
Shoya Sushi Bar
Lower Ground Floor
ISETAN The Japan Store KL
Lot 10 Shopping Mall
Jalan Bukit Bintang
GPS: 3.146462, 101.711758
Tel: 03-2141 7777
Ask anyone about Apple Strudel, and chances are they’re going to be talking about the famous Corica Pastries in Perth. Yeap, they do serve up an awesome apple strudel (I was fortunate to have a chance to try thanks to Val back in the years), I recently found that you can get an equally mean version of this delicious pastry right here in Klang Valley.
Fruity Cake and Bakery, Klang
More specifically, the relatively old and unassuming looking pastry in Klang by the name of Fruity Cake and Bakery.
Fruity Cake & Bakery is no stranger to the locals, the shop has been in operations for decades and serve mainly pastries, cakes, coffee, and a few selected Western dishes such as spaghetti, chicken chops etc.
I’ve been to this place a few times, and to be perfectly honest, the coffee is subpar, the Western dishes looked like it was from the 90s, and the interior decoration fits for a sitcom set up from 20 years ago.
best Apple Strudel I’ve had in the country
What is really awesome tho, is their apple strudel.
A portion goes for RM 6.75 and if you want the whole big box (around 5 pieces?), that’ll be close to RM 30.
It is worth every single cent tho! The pastry is crispy, and the filling is just done perfectly. It doesn’t really play second fiddle to the version at Perth in my opinion, I liked it just as much.
If you’re a fan of this pastry, make a plan to visit Klang.
Fruity Cake & Bakery
107, Leboh Turi,
41200 Klang, Selangor
GPS: 3.026957, 101.427942
Tel: 03-3373 1071
Izakaya, or Japanese gastro pub, is a relatively new type of Japanese restaurant in Malaysia. It is basically a pub with a proper bar and a full kitchen. You want to have a few beer or sake? Sure. You want a full meal? They’ve got that covered too.
Robataya Izakaya at Publika
Robataya Izakaya is a relatively new comer of such restaurant in KL. Located in Publika, they have a pretty extensive menu offering raw fish, ramen, rice dish, tempura, salad, grilled items, and more.
A week ago, we headed there on an invitation to try out what they’ve got to offer.
Okan Sashimi, they have air flown seafood too
We started with Okan Sashimi (RM 70), a sashimi platter with 5 different types of fresh seafood carefully arranged on ice. During our session, we had salmon, salmon belly, sweet shrimp, tuna, and I believe, butterfish.
While it may not be the super premium quality sashimi, (that’ll be their air flown, LIVE seafood as displayed by Haze) the portions were generous and it was actually quite a treat for the price.
Una Chizu Roll, Robataya Teppan Roll
For those wholikes rolls, The Robataya Teppan Roll (RM 28) is one you should try. There’s salmon inside, mayo, and grilled bacon on top! The taste was rather unique, and of course, anything is better with bacon.
Una Chizu Roll (RM 25) is a slightly more creative interpretation of your usual unagi roll, as they’ve decided to add cheese to the mix. I think the result was pretty good to be honest.
Salmon Oyako Sarada
Salmon Oyaka Sarada (RM 26) turned out to be one of our favorite dishes of the night. Laden with plenty of crispy salmon skin, the salad also have quite a generous portion of raw salmon in all those mustard leaves & cherry tomato in the rather awesome sesame dressing. I’d have this for lunch anytime.
various kushiyaki (skewers) & gyoza
You can’t have a proper review of an izakaya without having some skewers. We tried teba (chicken wings, RM 6), buta (pork belly RM 6), uzura bacon (quail egg bacon, RM 6), banana bacon (RM 6), tomato gyumaki (tomato wrapped with beef, RM 7), tsukune (chicken meatball, RM 5), momo tama (chicken thigh wrapped with egg, RM 6), and negima (chicken with leeks, RM 5).
While these are some pretty good skewers, the one that stood out the most was the momo tama, the egg was prepared to a rather soft consistency and for some reason worked really, really well with the chicken thigh. We gobbled that up pretty fast.
San Ten Zeppin – pork belly, bacon, Australian beef
If you enjoy BBQ, there’s only one way to improve the experience – by having it indoor, with air conditioning. The San Ten Zeppin sumiyaki (RM 55) gave us just that. There’re pork belly, bacon, and Australian beef. The meat are pretty thinly sliced so they cook rather quick, if you mess it up, it’s your own fault.
Teppan Ika Eeso, Spare Ribs Teriyaki, Akaebi Olive
As if those weren’t enough food for 4 skinny Asians, we also tried their Teppan Ika Geso (cuttle fish, RM 15), Spare Pork Ribs Teriyaki (RM 33), and Akaebi Olive (RM 42).
The cuttlefish should make for a very good side dish for beer, and while I thought the ribs were a bit dry, I did enjoy the olive shrimp quite a fair bit, the olive gave it a bit of sweetness that complements the spicy deep fried shrimp quite well.
Haze, Calvin, Haze, Sim
Overall, we did enjoy our dinner at Robataya. There are actually 2 other izakaya at Publika, and it’ll be tough to try to put a ranking on the list as they each have their strength and offers quite a different set of menu. You can’t realy go wrong if you pick Robataya for a meal, or some sake.
Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.170961, 101.665721
Tel: 03-6211 2785
I don’t often accept reviews to cafes since there are really a dime a dozen out there, and for the most part, I like my street food & higher end restaurants (especially when I get to eat for free), but when Sue msg and told me about the Korean-run Table 9 Cafe & Kitchen at Bangsar, I thought why not?
Table 9 Cafe & Kitchen, Bangsar Jalan Telawi 3
As mentioned, the restaurant is slightly different from your run off the mill mid-market cafe with a proper kitchen. Eve, our host and co-owner, is Korean, and her partner, who is in charged of coming up with the menu, is another Korean. So while the menu may not try to claim that they are any different (and they don’t actively advertise it), Table 9 is actually pretty unique in its offering.
Well, for one, they actually have bingsu in their menu, but more on that later.
proper latte is always a good thing to have at a cafe
Any cafe worth its salt should be able to serve up a good cup of coffee, and in this regard Table 9 did not disappoint. The latte was as good as any I’ve had, no complaints from yours truly.
Table 9 Breakfast, with French Toast
Our first dish was the Table 9 Breakfast (RM 25) with optional French Toast (additional RM 1), and I think the French toast option is a must, they were so fluffy and just so.. good! The scrambled egg was top notch too. Other ingredients did not disappoint either, though I thought the sausage was rather average.
rosemary chicken Caesar salad, carbonara di cipolla in bread bowl
If you’re a salad sort of person, the Rosemary Chicken Caesar Salad (RM 24) is an option. It has romaine lettuce, cherry tomato, properly grilled chicken breast, cheese, but also a Caesar salad sauce that’s unlike any I’ve had, it’s rich and spicy, yes, it is spicy in a .. Korean sort of way. I do find it interesting and kinda like it.
We also try the Carbonara di Cipolla (RM 25) with optional bread bowl (RM 4.50), if you like cream pasta, you’d not be disappointed. Eve told us that in Korea, bread bowl with pasta is quite a common option anywhere. I think this can easily feed two pax who do not have huge appetite.
Caprese pasta with mozzarella, baked zucchini
Caprese (RM 29) is my favorite dish of the day, it’s a quite a simple tomato base pasta with mozzarella and truffle oil, and I thought the truffle oil adds quite a bit to the dish, and those big chunks of mozzarella , yums!
If light breakfast is your thing, baked zucchini (RM 19) with cheese and tuna may fit the bill. Perfect for those looking for low carb options, perhaps.
gorgonzola & maple panini, pizza jalapeno
Gorgonzola & Maple Panini (RM 22) is one of Eve’s favorite dishes in this restaurant, and it’s not hard to see why. The sandwich is savory and sweet in the right combination. With the side of fries, this makes for a full meal.
And as if we’re not totally stuffed by then, Pizza Jalapeno (RM 22) was served. This was a spicy pizza, thin, and they sure didn’t skim on the cheese, again it did not disappoint.
They have 8 different bingsu, or Korean shaved ice dessert here, with the weirdest of all being the tomato bingsu (RM 15), so naturally that’s what we ordered. The ice certainly milky and fully, and the tomato puree poured on top did make it that much more interesting. A little weird at first spoonful perhaps but you do get the hang of it, I liked it very much.
KY, Haze, & Eve the Korean co-owner
Overall I thought it was a very good brunch session at Table 9, with most of the dishes belong to the category of “I’d definitely won’t regret ordering”. We now know where to go for a good meal with a sweet bingsu ending.
Table 9 Cafe & Kitchen
21, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru,
59100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.131972, 101.671018
Tel: 03-2201 1055