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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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?
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 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
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 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
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
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.
Address: Hirashima Sushi Lower Ground Floor
Isetan the Japan Store Lot 10 Shopping Mall Jalan Bukit Bintang GPS:3.146462, 101.711758
One of my weekday breakfast spots is this little old food court by the intersection of Jalan Loke Yew and Lorong Loke Yew by the name of Restoran Red Leaf, or also called Restoran Shoong City (confusing, I know..), and truth be told, I’ve always gone there for their Penang prawn mee, which was as good as any you can find in Klang Valley.
While paying another visit a week ago, the prawn mee stall was on leave, which led me to look for alternative, and that’s how I ended up trying the Penang char kuih teow here.
char kuih teow stall at Restoran Red Leaf, Lorong Loke Yew
As usual, whenever ordering a dish claimed to be from Penang, I always “test water” by doing it in Penang Hokkien, and happy to report that the proprietor had no problem verifying that he is indeed from the dish is claimed to be.
I then ordered myself and Rich both a plate of duck egg CKT for breakfast.
The char kuih teow came with almost all the essential ingredients – there’re three pretty good size prawns, cockles, bean sprouts, chives, kuih teow, but instead of lap cheong (Chinese sausage), we have sliced fish cake, which is not uncommon in some versions of Penang CKT, tho I always prefer the former.
Additionally, the dish is also served on a sheet of banana leaf, which is always a good thing.
char kuih teow with duck egg
The CKT indeed tasted like it was one from up North, plenty of “wok hei”, and in fact, perhaps slightly overly so. I thought overall it was pretty good, with the exception that it was just a tad overcooked, especially with the egg being a bit too done to my liking (then again I love the runnier version of CKT like the one at no. 5 in Macalister).
Overall though, I thought this was a more than competent enough version of Penang CKT and for sure I’d be happy to return (and with the instruction of having it less cooked).
prawns and cockles are of good more than decent size
Addresss: Restoran Red Leaf No 61 & 63, Ground Floor Jalan Loke Yew, 55200 KL GPS: 3.129614, 101.711412 Hours: 7am – 12pm
Mixed pork soup the lesser favored cousin when it comes to meat soup dishes compared to the likes of bak kut teh, or even beef noodle soup. They’re all made of meat and innards of either pork or cow, hence I think it’s appropriate to have a bit of mixed pork soup appreciation.
herbal pork soup at Wai Sek Kai
For those who aren’t familiar with this dish, mixed pork soup is as what the name suggests – a mixture of various pork parts, 3-layer pork, and coagulated blood bath in salted vegetable soup. The parts usually includes small/big intestine, liver, and stomach, and when you’re lucky, kidney too (not here at Wai Sek Kai).
When it is done right, like this version at Jalan Sayur, the soup carries a subtle porky sweetness with a salty note from the preserved vegetable, and the meat and innards properly cooked to a texture that’s never difficult to chew. Most importantly, the liver is separately blanched to get it just right and not overcooked.
mixed pork soup with a side of rice
The dish can be had as is, or with a bowl of rice if you’re not into the whole low carb/keto thingy. There’s condiment of old school chili sauce to go with the soup if you like it with a slight kick.
Address: Jalan Sayur, Off Jalan Pudu, 55100 Pudu, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.135208, 101.713051 Hours: dinner & supper
Many of you know that one of my favorite restaurants in the whole Klang Valley is this fish noodle place called B & Best at Kelana Jaya, a place I go without fail at least once a month. To me, a proper bowl of soupy kuih teow or mee suah with fresh seafood is the ultimate comfort food one can ask for.
Knowing my preference, Alan, a diving friend of mine texted and suggest that I should also give this other seafood noodle place a try – Pong Kee at Jalan Ipoh, so I did.
Pong Kee Seafood Noodle at Restoran 88, Jalan Ipoh
Pong Kee is a stall located at Restoran 88, a kopitiam at Jalan Batu Ambar, just off the main stretch of Jalan Ipoh. It is the biggest stall in the kopitiam, you can’t miss it. Parking can be slightly challenging at this area but shouldn’t be a problem if you’re willing to walk a few steps.
Like most seafood noodle places, they actually offers both noodle (kuih teow, yellow noodle, mee suah, mihun), and porridge to go with a selection of seafood, including different species of fish, lala, oysters, abalone, and so forth.
tiger garupa and fresh oysters with kueh teow
My choice of the day right after a rigorous futsal session was tiger garupa & oyster (RM 24) in kuih teow. The soup base was subtle, and the portion was actually pretty decent with probably a palm full of decent size oysters and expertly cut fish fillet. While there’s no awesome sambal like they have at B & Best, this version is more than competent in itself.
comfort food with fresh fish in soup and noodle
For those who are from this side of Klang Valley, this is definitely a worthy fish noodle place to check out, and Pong Kee also definitely has some die-hard fans. Check out the exchange below after I posted the short video on my FB page.