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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / chawanmushi

I’ve always had problems with parking and navigating within Publika. The place has the most confusing lettering/numbering system for floors. There are numerous different “ground levels”, and some parking lots aren’t connected to each other the way a logically sound person may expect.

That being said, the place is also packed with huge amount of restaurants offering various different dining concepts, and often in relatively affordable price range due to the immense competition. Today, we’re going to look at Tsubohachi Hokkaido Izakaya. One of the Japanese restaurants that is undoubtedly among one of my favorites in the area.

Tsubohachi Hokkaido Izakaya, Publika
Tsubohachi Hokkaido Izakaya, Publika

Izakaya is basically an informal Japanese gastropub, a place caters for after-work drinking and dining session not entirely unlike many of the Western pubs/bars, but one that obviously serves Japanese cuisine.

Tsubohachi is a renowned chain with over 300 outlets in Japan since its inception 40 years ago at Hokkaido, and currently is one of the two izakaya outlets in Publika, the other being Senya Izakaya owned by the Sushi Train group.

At Tsubohachi Izakaya today for dinner. They're running "Fukubiki" contest the whole of July with grand prize being a pair of flight tickets to Osaka! Total price worth up to RM 15,000. For non promotional items RM120 gets you 1 spin, RM350 3 spins, and RM700 8 spins! . #kyeats #byinvitation #tsubohachi #publika

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Our first time visiting Tsubohachi Hokkaido Izakaya was with Cheesie sampling their normal menu, but this time around we were invited to try their special Zuwaigani (snow crab) menu. How could I say no?

zuwaigani nabe (snow crab hotpot)
zuwaigani nabe (snow crab hotpot)

The snow crab menu is available till late July, but do call up to make sure its availability. Then again, the usual menu is quite extensive and certainly worthy of a visit or three.

Our session started with zuwagani nabe, or snow crab hot pot (RM 79.90). Basically half a raw snow crab (male, female would have too little meat) with fresh vegetable, tofu, and mushroom in a hot pot. Certainly a luxury comfort dish that is perfect especially on a rainy day, or any day for that matter.

The crab made the soup oh so sweet, it was as good as I had hoped.

aburi zuwaigani, kani chawanmushi
aburi zuwaigani, kani chawanmushi

For those who likes it grilled, aburi zuwaigani (RM 58) should satisfy your cravings. A no-nonsense and unadultered way of enjoying snow crab with maybe just a little squeeze of lemon. Snow crab has a much softer shell than our Malaysian mud crabs, so getting a “perfect” peel is an easier job.

Kani chawanmushi (RM 12.90) too is worth trying if you just want to lux up the ordinary Japanese steamed egg with some snow crab meat.

zuwaigani sarada, aburi zuwaigani hakozushi
zuwaigani sarada, aburi zuwaigani hakozushi

Want more greens? Try zuwaigani sarada, or snow crab salad (RM 22.90), though all those mayonnaise may discount the perceived healthiness of this salad dish, but those savory taste combined with sweetness of snow crab makes it worth the extra calories.

Aburi zuwaigani hakozushi (RM 35.00) is another dish we tried that incorporate liberal use of those savory Japanese mayo. The pressed sushi was certainly delicious, though I always find mayo & wasabi sort of clashes a bit with each other.

ankake kani chahan, kani zosui, zuwaigani masu-zushi
ankake kani chahan, kani zosui, zuwaigani masu-zushi

Rice or porridge? Take your pick in ankake kani chahan (RM 22.90), or kani zosui (RM 29.90). Neither should disappoint as they were both expertly prepared and show cases the sweetness of snow crab through the simplicity of the dishes. I can have either of these for lunch and be a happy man.

If you like things in small packages, try the zuwaigani masu-zushi (RM 21.90). A tiny box of sushi rice with generous amount of snow crab meat on top. Just enough to taste, but unless you have had stomach stapling surgery, this can’t be your only dish for the night.

a selection of yakitori, chicken, pork, mushroom
a selection of yakitori, chicken, pork, mushroom

All the trying pretty much all the snow crab dishes sans tempura & sushi, we got greedy and decided to sample some of their signature yakitori dishes.

We tried chicken skin, bishop’s nose, chicken soft bone, chicken neck, pork belly, and mushroom. They came in both salted or in teriyaki, and I wished I had enough stomach space left to order a beer to go with these. Yakitori dishes are priced mostly at RM 7.80 to 9.80 for two sticks, pretty decent deal if you asked me.

Johnny, KY, Kelvin, Haze, macha de roru
Johnny, KY, Kelvin, Haze, macha de roru

Our final dish of the night was macha de roru as dessert, a sweet ending to a satisfying review session. I certainly don’t mind coming back here again, good food, great value, and without fuss, there should be more izakaya around town!

map to Solaris Dutamas

Address:
Tsubohachi Hokkaido Izakaya
A2-UG1-9, Publika

Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.170961, 101.665721
Tel: 03-6206 5526
Website: www.tsubohachi.com.my

Earlier this week we were invited to Hanaya Japanese Dining to sample their 2016 Mother’s Day Menu, which the restaurant is offering only from 6th to 8th May 2016 (RM 180+ per pax). My last visit to Hanaya was almost exactly a year ago, operated by Sushi Train (which also has Ten, Senya Solaris, Sushi Ichiro, Menya, and more under their umbrella), their quality of food has always impressed me, hence the repeated visit.

Hanaya Japanese Dining with 2016 Mother's Day Menu
Hanaya Japanese Dining with 2016 Mother’s Day Menu

The philosophy of the Mother’s Day Menu at Hanaya is one that put health in emphasis. The major ingredients chosen for the 6 course set each has properties that especially beneficial to the female body, which I find pretty interesting. These benefits are from a mixture of traditional believes and modern nutritional knowledge.

To me thought, I just know that they tastes good, which is my number one criteria 😀

Pumpkin Chawamushi
Pumpkin Chawamushi

Our Amuse was Pumpkin Chawamushi. Pumpkin having B Carotin supports beautiful skin and hair, while galvanized iron in egg enhanced the female hormone secretion. All I know is that it was complex and delicious.

sashimi on crushed ice
sashimi on crushed ice

Second of the six course was sashimi. Tuna with DHA to lower cholesterol, Travoli with EPA that helps in hardening of arteries, Astaxathin in salmon with anti aging care and recovery from exhaustion properties, plus golden cuttlefish that contains lysine, which helps in hair restoration.

The seafood was certainly fresh, while we had yellow tail in this tasting session instead of Travoli, I was still more than satisfied. The presentation for this sashimi dish was rather exquisite too.

grilled Canadian lobster and Hokkaido scallop
grilled Canadian lobster and Hokkaido scallop

Main course – grilled Canadian lobster and Hokkaido scallop garlic butter with dry tomato & herb sauce.
Lobster for cancer suppression, scallop with taurine that helps improvement of fatty liver, and dry tomato is rich in vitamin c. Two different seafood from each side of the Pacific ocean make up this wholesome dish that utilizes Western style preparation method, a perfect marriage.

hijiki seaweed rice and Asuka milk miso soup
hijiki seaweed rice and Asuka milk miso soup

4th and 5th course – shokuji, or hijiki seaweed rice, with dietary fiber for detox effect, & Asuka milk miso soup, with miso having isoflavon that helps suppress menopausal disorders.

The seaweed rice was subtle in taste, and I thought the Asuka milk miso soup tasted much richer but in a good way, especially for those who loves the milkier texture.

"dearest mother" dessert
“dearest mother” dessert

To end Hanaya Japanese Dining’s mother’s day 2016 menu – “dearest mother” dessert, with avocado ice cream (lowers blood pressure), rose hip (vitamin c & e – antioxidants), and misc cereals (minerals to fix menstrual irregularities).

I thought the six course menu was rather exquisite but not over the top, it is available only for 3 days (6-8/5/2016) so if you want to treat mom for a meal with thoughts behind the menu, this is certainly worth checking out.

map to Grand Millennium Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Address:
Hanaya
Grand Millenium Kuala Lumpur
160, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.148006, 101.712225
Tel: 03-2110 5499

Like many rakyat of Malaysia, one of my favorite foods hail from the land of the rising sun, sushi, sashimi, udon, ramen, soba and the like. The cravings would come up from time to time, and it happened again last week, just before lunch time on a working day.

Munakata Ramen Japanese Restaurant
Munakata Ramen, Chirashi & Udon set

Since I work at KLCC and there isn’t any good Japanese food joints worth spending money on in Suria, I often would go to Ozeki right across the road at Menara TA. They offer good lunch sets at very reasonable prices (around RM 30+), not to mention a decent variety too.

But when I arrived outside Ozeki, I thought on this particular day I’d walk further down and see what else is around the vicinity. A few minutes later I saw a signboard displaying Munakata Ramen outside Life Centre, and I said to myself, why not?

chirashi sushi from munakata
the best Chirashi sushi I had!

The menu for lunch consists of varies ramen, udon, and the like (apparently their specialty), but I had my stomach prepared for some raw fish already, so I picked the Chirashi Sushi and Udon set.

The set was priced at RM49, that’s quite a lot to spend for a lunch set. In fact I asked the server if I could just have the chirashi sushi without the udon since I knew I wasn’t able to finish everything.

“It’d still be RM 49 anyway”, she said.

I took the deal, I was already seated in the restaurant and gotten myself comfortable anyway.

munakata chirashi and udon lunch set
green tea, salad, and a bowl of very good udon

Salad came, it was pretty ordinary, I prefer the version served at Ozeki to be honest. Then came the udon and chirashi sushi, accompanied by a serving of chawanmushi and some fruits.

The udon was very good, texture of the noodle and the subtle taste of soup topped with some crunchy bits of tempura-ish stuff on top, one of the bests I had. The real crown jewel though, was the chirashi sushi.

Just look at the picture. Prawns, salmon, ikura, octopus, high grade tuna, unagi, tamago, sanma, and a couple other types of raw fish meticulously cut into tiny pieces served on top of sushi rice. This dish definitely had the most ingredients ever, and the combination yield the best chirashi sushi I’ve ever had. It was excellent!

map to Munakata Japanese restaurant at Life Centre

Now was the set a tad too expensive?
Yes.

Was the serving size a bit too much?
True.

Choices of raw dishes in set lunch rather limited?
Absolutely

Would I have this again?
Definitely! I need to have this chirashi sushi again!

P/S: Munakata also offer ala carte buffet dinner at RM 60 or RM 70+

Address:
Life Centre 20 Jalan Sultan Ismail
50540 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

GPS: 3.15378, 101.70870
Tel: 03-2166 7441

Munakata

It was the day before Chinese New Year and we arrived at Mid Valley Gardens with growling stomachs. Amy had suggested “this place with very nice char siu” that turned out to be the Canton-i that was closed for the new year. We moved to Fong Lye for Taiwanese food but met with the same fate again.

Yuzu Japanese Restaurant
very classy interior, illustrated menu

Just when we were running low on ideas and high on hungriness, we walked by Yuzu and decided to go for it.

The restaurant was quite a bit bigger than it looked from outside the entrance. The interior is classy, comfortable, and best of all, their tables for four are actually big enough to hold 4 set meals. I get pretty irritated when the trays have to be slightly off the edge of table.

Yuzu Japanese Restaurant
the three sets we ordered, sushi, udon, unagi, chawanmushi, tempura, etc

We sat down and after spending some 5 minutes on the pretty big and well illustrated menu, I decided to go for the Nigri Sushi & Inaniwa Udon set. Horng ordered a set that includes unagi, kamameshi (iron pot rice), and tempura. Amy went for unagi bento, miso soup, and a chawanmushi (steamed egg).

And then Horny‘s eye was captivated by this particular entry on the menu. Sliced kobe beef with stone grill. It took some 5 seconds before temptation took over and we decided to give this a go to welcome the year of Cow.

Yuzu Japanese Restaurant
kobe beef, YUMS

Food did not take long to arrive. The inaniwa noodle is a type of cold noodle that is served with soba tsuyu (noodle sauce) with some condiments such as wasabi, spring onion, and seaweed. It was smooth and has a very subtle taste that I like, very refreshing.

My set also came with the teapot mushroom soup (like the one i had at Ninja Jones) that I really liked. The sushi though, while very fresh, had just a bit too much rice for my liking.

The kamameshi from the other set was very surprisingly very good, tasting almost like a cross between very good fried rice and lotus leaf rice but yet different. The unagi too, received very good reviews from Amy and Horny.

Yuzu Japanese Restaurant
Horng, KY, and Amy

However, the most memorable dish has got to be the Kobe beef. RM 88 for a dozen thin slices of raw marbled beef. The alternating layer of fats and lean meat looked so good sitting right next to the stone grill with hot burning charcoals.

We grilled it just ever so slightly. With a dip in the sauce and down it went into the mouth. The texture was so tender and yet so rich and succulent. This was the best beef I’ve had so far. Amy was supposed to try only one piece since she “believes in kwan yin” and all but she ended up having 1/3 of everything. It was really very good and I would certainly have it again.

Map to Mid Valley Gardens
Yuzu is on the 3rd floor at Mid Valley Gardens

The bill came to be a bit over RM 200 for three of us. The sets were around RM 30-50 and the excellent kobe beef was RM 88. A very satisfying meal and I believe I would return to this place.

Address:
Yuzu Japanese Restaurant
T236, 3rd Floor
The Gardens
Mid Valley City
Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.118675, 101.676085
Tel: 03-2284 7663