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
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)
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.
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
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
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.
The first time I tried to go to Coco Tei, the Japanese restaurant formerly known as Hajime, was an exercise in patience. I took over 15 minutes driving around its previous location at Jalan Damai looking for the restaurant to no avail, there were no sightings of Hajime nor Coco Tei because well, it hasn’t been at Jalan Damai for over 2 years now even though Google map and some outdated blog posts tried to convince me otherwise.
Coco-Tei’s set lunch menu
As it turns out, the new location is at Jalan Delima, sandwiched between the more glamorous Fukuya and the quirky Renoma Cafe.
Anyway, lets get back to Coco.Tei.
The restaurant is attached to a paid parking lot, but diners get complimentary parking, a feature that is always very useful especially if you’re going for weekday lunches. Who wants to spend 5 mins looking for a spot and walk another 5 under the hot sun?
every set comes with rice, miso, pickles, and chawanmushi
The lunch combinations at Coco Tei is pretty special, you choose two dishes from three different categories and pay RM 30++ for category A+A, RM 33++ for A+B or B+B, and RM 36++ for A+C, B+C, or C+C. Adding an extra dish from category A is another RM 12++, or RM 15++ from category B/C.
Now here are what you can choose from (correct in time of writing)
Category A – salmon sashimi, tuna sashimi, salmon & tuna sashimi, raw salmon salad, crab stick with mayo roll, grilled mackerel, grilled giant mushroom, california, spicy tuna, or raw salmon roll, agedeshi tofu, lady finger & mushroom kimchi, mixed vegetable tempura
Category B – spider maki, soft shell crab salad, salmon with truffle oil dressing, salmon skin salad, raw salmon with garlic sauce, fried chicken cutlet with omelet, deep fried chicken, mixed/prawn tempura, california + salmon hand roll, mixed sushi (3 pieces), salmon cheese hand roll, salmon corquette, deep fried chicken teriyaki, deep fried oyster, deep fried squid, grilled scallop with butter
Category C – sashimi morawase, white tuna sashimi, mixed maki (3 pieces), salmon boxed sushi (3 pieces), salmon hana sushi (3 pieces), fried seafood with butter, unagi kabayaki, grilled cod fish, grilled salmon with teriyaki sauce, fried shrimp with garlic, shrimp tempura with mango roll, beef with ginger sauce, unagi with omelet
All lunch set also come with rice, miso, pickle, and chawanmushi.
If you’re fancy with math, a simple calculation shows that there are 1681 combinations from the 41 dishes you can choose. How many combinations fall onto each price group is left as your homework.
example of sashimi morawase + hotate butteryaki (category B+C)
Anyway, during our visit, I had sashimi morawase and hotate butteryaki (B+C = RM 36++). The sashimi was pretty fresh and rather decent tasting, the cuttings were appropriately thick. The three pieces of scallops was of decent size as well. The serving was a bit small I thought, but with chawamushi, rice, and miso soup, it was actually sufficient.
Haze and KY enjoying a quiet lunch at Coco-Tei
Haze‘s set consisted two hand rolls and a serving of unagi kabayaki. The hand rolls were decent, and the river eel went well with rice.
While the food didn’t exactly wowed me, the ambiance was nice and service at Coco Tei commendable. It is a decent place to suppress your Japanese cravings, but for another RM 10-20, you could have quite a lot more at Fukuya just down the road, though at the expense of getting to choose from different categories.
The dinner menu looks to be quite impressive, so we might have to come back again one of these days.
Address: Coco.Tei No.5, GF-B, Jalan Delima, 55100 Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia GPS: 3.146322, 101.720585 Tel: 1800-88-6655 Web: www.cocotei.com Hours: 10:30am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10:30pm
This is a good thing, it creates an environment with healthy competitive spirits among Japanese restaurants. Some strives to provide cheaper prices, some a great dining experience, and others come up with creative and delicious dishes not easily found anywhere else. Fukuharu at Terrace in Ampang got it right by managing to provide two out of the three points in this “measurement”.
Fukuharu at Terrace, Ampang
Nestled in a classy bungalow just off Jalan Ampang, Fukuharu Japanese restaurant is unlike most .. well, restaurants. There’s lush green lawn and even a swimming pool by the side. Inside, the dining hall is tastefully decorated. On a sunny afternoon, the hall is mainly lit by natural sun light, giving it a bright yet cozy feeling that I really like.
Together with Evelyn and Veron, I was invited by Poesy to a review session at Fukuharu over lunch, hosted by the Japanese restaurant manager, Masamichi-san.
seafood korokke and tamago mentai sushi
We started out with the specialty dish of the restaurant – Tamango Mentai Sushi (RM 15). Mentai is one of my favorite ingredients of all time, and the combination with one of the simplest ingredients in tamago (grilled egg) was surprisingly awesome. The soft texture gives way to the extreme savory taste from mentai, brilliant. This is a must order.
The Seafood Korokke (RM 22) wouldn’t be a dish unfamiliar to those who has had crab cakes, except this dish was a bit creamier and has more seafood ingredients in it. I like those tiny sprouts on top and thought it gives the dish more balance. You’ll find prawns, scallops, fish, and potato in this seafood “cake”.
chef’s sashimi selection, salmon tataki salad
Chef’s Sashimi Selection (RM 38) isn’t a “big” dish for the price, but one with superior quality and a pretty interesting presentation. Instead of pure traditional style, this sashimi dish is served with truffle oil and wasabi dressing on top of some salad that’s more at home in Western restaurants. The interpretation does work very well and I love the combination of truffle oil with raw fish, wonder why it’s not done more often.
For those who wants to opt for a light healthy lunch, the Salmon Tataki Salad (RM 28) would be a good selection. Flash seared salmon with home made Caesar dressing, this salad is one that I wouldn’t mind having (in addition to other dishes tho, hehehe). I like the fact that they serve it with some ikura as well.
lamb moromisoyaki – this is super delicious!
Lamb Moromisoyaki (RM 35) was probably the first Japanese lamb dish I’ve ever tasted, and incidentally it was also one of the best dishes on the afternoon. The lamb rack marinated with mori-miso and then carefully grilled to perfection. It was glorious, the slight saltiness of mori-miso together with the savory taste from lamb was perfect, I wish the serving was bigger.
Veron even ordered a portion to take away.
unagi kamameshi and hotate kamameshi
For those who likes clay pot rice, unagi kamameshi and hotate kamameshi (RM 35 each) will give you a taste of Japanese way of preparing these dishes. Both were served with generous amount of eel or scallops. If you love the slightly burnt taste of rice, don’t over stir it (I’m sure those with experience in clay pot chicken rice knows this trick already).
black sesame cheesecake, chawan mushi
Fukuharu also serves their chawan mushi (RM 12) slightly differently, a version that is a tad bigger in portion and quite a lot softer in texture. They’re also prepared fresh here, but to me, perhaps a dish that is priced a bit too high for what you get.
The black sesame cheesecake (RM 18) tho, is a combination of taste that’s new to me, and one that shouldn’t disappoint any dessert lover. I find myself enjoying this quite a bit more than I usually do with any desserts.
KY, Masamichi-san, Evelyn, Veron, Poesy
For ice cream lovers, you’d find black sasame, green tea, and a couple other types of ice cream around here as well. They tasted as these ice creams usually do, doesn’t disappoint, but not exactly special either.
Ultimately, Fukuharu is a Japanese restaurant that managed to carve a niche in this crowded market with the dishes they serve while being fairly competitive in pricing. I’d love to go there again.
Thanks for the invite and the ride, Poesy!
Address: Fukuharu Japanese Restaurant Terrace Hock Choon 241-B, Lorong Nibong Off Jalan Ampang 50450 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.159799, 101.728717 Tel: 017-209-8477
For some of you who follow this humble blog, you might know that I vouched not to ever spend a dime at Sushi King and Genki Sushi. Although both the restaurants serve inferior sushi on conveyor belt, it doesn’t mean that all conveyor belt sushi restaurants are bad, as my latest experiment at Sushi Zanmai (Sunway Pyramid) assured me.
conveyor belt sushi, with a lot of other items on the menu
I stumbled upon this place a couple of months ago when I visited Zen Sushi at their Pyramid branch. The menu enticed me (particularly the ikura chawamushi) to actually go there a few weeks ago when I had an appointment at Pyramid.
proper portion of fish over rice, nice
For the quick dinner, I picked 4 dishes of sushi (sake, maguro, amaebi, tofu skin) from the conveyor, and ordered a cup of the irresistible ikura chawamushi (salmon roe on top of steamed egg) and a plate of hotate sashimi (raw scallop).
The sushi dishes were actually very good, the portion of fish is generous, and if you look at the amaebi sushi (sweet shrimp), it is actually one big shrimp instead of the usual two tiny ones. They are plenty fresh and tasted very good too. I am one of those people who cannot say no to ikura, and the ikura chawamushi, albeit a bit small in portion, was actually very nice. It is a bit different from the usual roe over sushi rice though. Lastly, the succulent hotate sashimi (5 pieces of fresh scallop) was perfect to round up my dinner.
ikura chawamushi (salmon roe) and hotate sashimi (scallop)
The dinner cost Rm 35.42, with ikura chawamushi being the most expensive at RM 9.80, the sashimi was only RM 8, and sushi plates were between RM 1.60 (tofu skin) to RM 4.80 (shrimp). 10% service charge and the 5% tax is added. Still a pretty good value, and I am going there again.
Address: Lt 0B2-F1, Sunway Pyramid Shopping Centre
Bandar Sunway, Selangor GPS:3.073297, 101.607576 Tel:03-7492 3080
I wrote about the excellent IkuraHotate don I had during Isetan’s Hokkaido Fest last year. Well, it’s November again and Isetan is running their annual Hokkaido Fest for the first half of this month, and well, I just had to have the Ikura Hotate don again.
excellent sushi at good price (after 8:30pm)
However, as my wallet is not a reverse black hole, and the price of that item stays at the same RM 39.90, I wasn’t able to afford it for lunch. Then again, there’s always a trick. Thanks to Joe who left a comment informing me of Isetan’s late evening Sushi deal, I had a chance to fix the craving.
You see, after 8pm, there is a 30% off for all Sushi products, and a 50% discount after 8:30pm. This include items offered in the Hokkaido Fest that is running till the 15th of this month too!
Ikura (salmon roe)… *droolssss*
I bought my Hotate Ikura don and a Salmon Oyako don for the house mate. Altogether less than RM 40 for both after discount. It was one of the best take-away dinner I’ve ever had. If you work late at KLCC anytime before the 15th of the month, don’t miss out the chance!