Tag / Japanese
For a very long time the section of Pavilion KL on the 6th floor right above Harvey Norman was sealed off for renovation. The site is now reopened to public in a pretty radical transformation that is Tokyo Street, with 32 new outlets of Japanese themed products and services.
Tokyo Street at Pavilion KL
With this, I think Pavilion has successfully beefed up the previously lackluster 6th floor. It now at least sits on even keel with the dining options at basement, albeit catering to a slightly higher market.
One of the new restaurants at Tokyo Street is none other than Hokkaido Santouka Ramen, the famous ramen chain hailed from Hokkaido and was previously only available closest to us in Singapore. I had it there a couple years ago and at the time. It was a … “life changing” experience that left me wondering why we don’t have them here.
Well, now it is here, so I just had to check it out.
Santouka Ramen, now in Pavilion KL’s Tokyo Street
I guess I was not alone, there seems to be quite a lot of people who are dying to get a taste of Santouka’s famous ramen. Over lunch time, the line just for getting into the restaurant can be quite daunting.
As of 2nd August, 2011, Santouka was still operating with limited menu, but the dishes that I was eyeing was there – the pork ramen, of course.
pork ramen with salt (left) & miso (right) pork broth
There were four types of pork ramen with different broth (all pork base) – shio ramen (salt flavor), shoyu ramen (soya sauce flavor), miso ramen (soyabean flavor), kara-miso ramen (spicy soybean paste flavor).
The ramen comes in 3 sizes, S, M, and L. We were advised to pick M size since it was only RM 2-3 more at RM 25 and comes with 2 pieces of pork instead of one. Not too sure if L size comes with even more pork, hmmm…
check out the pork, the ramen, and of course, naruto
I had the classic shio ramen that came with the sliced pork (not chasiu), bamboo shoots, leek, narutomaki, and ramen noodle soaked in the salt flavored pork broth. There’s also a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and that is all, no eggs, no fried garlic, or any other condiments.
The verdict – wow, the soup, and the pork, they were superb! I probably still favors the hand made noodle from Ton Chan at Wisma Cosway just across the road, and kinda miss the fried garlic and egg at Marutama, Fahrenheit 88 (also just across the road), but as far as soup goes, Santouka takes the crown for me right now, though I would still continue to visit the other two outlets.
The more choices the better. Bukit Bintang area now has at least 3 pork ramen places within a stone’s throw away from each other.
KY & Sheng at Santouka Ramen, Pavilion KL
Note: I was wrongly given only 1 piece of sliced pork for my M size ramen, but upon notifying the waiter, I was given 2 replacement pork instead! Service – *like*!
Hokkaido Santouka Ramen
6.24.03, Level 6, Pavilion
Jln Bukit Bintang
GPS: 3.148872, 101.713368
SS15 in Subang is seriously shaping up as the premier one stop center for Japanese food. Years ago, there was Rakuzen, and now, the number of restaurants at this little area has blossomed to double digit. One of the latest installment being Yamada.
Having blogged about Rakuzen, Hyotan, Jyu Raku, and Sumi Ka, I guess it make sense to pay a visit to Yamada as well.
Yamada Japanese restuarant at Subang SS15
Yamada is located right across the road from SJMC, just a few doors down from Jyu Raku and Rakuzen. Whenever a restaurant opens among the more established and still able to attract customers, you know they must be at least decent.
The crowd at weekend night when we were there mainly consists of Japanese expats, and the chef himself is an old Japanese guy, that’s always a good start.
Yamada Bento – fried chicken, sashimi, tempura, unagi, and more
I went for Yamada Bento (RM 60) that came with quite a lot of stuff, chicken karaage (fried chicken), tempura, sashimi, unagi, potato salad, saba, and miso soup.
The sashimi tasted pretty awesome, with hotate (scallop), salmon, surf clam, yellow tail, and one of the better cuts of tuna. Chicken was pretty good if not slightly oily. I don’t have any negative feedbacks for the tempura, unagi, or potato salad, but I thought the saba (i think it was saba fish) was a little over cooked to be honest.
potato salad, california handroll, saba, torikara bento
Haze ordered a serving of potato salad (RM 12), a california handroll (RM 8), and the saba, torikara bento (RM 48). That was of course, a bit too much food. The bento came with saba that tasted nicer than mine, the same chicken, and a bowl of ramen that I thought tasted rather good. Instead of avocado, the california roll curiously had mango in it, a little strange but it worked.
Compared to some the competitors, the price at Yamada seems a bit steeper. As for food wise, the quality is there but I didn’t think it was always spot on. Next time I’m gonna spy on the Japanese customers to see what they order. I suspect most of their raw stuff must be very good, as I can attest with the serving of sashimi in my bento.
There’re still a handful of Japanese restaurants at the area I haven’t been too, next time then!
Yamada Japanese Restaurant
No. 5, Jalan SS15/5A,
47500 Subang Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan
GPS: 3.078895, 101.592711
Last week I went to Japan… or a restaurant in Subang that felt like it belongs somewhere in a Tokyo suburb.
Together with Haze, Cheesie, and Taka, we went to Sumi Ka at SS 15, a yakitori place swore by Taka, who is actually a Japanese and not some Malaysia with a foreign name (such as Gareth, for example).
Sumi Ka Yakitori, with more Japanese than Malaysian customers
It was a Wednesday evening, so we did not bother to call up for a reservation. After all, how many people could possibly go to a restaurant that’s located on 1st floor in the middle of SS 15 on a weekday?
Big mistake, the place was packed, and all but a couple tables were occupied by Japanese. The place is filled with smokes not only from the grill but from the tobacco loving people, it had the smell of a proper Japanese restaurant, the cacophony of chatters in Japanese completes the foreign ambiance. I loved it.
We waited at the stairs for a good 20 minutes before getting a table by the corner. It was the correct decision despite the look of protest in cheesie’s eyes.
uzura tamago (quail eggs), sunazuri (gizzard),
nankotu (cartilage), bonhiri (chicken butt)
Since the language on the menu wasn’t very agreeable with me, I left the task of ordering to the pro. Taka got us 7 different types of yakitori, 3 rice bowls, potato salad, and the customary cabbage salad too.
The yakitori were insanely good. We started out with uzura tamago (quail eggs, RM 3 each) and some sunazuri (chicken gizzard, RM 6). They were really good, but not exactly the type of ingredients that are difficult to grill well.
Then came nankotu (chicken cartilage, RM 4), which is actually the piece of “soft bone” from the center of chicken breast. The texture was superb, slightly crunchy and mixed perfectly with the little bit of meat on it.
Then there’s the bonhiri (chicken butt/bisho’s nose RM 3) that was just out of this world. There wasn’t any gross splashing of liquid fat in your mouth, it was just a mixture of fat, salt, skin, and meat that came together like an awesome symphony. You gotta try this one even if you aren’t particularly a big bishop nose’s fan.
kawa (chicken skin), lamb yakitori, gyutan (ox tongue)
Kawa (chicken skin, RM 3) was up next, again I failed to understand how massive amount of salt on grilled chicken skin could taste so good, but it was exactly the case. Baffling. I need more!
We also had beef and mutton yakitori (RM 4) that Haze described as the most awesome yakitori she has ever tasted. The gyutan (ox tongue, RM 6) was also one of my favorites. Just the right texture and that ox tongue flavor that carries the taste not particularly related with french kissing a cow.
potato salad, oyakodon (chicken & egg), yakitori don, tea rice thingy
Other than the yakitori, we had some yummy potato salad (RM 12) and a few rice bowls to help fill up the stomach. These tasted rather good too, authentic and true to the taste.
I learned that the chicken and egg rice bowl is called oyakodon (RM 14), which directly translate to “parents and children”. Chicken and egg, whole family murdered, just for our consumption, ahh, I love being a human.
Yakitori don (RM 14) proved slightly redundant, it was good but I think on hindsight we should have tried something else. The tea rice bowl thingy that Cheesie ordered was perfect to sorta wash off the greasy taste after all those grilled food though.
Cheesie, Taka, KY, Haze at Sumi Ka Yakitori
The meal was excellent, and I am going to get the list of restaurants to go to from Taka. This dudes really has good taste. By the way, don’t go to this restaurant, it is already packed as is, and Cheesie won’t be happy if she has to wait again, she’ll blame me. FML
You can instead go to Yakiniku at Cheras which is quite a lot cheaper to get your fix, they serve pork there. Go there instead, the food tastes decent, don’t go to Sumi Ka, leave the empty seats for me instead
No. 19, Jalan SS 15/4
47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.075327, 101.588677
Tel: 03-5632 9312/016-224 9312
Since I blogged about a cheap Western food restaurant in Kitchen Creatures on the previous post, I shall provide equal opportunity to another decent cheap eatery, this time a Japanese outfit – Restaurant Yakiniku at Pandan Indah, Cheras.
Restaurant Yakiniku 烧烤馆
To be honest, I seldom venture into Cheras for food. This has nothing to do with the food quality or prices there, but everything to do with the traffic situation in that part of KL during rush hour. An exception was made in this case because it was an invitation from Cheesie (her review here), and they serve pork.
Yakiniku is this smallish restaurant with simple wooden chairs and chimney like concoction not unlike many Korean restaurants. You get to grill your own food with charcoal in little stoves, no complicated gas or electric stoves though.
bacon, shishamo, mussels
As I mentioned earlier, this place is cheap, and by cheap I mean Cheras pricing. In fact, they haven’t increased their price in 6 years of their operation.
The plate of bacon is RM 5.90, a serving of five shishamo, err. I forgot, and the New Zealand mussels at RM 12.90 only.
enoki mushroom, shitake mushroom, tofu, cuttle fish
Cuttle fish at RM 6.90, and generally every other dishes we had were priced really cheap. I should have jotted down the menu but I guess I was too busy eating.
We basically put everything on the grill, the bacon was of course the favorite, and I really liked the chicken gizzards (RM 3.90). Enoki and Shitake mushroom were great with some butter and grilled over the tin foil.
chicken gizzard, grilled meat
I remember we had some beef slices too but that was only alright, and the tofu pok wasn’t exactly my favorite either. That said, the grilled food did turn out pretty good, and you seriously can’t beat the price.
chicken katsudon, kimchi fried rice
Other than yakiniku (Japanese for grilled meat), this little eatery also serves other dishes such as the chicken katsudon, kimchi soup and kimchi fried rice that we tried.
These dishes priced at below RM 10 and though I wouldn’t want to compare them to some of the more “atas” places, they are decent, and definitely provide value for money. (kimchi fried rice & miso soup at RM 7.90)
ze #porkgang, mostly
We had a great time over the session, everyone got to eat quite a lot except for Haze who stayed the closest but managed to get the the latest. Oh, by the way Yakiniku Restaurant is dog friendly too.
Ah, before I forget, if you go there and mention kyspeaks you’ll get an additonal 10% discount on the already cheap bill. (if that doesn’t work, mention cheeserland instead cos I don’t know if the owner still remembers me. hahaha)
20G, Jalan Pandan Indah 4/8,
Pandan Indah, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-4295 4833
When it comes to Japanese food, you can’t really find a higher concentration of restaurants than Hartamas and Subang SS15. With the former, there’s at least quite a big community of Japanese expats living around Mont Kiara area, but with Subang, well, there isn’t an easy explanation.
It just seems like there are more and more new Japanese restaurants opening at the area every year, Jyu Raku being one of the newest kids on the block that already packed no less than some half a dozen outlets.
Jyu Raku, with classy deco and a rather extensive menu
Incidentally, the first Japanese restaurant I blogged about all the way back in 2005 was Rakuzen, situated right next door to Jyu Raku. In fact, it was the former Japanese head chef from Rakuzen that opened this restaurant.
an extensive sushi bar with grilling area at Jyu Raku
You can really see the resemblance in the menu as well as the restaurant layout between Ryu Raku and Rakuzen. An extensive sushi bar with grilling area connected to the kitchen, about half a dozen tables on the ground floor, and bigger dining area on first floor as well as a couple private rooms.
Photos you see from this blog post were taken from two separate visits, but I have been to Jyu Raku probably at least half a dozen time since. Quality of food has been pretty excellent, and there is a wide selection of dishes to choose from.
sashimi, jyu raku roll, Sheryl
The sashimi (kame, RM 48) has always been very fresh and served with grated wasabi. Wasabi makes a heck of a difference when it comes to enjoying sashimi, and once you had freshly grated wasabi to go with the raw fish, there’s no turning back.
Their signature Jyu Raku roll (RM 28) is something not to be missed too, unagi, prawn, and sashimi and lettuce wrapped with a very thin piece of cucumber and topped with salmon roe. Really luxurious and positively delicious.
ebi maki, cha soba, gyu tan, and that grated wasabi
The cha soba (cold green tea noodle) here is as good as anywhere, smooth silky, and absolutely delightful especially on a hot day.
One of my favorite parts of cow – the tongue, is served at Jyu Raku too. The tongue has a slightly firmer but smoother texture compared to meat, and carries a slightly different taste to it that to me, equals some of the best cuts of meat. A place for cheap gyu tan is at Daidomon (buffet style), but quality aren’t as good as Jyu Raku.
Cheesie with her mentaiko (marinated pollock roe)
Mentaiko, or marinated pollock roe, is available on the menu but somehow aren’t available most of the time. The Ebi Mentai goes for RM 15, but when Cheesie asked for a bowl of mentai without the prawn, the restaurant obliged too. Mentaiko is quite a lot smoother than the more common ebiko (shrimp roe), and usually has a bit of a spicy kick to it. I love it.
cold inaniwa udon, beef with shimeji mushroom, green tea ice cream
Other dishes I’ve tried here include the inaniwa udon that is consumed much like cha soba, but a lot more subtle in taste (doesn’t come with wasabi). Beef with shimeji mushroom was pretty delicious too, but I’d imagine if we had ordered wagyu instead, it’d be even better, but alas, I don’t have a limitless wallet.
Jyu Raku is located right across from SJMC
Since the menu is rather extensive, there’s quite a lot more that I haven’t tried from Jyu Raku, yakimono, kushiyaki (skewed grill) wagyu, salad, and so forth. Those that I tried hasn’t been disappointing, but according to masak-masak, the tempura should be avoided though.
13, Jln SS15/5A
47500 Subang Jaya
GPS: 3.074770, 101.586370
Tel: 03-5633 3819