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I usually avoid doing food review sessions on my regular sports day, but when Jack from Superdining insisted that I should go to Kura Japanese Restaurant at One World Hotel on a Monday, I couldn’t help but agreeing to it. This was mainly due to the excellent experience I had at Rakuzen Chulan Square and Japanese food being one of my favorite cuisines.

Jack later told me the real reason he wanted me to go on that particular day was due to the fact that they have fresh seafood imported from Japan on that very day. The company usually imports seafood product from Japan twice a week.

Kura Japanese Restaurant at One World Hotel
Kura restaurant and the square watermelon

Due to certain circumstances, YC the penumpang glamor who first appeared on this blog in the Guinness Gastronomic Workshop joined Cheesie and myself and reached One World Hotel after spending the better part of Monday’s sunset stuck in the traffic.

The interior decoration and design of the restaurant was unique enough to confuse anyone who couldn’t exactly understand Picaso’s paintings. It usually takes 2-3 wrong turns to find your table after a bathroom break. However, I must say it is very tastefully done.

Kura Japanese Restaurant at One World Hotel
appetizers, California hand rolls, crab meat chawanmushi, gingko nuts

The restaurant is headed by the very experience chef Hideaki Nakashima who is most skilled in preparing wide range of some very creative Japanese dishes. The six appetizer dishes Nakashima-san served us certainly reflects his ability.

They were oshitashi (Japanese spinach) with fish sauce, tomato and hotate (scallop) with vinegar, ikura (salmon roe) with yam, tako (octopus) with plum sauce, and hotate with enoki and other mushroom. There’s also grilled and slightly salted Japanese gingko nuts.

The appetizers were pretty intricate in presentation and certainly did not lack at all in the tasting department. Each has its individual character and overall they introduced a different dimension in Japanese cuisine to me.

Kura Japanese Restaurant at One World Hotel
Sashimi (including Fugu!), and rainbow roll

Sashimi and sushi are always inescapable when it comes to doing a review at any Japanese restaurants. At Kura, we were served the freshest seafood that had just been flown in the very same day. Fugu (yes, the poisonous puffer fish!), kampachi (yellow tail), tai (sea bream), sake (salmon), tako (octopus), shima aji (yellow jack), amaebi (sweet shrimp), and maguro (tuna).

It was my first time having fugu sashimi, and unlike other raw fish, fugu is best consumed with a little bit of green onion and radish instead of wasabi in order to better appreciate the very subtle taste. It was actually pretty good. The other sashimi and the rainbow roll was as good as you could expect from a top notch Japanese restaurant. Super fresh and certainly of very good quality.

Kura Japanese Restaurant at One World Hotel
the good chef, RM 28 chicken teriyaki set, desserts

Since Cheesie speaks Japanese, chef Nakashima was overjoyed as they went into extended conversation only both of them understood. This certainly made the good chef very happy and soon we were served with extra Carlifornia roll and also the crab meat chawanmushi which were very delicious.

Though located within a 5 star hotel, Kura isn’t only for those who are willing to splurge on a good meal. The cheapest meal full meal, the chicken teriyaki set priced at RM 28, comes with a generous serving of very tasty chicken teriyaki, rice, a small appetizer, chawanmushi, miso soup, and fruits. Very affordable especially in this setting, with these type of quality.

Kura Japanese Restaurant at One World Hotel
YC (penumpang glamor), KY, Cheesie

When we were all pretty stuffed, they brought in some home made Japanese bean curd (with sliced strawberry on top) and several scoops of pretty unique imported ice cream for dessert. The melon and pumpkin ice cream were pretty unique and interesting, while the bean curd certainly different from the local variety in a good way.

Since this was a food review session, some of the dishes provided were actually not found on the menu. However, you could still order them via special request.

Address:
Kura Restaurant
One World Hotel
Bandar Utama
Petaling Jaya

GPS: 3.147597,101.617817
Tel: 03-7681 1111

Huai Bin was in town a few days ago, so Ringo and I took the opportunity to meet him at Midvalley Gardens for dinner. My previous time meeting this formally notorious dude was actually during the PPS bash in June 2005 when this blog was just barely 5 months young.

Time certainly flies, the dude went through a national fame and a year of rehab since. How many of us could boost that kinda personal history? And then there are those crazy piercings. Anyway.. lest I digress.

Fong Lye Taiwanese Restaurant at Midvalley Gardens
this place is constantly packed

Fong Lye to Taiwanese food is pretty similar to Dragon-i in Shanghainese food, relatively affordable, comfortable ambiance, with a high turnover rate. The menu is not overly extensive, but most importantly, it is laden with many pork dishes, some beef, and a few chicken entrees.

I ordered the pork intestine set while Ringo asked for hot & spicy dimsum. Huai Bin went for the three variety supreme diced chicken, Melody the Taiwanese braised beef noodle, and HB’s friend a beef roll.

Fong Lye Taiwanese Restaurant at Midvalley Gardens
braised beef noodle, hot & spicy dimsum, pork intestine, and 3 variety supreme dice chicken set

The sets come with soup, a small portion of vegetable, a yong tao fu style brinjal, and a meat ball of sort, and steamed rice with some minced pork on top (was very good!) as standard package. The Three Supreme Diced Chicken was probably the tastiest of what we ordered. Very flavorful with just enough hotness provided from the dried chili, it is pretty similar to kung pao chicken, except better.

My Pork Intestine Set came with intestine, coagulated pork blood, tofu, and salted vegetable in a tomato based broth that is sour and spicy. It was pretty good, but I thought the portion of salted vegetable might have been a little excessive, and Ringo should stop stealing my coagulated blood though!

Fong Lye Taiwanese Restaurant at Midvalley Gardens
coagulated pork blood, beef noodle, beef roll, peanut snow mountain

Hot & Spicy Dimsum was somewhat similar with the previous dish, except that it doesn’t have much broth, and a lot more spicy. Tofu, intestine, vegetable, and some other pork parts with the “ma la” spicy sauce. It was pretty interesting but a little too spicy though.

Beef Roll and the Taiwanese Braised Beef Noodle were delicious dishes themselves too, as you would expect from a restaurant specialized in Taiwanese food.

Fong Lye Taiwanese Restaurant at Midvalley Gardens
Huai Bin’s gf was the camera lady, secret identify

We also had a Peanut Snow Mountain as dessert, but unfortunately the memory of two girls one cup killed my enjoyment for this item.

While the main dishes were pretty reasonably priced at less than RM 20.00, drinks are pretty pricey here. A pot of tea for two is RM 12, a beer RM 12.50, and yoghurt drinks at RM 7.30 each. I guess you gotta make up for the rentals at Gardens somehow.

map to Midvalley Gardens
Fong Lye is on 3rd floor, Mid Valley Gardens

Fong Lye can also be found at 94, Jalan Imbi; and No. 9 Plaza Prismaville at Hartamas.

Address:
Lot T208, 3rd Floor The Gardens,
Mid Valley City Lingkaran Syed Putra,
59200, Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.118675, 101.676085
Tel: 03-2282 8699

The weather has been pretty miserable lately. The road is wet, sky gloomy, and laundry always damp and damned. However, this exact sort of pitiful weather is perfect for a bowl of hot porridge or some steamboat goodness. Which is why Cheesie and I decided to head to Nagomi Shabu Shabu at Jaya 33 for the most fitting dinner last Friday.

Nagomi Shabu Shabu at Jaya 33
we ordered the duck set

In addition to Shabu Shabu with various type of meat (including Kobe beef), Nagomi also has a pretty comprehensive offering on fresh sashimi and sushi dishes. For the two of us, we ordered a duck shabu shabu set, sake deluxe maki (salmon roll with ebiko), and sake toro sashimi (salmon belly).

Nagomi Shabu Shabu at Jaya 33
duck shabu shabu set, sake deluxe maki, sake toro sashimi

We chose the Nagomi soup, a miso based soup (I believe) for the shabu shabu. The duck shabu shabu set came with minced duck meat at the center holding a up a raw egg, sliced duck breast meat on the side, a bowl of rice rice, and a plate of raw vegetable, mushroom, tofu, and glass noodle. The sliced duck meat took only seconds to cook while the minced version had to sit in the boiling soup for a little longer, but they were delicious. I particularly like to have it with the foyu (fermented tofu) instead of the chili or soya sauce.

Nagomi Shabu Shabu at Jaya 33
the three types of sauce

The sake deluxe sushi maki tasted very good too, with huge chunk of salmon and generous amount of ebiko (shrimp eggs) covering the roll. It was very good to lace our stomach with while waiting for the soup to boil.

Sake toro sashimi, of course, didn’t disappoint either. There were six slabs of salmon belly sashimi with a hint of the distinctive silver belly skin lining visible. As with tuna, the belly meat is most fatty and flavorful. The buttery texture with some wasabi and a dip of soyu, bliss!

Nagomi Shabu Shabu at Jaya 33
awesome shabu shabu porridge!

Just as we were almost done with all the raw items, Cheesie suggested that we make porridge out of the now very flavorful soup base. It was an ingenious idea I’ve never gave a thought before!

We poured the rice into the steamboat; threw in the last pieces of meat, vegetable, and tofu; turn up the heat, and stirred. The rice swam lazily in the soup, but in about 15-20 minutes, the once solid rice fused with the soup and became porridge. It actually tasted so good with the concentrated flavor from the reduced shabu shabu soup. You should give it a try sometimes!

Map to Jaya 33, Petaling Jaya
Nagomi is located on the ground floor of Jaya 33 in PJ

It was certainly a very good dinner. The bill came to RM 90.30 with the set costing RM 31, sushi and sashimi RM 16 & RM 25 respectively. Though not exactly cheap, I would rate the price as pretty reasonable, a place I would revisit.

Nagomi are can be found at Hartamas Shopping Complex and Menara Hap Seng too. Their website is here.

Adress:
PG-02B, Jaya 33,
No. 3, Jalan Semangat,
Seksyen 13,
46200 PJ, Selangor

GPS: 3.110274, 101.637139
Tel: 03-7986 2330

My housemate Rachel, her course mate Lucy Liu Amanda, and I were at Taman Paramount scouting for a place for dinner when we spotted Restaurant Kong Sai. A place that looked clean, comfortable, and pretty busy. Since we happened to park the car just across the road, we decided to give this place a try despite never heard about it before.

Kong Sai at Taman Paramount
Restaurant Kong Sai, Taman Paramount

One of my favorite open air Tai Chau (Chinese cook to order) places, Ming Heong, is located right across from this restaurant. If Kong Sai can attract as many customers as Ming Heong, it only make sense that their food must be up to the standard as well.

Fortunately my logic didn’t fail this time.

Kong Sai at Taman Paramount
pork knuckle vinegar, omelet, lotus root soup, vegetable

For three of us, we ordered four dishes. A pork knuckle vinegar, an omelet, a bowl of steamed soup with lotus root, and fried vegetable for some vitamin and iron.

Our food did take a while to arrive. The soup really smells good and tasted very sweet, obviously cooked long enough with pork bones and chicken feet. The lotus root and peanuts in the soup were soft while still retaining enough taste.

Kong Sai at Taman Paramount
say hello to Lucy Liu Amanda

Vegetable and omelet were both pretty good dishes, but the best dish of the night undoubtedly went to the pork knuckle vinegar. The generous serving of pork came with just the right proportion of skin, fat, and meat. Coupled with the strong taste of ginger, vinegar, and their excellent home made chicken rice style chili sauce; it was totally awesome. We devoured everything.

Map to Kong Sai at Taman Paramount
Kong Sai Restaurant is situated right across Giant Hypermart

If my memory serves me correctly, the dinner and drinks came to around RM 40. Pretty good value I’d say.

Apparently every other table orders their steamed chicken (ala chicken rice style) as well, I am going to try that the next time.

Address:
39, Jalan 20/22,
Taman Paramount, PJ
Selangor

GPS: 3.106890, 101.623975

On most “by invitation” food review sessions, there are PR representatives or the restaurant owner joining myself and other reviewers. Most often than not, the conversation will initially revolves around the food they serve, their restaurant, the company; but eventually to food in general and ended up with information exchange on the best food secrets in town.

The same thing transpired on the review at Dragon-i Pavilion. The PR couple Mr & Mrs Kong claimed to be the pickiest wan tan mee eater this side of Klang Valley, I told them I thought the wan tan mee at restuarant OK, SS2 is pretty good, while their recommendation was this place at Hock Lim kopitiam, PJ State.

Wan Tan Mee at restuarant hock lim, PJ State
this kopitiam doens’t even have a banner

The very same weekend after the review, Kong sms-ed me and said the wan tan mee I recommended was not up to their standard. It was then I decided that I must try this place, so Rachel and I went over to PJ State on Merdeka Day for breakfast.

Wan Tan Mee at restuarant hock lim, PJ State
ohhh, glorious char siu and wan tan mee

We ordered two medium plates of wan tan mee with the standard ingredients: char siu (bbq pork) and wan tan (dumplings).

It took a while for the noodle to be served, as the stall was apparently the busiest among the lot. However, true to Kong’s recommendation, it was really very good. The noodle with just the right amount of sauce, the pork wan tan with very soft smooth skin giving it a very nice texture and taste. Best of all, the char siu was really excellent, complimenting the noodle perfectly.

You can see how we appreciated it from the empty plates at the end of the meal.

map to PJ State
hock lim kopitiam is facing MBPJ building

The stall is located at Restaurant Hock Lim which is situated on the same row as Saito College at PJ State.

Address:
Jalan 52/18,
46200 Petaling Jaya

GPS: 3.098789, 101.645132