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Isetan the Japan Store @ Lot 10 is turning 2.

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
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.

organic miso paste, dried pickled radish, hariharizuke (pickleed daikon)
organic miso paste, dried pickled radish, pickled daikon, konnyaku jelly

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
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
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
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.

green tea - matcha latte, houjicha latte, matcha kyo mukashi, iced macha
green tea – matcha latte, houjicha latte, matcha kyo mukashi, iced macha

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
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?
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 Tthe Table with Japan Local Speciality
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

For more info head their FB page.

#isetanthejapanstore #japanlocalspecialityfair

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, 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
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
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.

menu at Hirashima Sushi

map to Lot 10, KL

Address:
Hirashima Sushi
Lower Ground Floor
Isetan the Japan Store

Lot 10 Shopping Mall
Jalan Bukit Bintang
GPS: 3.146462, 101.711758

If you’re a fan of Japanese food, you should know about J’s Gate Dining at Lot 10 KL – a concept that is unlike any other when it comes to Japanese cuisine offering in Malaysia. As one of those fans myself, I was glad to be invited to the launch event and be one of the firsts to get a taste of what this place has to offer.

J's Gate Dining, Level 4, Lot 10 KL
J’s Gate Dining, Level 4, Lot 10 KL

J’s Gate Dining is located on level 4 of Lot 10 in Bukit Bintang. Head up the escalator now and you’d see 18 different Japanese restaurants taking up almost the entire floor space offering various different types of Japanese cuisine,centered around the concept of authentic Japanese cuisine and services.

J's Gate Dining launching, Lot 10 Level 4
J’s Gate Dining launching, Lot 10 Level 4

The  grand opening was officiated by Mr. Makio Miyagawa, Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia and Mr. Joseph Yeoh, Vice President of YTL Land & Development Bhd and YTL Hotels & Properties Sdn. Bhd., together with Mr. Naoki Yokoyama, Executive Officer of Sojitz Corporation, Chief Operation Officer of Retails & Lifestyle Business Division.

The opening ceremony is followed by a carving session of a 40.8 KG cultivated Bluefin tuna specially air flown by Sojitz Corporation all the way from Japan. We were then served the fatty tuna in the form of sushi after the event, and I may have returned for more than a few servings!

Bluefin tuna carving demonstration
Bluefin tuna carving demonstration

J’s Gate Dining is separated into two “sections”, with one side a food court type of set up offering all pork free Japanese dishes, and another section with individual restaurants, some with non halal dishes.

Here is the list of restaurants:

Restaurant Name Category
Tendon Kohaku Tendon
Menya Ichiyutei Udon
Kaisendon Kinme Seafood rice bowls
Shinanoji Soba
Fuji no Sakura Japanese hotpot
Bonta Bonta Eel rice bowls
TSUJIRI Matcha sweets
Cravebit Bar Bar
Mo-Mo-Paradise Sukiyaki/shabu-shabu
Torisakaba Hanazen Chicken izakaya
HACHI Traditional Kyoto cuisine
ViTO Café, gelato
Torikin Yakitori
Umai Sushi Kan Sushi
OSAKA Kitchen Teppanyaki, okonomiyaki
Kushiage Kinme Kushiage
YAYOI Set meals
Kaguraya Chicken ramen

On the same evening, a few of us were also invited to an exclusive tasting session to sample dishes from some of the restaurants at J’s Gate Dining. In the span of some 2.5 hours, we managed to visit these five restaurants:

Umai Sushi Kan - Sushi restaurant
Umai Sushi Kan – Sushi restaurant (pork free)

Umai Sushi Kan offers sushi & sashimi, perhaps the most familiar type of Japanese food for many of us. Again we got to have more of that cultivated Bluefin tuna sushi & sashimi, simply heaven. The rolls were pretty on point as well.

Torikin Yakitori (non halal)
Torikin Yakitori (non halal)

Next up was Torikin Yakitori. There’s a good selection of different skewers to choose from, from chicken tail all the way to pork belly, priced at RM 4 to RM 7 per stick. These makes for some really good beer food.

Kushiage Kinme - deep fried skewers
Kushiage Kinme – deep fried skewers (non halal)

If yakitori isn’t your cup of tea but you still love things in skewers, hop over to Kushiage Kinme. Over here you get fresh ingredients deep fried with light batter in skewers. There’s prawns, quails’ eggs, pork, and even asparagus, my favorite is gindara (cod).

I highly recommend some cold sake with these, which was what we did.

Hachi Traditional Kyoto cuisine, we had waygu beef here
Hachi Traditional Kyoto cuisine, we had waygu beef here (pork free)

If you prefer traditional Kyoto cuisine, Hachi could be your destination of choice at J’s Gate Dining. We sampled the wagyu set here that came with wagyu steak, roast beef, wagyu cutlet, bulgogi, roast vegetable, and rice, miso & edamame. A complete meal that should satisfy any beef lover.

Vito Cafe & Gelato
Vito Cafe & Gelato (pork free)

Our fifth and final stop for the night was Vito Cafe & Gelato, where we had a sweet ending to the day. Vito also serve coffee in addition to gelato.

map to Lot 10, KL

Address:
J’s Gate Dining
Level 4
Lot 10 Shopping Mall
Jalan Bukit Bintang
GPS: 3.146462, 101.711758
Tel:  03-2110 6850
Webwww.js-gate.com

Located at Wolo Hotel in Bukit Bintang (just right across from Lot 10), Tous les Jours is the new kid in town with fancy dress and high society aura.

The location is great, and facade of this born in Korea French-Asian bakery rejuvenates this side of Bukit Bintang, upgrading it to be of equal to the Starhill/Pavilion area.

Tous les Jours, bukit bintang
Tous les Jours, bukit bintang

Since it looked so beautiful from the outside, we just had to make a trip during lunch on a work week to see what this place is about.

The interior consists of area, an expansive ground floor offering coffee, cakes, and assortment of bread and pastry, with about half of the area spanning over two floors in terms of ceiling height.

bread, coffee, cakes, sandwiches, soup & salad
bread, coffee, cakes, sandwiches, soup & salad

Upstairs, there are more seating areas and another bar in which you can order sandwiches, all-day breakfast, tartine, as well as soup and salad.

The product selection is immense, with the smell of freshly baked bread and coffee in the air, the ambiance is perfect.

lunch for three, covering most of the product type at Tous les Jours
lunch for three, covering most of the product type at Tous les Jours

We had Korean wheat and sweet potato cream bread, blueberry pastry, a cup of caramel latte, some cakes, macaroons, as well as a breakfast set and caramel latte.

Over all the quality of pastry and bread were very satisfying, and perfect for any carboholics. I was a bit impartial to the way the presentation of caramel latte, but the coffee did not disappoint.

Sheng, Joyce, and KY
Sheng, Joyce, and KY

Expect to spend about RM 20+ per person for enough food to fill the stomach, and for the quality and concept, I’d say this place is definitely worth visiting.

map to Tous Les Jours

Address:
Tous les Jours
Wolo Hotel
Bukit Bintang
60000, Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.14716, 101.71140
Tel03-2201 3526

In my book, Lot 10 Hutong is by far the best food courts in Klang Valley, I will miss the convenience of being able to walk there in 10 minutes, we’re relocating the office to a building that’s perhaps more glamorous, but unfortunately a bit too far to be walking to the awesome food choices offered at Bukit Bintang..

Tai Lei Lor Kei pork chop bun stall at Lot 10 Hutong food court
Tai Lei Lor Kei pork chop bun stall at Lot 10 Hutong food court

I almost always order the char kuih teow, Soong Kee beef noodle, or different types of mee at Ho Weng Kee whenever I find myself at Hutong food court, but on my latest visit, I decided to try something else.

So I asked my sometimes lunch buddy Jean for pointers, and she suggested that I should try the pork chop bun at Tai Lei Lor Kei (大利来咖啡室).

signature frill pork bun, and sawdust cake dessert
signature frill pork bun, and sawdust cake dessert

Originally from Macau, the branch here at Hutong enjoys pretty brisk business during lunch hours. The menu revolves around pork chop, but does offer chicken wings and curry fish ball as well. You can have these with rice, bun, or even noodles.

The value set meal for signature pork chop bun goes for RM 13.90 with inclusion of a drink, and on its own the bun costs RM 11.90, certainly within the accepted price range at this part of KL.

The pork chop is surprisingly succulent and not entirely too oily, with the portion being rather huge as well. Without any accompanying lettuce or cucumber, your tongue might yearn for a bit of green after a while, but it will definitely put a smile on any carnivores.

enjoying my pork chop bun, and jean with jealous eyes cos she had sore throat
enjoying my pork chop bun, and jean with jealous eyes cos she had sore throat

As for the accompanying drink, I chose their Macau milk tea and was not disappointed. The other must-order item if you find yourself at this stall is their sawdust cake dessert. The cake isn’t exactly a cake but more like a slightly hardened tiramitsu with very fine grind peanut, it was very delicious.

I guess I’ll have to drive/ride to Hutong next time, which I think most likely will.

map to Lot 10 Hutong

Address:
Tai Lei Lor Kei at Hutong food court
Lower Ground Floor
Lot 10 Shopping Mall
Jalan Bukit Bintang

GPS: 3.146462, 101.711758