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Tag / mentaiko

A couple weeks ago I was invited to Mr. Wolf at Taman SEA to sample what they have to offer. Now first things first, Taman SEA is not SEAPARK. The former is right between Taman Megah and Damasara Jaya, while the latter is closer to Taman Paramount in PJ.

Slight difference, but getting from one side of LDP to the other can be quite an exercise in patience during rush hour, you don’t want that.

Getting to Mr. Wolf can be slightly tricky, as where you can see the restaurant isn’t where you can navigate to it. Follow the GPS and throw your logic aside, you will get there.

Update 30/6/2017: This place is closed

Mr Wolf at Taman SEA (not SEAPARK!)
Mr Wolf at Taman SEA (not SEAPARK!)

To understand the type of cuisine served at Mr. Wolf is to understand the main man behind this restaurant – Chef Bryan Tan.

Chef Bryan served at the kitchen of Cilantro, crafted the menu at The Point KL, and had quite an extensive experience cooking in Australia prior embarking on his own restaurant at Mr. Wolf. The background certainly shows up in his cuisine, a play of modern cooking without the constraint of the taboo in using ingredients as well as cooking methods from both East & West. The dirty word for this is “fusion”, but Chef Bryan calls it modern cuisine.

I think the word fusion has an unfair and unfortunate reputation, without those who push the boundary of what is acceptable, culinary art will always look at the past and not the future. I applaud the courage of those who brave the new frontier.

While those chefs may not get everything 100% right, when they do, you stand a chance to taste something like never before.

jamon serrano benedict, big breakfast, streaky bacon benedict
jamon serrano benedict, big breakfast, streaky bacon benedict

Mr. Wolf has a cozy bar upstairs and a restaurant on the ground level, today we’re going to talk about the restaurant, which started serving brunch on Friday thru Sunday, so let’s start with a few brunch dishes.

There’s a few egg benedict dishes, and boy do they make it right. We tried two – Jamon serrano benedict (RM 28), came with cured Spanish ham (white pig), English muffins, poached eggs and mentaiko hollandaise, while the streaky bacon benedict (RM 22) basically has the same ingredients but substituting ham with bacon. The poached eggs were done right, and the mentaiko hollandaise sauce definitely works, either would make excellent breakfast with some coffee.

Mr. Wolf’s Pibig breakfast (RM 32) – with tonkatsu pull pork on toast, poached eggs, pork sausage, streaky bacon, roasted potatoes, grilled tomato and salad, hollandaise sauce is quite a meal and perfect for those with a bigger appetite. Here again, a touch of Japanese influence is found on the tonkatsu style pull pork, which gives it that bit of extra sophistication.

deep fried baby crabs & school prawns, tiger beer battered soft shell crab buns
deep fried baby crabs & school prawns, tiger beer battered soft shell crab buns

Having a bar upstairs obviously means they have bar food that goes really well with cold beer.

The deep fried baby crabs, school prawns with chili lime dressing (RM 15) was something I wish comes in a bag like you’d get chips. The batter is light (ala tempura style), and the seafood crunchy and delicious. Sorta reminds me of those Thai baby crab snacks, but better.

Tiger Beer battered soft shell crab buns with kimchi mayo and caramelized onion (RM 12 per bun) was something of a surprise. The dish didn’t look particularly exciting, but it was like a mini burger that’s unlike any other. It’s basically just some really soft buns with really crispy and perfectly seasoned soft shell crab, I can’t come up with fancy descriptions, everyone loved it.

crispy skin salmon somen with mentaiko sauce, pan fried Hokkaido scallops
crispy skin salmon somen with mentaiko sauce, pan fried Hokkaido scallops

For seafood dishes, we tried the crispy skin salmon, edamame, somen and mentaiko sauce, seaweed and salmon roe (RM 34). Another dish taken from the inspiration across the continents and one laden with one of my favorite ingredients – mentaiko. It is rather rich and would suit those who loves strong tasting dishes.

Pan fried Hokkaido scallops (RM 42) came with cauliflower pureer, avruga puree, aojiso truffle dressing, French bean and quinoa. A combination that would satisfy any scallop lovers, and the truffle dressing does give it an additional edge.

sous vide pork loin, slow roasted chicken
sous vide pork loin, slow roasted chicken

Going slightly more conservatively, there’s the slow roasted chicken (RM 34), with tomato jam, black fungi and beanshoot salad, fried quinoa, grilled baby corn, curry leaf infused buttermilk sauce. The chicken (I suspect sous vide) was tender, and overall it felt like a really healthy dish. Other dish for your gym rat friends.

The sous vide pork loin (RM 32) with sautee mushroom, kimchi vegetable, soft boiled eggs, corriander jus, on the other hand, is almost but not entirely like a dry version of tau eu bak. I was looking for those fat layers, but I suppose it too is more fitting for those who likes to be a bit on the “healthier” side.

braised char siew pork belly, donuts
braised char siew pork belly, donuts

Our final main dish was the braised char siew pork belly (RM 34), with crispy pork hock, nahm prik, pickled papaya and cucumber salad. This was something that I found myself enjoying quite a bit, it tasted abit like a cross between dry bak kut teh & char siu, with a nice layer of glistering fat to boot. I found msyelf wanting to have some rice with these actually, it was good!

We concluded the night by having the nutella & salted caramel donut. I don’t see this in the menu but do ask about it from the good chef.

Over all Mr. Wolf easily beat my expectations on what they came up with. You don’t need to go to the likes of Bangsar, KL, or Mont Kiara for fancy modern food, Mr. Wolf has them right here in PJ, and for very reasonable prices as well.

map to Mr. Wolf at Taman SEA

Address:
Mr. Wolf
5, Jalan ss23/11, Taman Sea,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS3.116975, 101.614549
Tel03-7886 1098
Hours: Brunch on Fridays & Weekends, Dinner daily

Japanese restaurants are a dime a dozen in KL. Arguably one of the most mature foreign cuisine of all, you can find them in all price range and specializing in every sub-category. Today we’re going to look into Takumi Japanese fine dining, a pretty high end Japanese restaurant that emphasizes shabu-shabu and sukiyaki, among other dishes.

Update 16/4/2015 – This space is now replaced with Hanaya Japanese Restaurant

Takumi Japanese Fine Dining at Grand Millennium Hotel
Takumi Japanese Fine Dining at Grand Millennium Hotel

Takumi is one of the restaurants located within Grand Millennium Hotel, which itself is directly next to Pavilion and opposite Fahrenheit 88. The interior is classy, and for lunch, you can find some pretty decent deals too (I’ve been a few times for Chirashi sushi etc).

Our food review session was arranged by HungryGoWhere Malaysia (where I am a contributor), so thank you Shing for inviting, and Ahfa for being my sit-in plan B partner of the day.

edamame and Kani Salad
edamame and Kani Salad

We started the day with some greens in the form of edamame and Kani Salad (RM 18/28). The salad was refreshing, and I enjoyed the sesame dressing that’s been spiked up a little bit with wasabi.

The chef at Takumi likes to combine the traditional Osaka cuisine with a hint of boldness famous in restaurants at Tokyo, as we were told.

Sashimi platter
Sashimi platter

Sashimi platter (RM 180) was a work of art, with 18 pieces of fresh seafood served on a bed of ice with shiso leaves and even a bit of dried ice for mood. There were sawara (Spanish mackerel), maguro (tuna), kanpachi (amberjack), hotate (scallop), sake (salmon), and I believe, ohyuu (halibut).

Spanish Mackerel, grated Wasabi
Spanish Mackerel, grated Wasabi

The fish were fresh, delightful, and goes very well with grated wasabi. As always, remember that almost everything on a sashimi platter is designed to be consumed. For example, you can have mackerel with shiso leaf and a bit of daikon.

The shiso leaf is there to refresh your palate or to counter the “fishy” smell, getting your tongue ready for the next piece. Don’t waste them!

Lobster Mentaiyaki
Lobster Mentaiyaki

Next up was lobster mentaiyaki (RM 78 half), two of my favorite ingredients in the same dish – lobster and mentaiko.

The combination was perfect, the savouriness of mentaiko blends well with lobster meat, and if you’re one who can momentarily suspend the notion that cholesterol is bad for you, the lobster head is something you’ll absolutely enjoy.

Kawahagi, Chicken Curry Cutlet Maki
Kawahagi, Chicken Curry Cutlet Maki

We also had steamed Kawahagi (seasonal pricing) or commonly known as threadsail filefish. It was prepared not unlike a Chinese dish, with mushroom, some leek, and a hint of soya sauce. To be honest, I find the taste a bit bland and texture to be average. This isn’t up to par with the likes of steamed pomphret in my opinion.

I view Chicken curry cutlet maki (RM 30) as an interesting experiment, combining ingredients that otherwise would not appear together. The result is a bit of a mix, those who are allergic to soft shell crab can use this as a substitute, but the rest of us should probably avoid.

I do applaud the chef for being brave in experimenting with new recipes such as this, without such moves culinary art would never advance. So don’t take this as a negative criticism.

A5 Wagyu Sirloin and Angus Beef Shabu Shabu
A5 Wagyu Sirloin and Angus Beef Shabu Shabu

Then came the star of the night – A5 Wagyu Sirloin and Angus Beef shabu shabu.

Wagyu comes in many grades, with the alphabet denoting yield (A, B, C), and a number (1-5) indicating marbling score. Hence A5 is among the highest quality you can get, with fat contents equivalent to 8-12 BMS (Beef Marbling Standard).

The pricing at Takumi is as follow:

  • Shabu – shabu (Angus beef) : RM88.00
  • A5 Wagyu Roso : RM158.00
  • A3 Wagyu Sirloin : RM180.00
  • A5 Wagyu Sirloin : RM280.00
  • Matsuza Beef : RM490.00

Certainly not cheap, but of decent value, and the quality is certainly there.

just dip it for a few seconds, melt in your mouth
just dip it for a few seconds, melt in your mouth

For the wagyu, a dip in the boiling soup for just a few seconds is more than enough. We were supplied with a sort of ponzu mix but I love having the beef as is, the mixture of fat and beef melt in your mouth (pardon for the lack of a better description). It was so good!

The Angus beef was there just so we can make a comparison on the difference between a super high grade beef and a decent beef. To be fair, they were more than decent and would be of top quality beef on any menu without wagyu.

Ee Laine, KY, Shing, Weizhi
Ahfa, KY, Shing, Weizhi

We ended the night with some complimentary fruits, and coincidentally it was Weizhi’s (of KampungBoyCityGal) birthday too, so we had some cupcakes and sang a birthday song. It was a great night with awesome company. I can certainly do more of this.

map to Grand Millennium Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Address:
Takumi
Grand Millenium Kuala Lumpur
160, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.148006, 101.712225

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.

Address:
Jyu Raku
13, Jln SS15/5A
47500 Subang Jaya
Selangor

GPS: 3.074770, 101.586370
Tel: 03-5633 3819