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Tag / isetan

Last weekend I had the good fortune of attending a pretty special food event, the Flavours of Hanami live presentation and tasting at Isetan the KL Store. For those who aren’t familiar with Isetan the KL Store, it is the re-branded up class retail at the exact location previously occupied by regular Isetan at Lot 10.

The place is tastefully decorated and packed with premium Japanese wear, everything from fashion items, watches, gadgets, grocery and food.

chefs from Tsuruse, Chikurin, & Kinobu restaurants
chefs from Tsuruse, Chikurin, & Kinobu restaurants

The Flavors of Hanami features four chefs each from Izuu, Tsuruse, Chikurin, and Kinobu restaurants of Kyoto in live presentation and tasting format at the following schedule:

  • Shogo Sasaki of Izuu – 21, 22 Jan 2017
  • Nobyuki Tanaka of Tsuruse – 18, 19 Feb 2017
  • Hideki Shimoguchi of Chikurin – 4, 5 March 2017
  • Takuji Takahashi of Kinobu – 18, 19 March 2017

dishes from which chef fancies you? the mock-ups sure look interesting
dishes from which chef fancies you? the mock-ups sure look interesting

Each day features 3 separate sessions at 12 pm to 1:30 pm, 3 pm to 4:30 pm, and 6 pm to 7:30 pm and priced at RM 100 per person including GST. The venue is at 3F THE CUBE/CUBE_1 Isetan The Japan Store KL.

One thing to note, each session is limited to 25 pax only so get your tickets as soon as possible at CUBE_1 ticket counter, Isetan.

The Hanami theme is an ancient tradition of welcoming spring, and this event is a chance for Malaysians to experience the cultural aspects as well as the delicacies associated with the Hanami season.

chef Shogo Sasaki of Izuu with his signature dishes
chef Shogo Sasaki of Izuu with his signature dishes

We were fortunate to participate in the first session with Chef Shogo Sasaki, the 7th generation owner of IZUU, a Kyoto sushi restaurant established in 1781, a restaurant that has its history 176 years before we yelled Merdeka and formed this country, talk about tradition.

chef Shogo Sasaki of Izuu preparing the famous saba-sugatazushi
chef Shogo Sasaki of Izuu preparing the famous saba-sugatazushi 

Chef started out with the live demonstration in preparing the most famous dish of IZUU – their saba-sugatazushi, or whole mackeral lightly matured sushi. The fish is expertly prepared and then wrapped in vinegar-ed kelp to draw out  a stronger umami flavor to the sushi.

We then got to try two versions of it, one freshly prepared and the other matured for a day. It was well balanced with a pretty complex taste unlike normal “fresh” sushi. Best thing is, you can actually buy this wrapped up to bring back to home country from his restaurant in Kyoto as the sushi would last for about 2 days.

and here's Izuu's signature chirashi sushi
and here’s Izuu’s signature chirashi sushi

Next up was their signature Chirashi sushi. Chirashi sushi is often my go-to dish in any Japanese restaurant, and the version prepared by chef Sasaki is as good as any. While it is slightly lighter on seafood, the seasoning of rice and other ingredients were right on point, making it quite a delightful dish.

we ended the day with green tea and mochi
we ended the day with green tea and mochi, notice the bunny?

The chef also showed us how the saba-sugatazushi cross section resembled a bunny, which is how IZUU got it’s logo all the way from 200+ years ago.

We then ended the session with a piece of traditional mochi and a cup of green tea so good we had to go downstairs to get the packet to enjoy at home.

If you love authentic Japanese cuisine with a cultural twist to the whole experience, don’t miss out on this event.

map to Lot 10, KL

Address:
3F THE CUBE / CUBE_1
ISETAN The Japan Store KL
Lot 10 Shopping Mall
Jalan Bukit Bintang

GPS: 3.146462, 101.711758

There are quest a few coffee places in KLCC, you have your usual big chains such as Starbucks and San Francisco coffee, and then there’s of course the kopitiams and food court. Of all these choices, Gino Coffee is fast becoming one of my favorites.

Gino coffee on ground floor, Isetan KLCC
Gino coffee on ground floor, Isetan KLCC

Gino is actually located at two different premises within Isetan. At the lower ground by the grocery area’s counter where they mainly do take-away business, and another slightly bigger area tucked behind the cosmetic section on the ground floor with a small but comfortable seating area.

Like most things Japanese, Gino appears to take their craft quite a bit more seriously, and I’ve seen the owner (I think that’s who he is) a few times at the premise checking and making sure things are done the right way.

cappuccino, latte, or one of their black coffee with foam thingy
cappuccino, latte, or one of their black coffee with foam thingy

The quality of coffee is certainly good and prices are at the same level of their competitors.

I usually go for their milk based coffee such latte or cappuccino, but they do offer some of the more funky choices such as this black coffee with foam thingy (forgot the name, tastes strong and sweet).

If you’re looking for a quiet place to chill that happens to also serve good coffee at KLCC, Gino won’t be a bad choice.

map of KLCC

Address:
Isetan KLCC
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.158126, 101.711833

A couple weeks ago I went down to Isetan looking for something to fill the stomach during the lunch hour. As it turned out, The Japan Winter Feast Fest was on going (28 nov – 8 dec, 2014). I walked around abit and saw this Japanese steamed rice stall that looked pretty enticing.

Isetan Japan Winter Feast Fair 2014
Isetan Japan Winter Feast Fair 2014

The stall offers two different dishes – Sansai Okowa & Chestnut Steam Rice. You can have them at RM 15 per portion, or alternatively, have them mixed with 1/2 portion each. To maximize my taste bud exposure, I chose the latter, of course.

They were both vegetarian dishes, with the Sansai Okowa, or wild vegetable sticky rice packed with quite a variety of mushroom and thus having a slightly savory taste to it which I like. The chestnut steamed rice, on the other hand, is packed with chestnut, sesame, and red bean which gave it a sweeter taste. I personally prefer the Sansai Okowa, but both were pretty good.

you can mix the two different steamed rice too
you can mix the two different steamed rice too

Isetan run these type of food fair pretty often, so be sure to check it out if you’re at KLCC. They also have a smallish eating area at the lower ground floor where you can noms away these takeaway food.

map of KLCC

Address:
Isetan KLCC
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.158126, 101.711833

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Once in a while when I feel like I have to indulge myself with some awesome snacks, I’ll go to the 3rd floor of Isetan KLCC where they sell a variety of not-exactly-cheap, but very good imported snacks.

Snacks that I’ve tried from there includes the irresistible Keebler’s chocolate chip cookies and the oddly named Hello Panda biscuits. But today, lets talk about the delicious European snack – MiniSnack!

MiniSnack from Isetan
crunchy and creamy, slurps

I’m not exactly sure where this snack comes from, the name MiniSnack isn’t exactly very meaningful. However, the Sfoglia ripiena blah blah blah description seems to be Italian. Why do I care anyway, so long as this stuff tastes good, right?

MiniSnack from Isetan
hazelnut flavor, best

This thing costs almost RM8 per packet, and contains “6 puff pastry rolls filled with hazelnut cream” or cream flavor. Biting down this snack is pure heaven, the roll is crunchy and pretty light, while the fillings is creamy and heavy, tasted almost like melted chocolate with strong hazelnut flavor. The skin actually has a similar texture with Him Heang tambun biscuit.

RM 8 for 6 of these isn’t exactly cheap, considering I could finish the whole pack in one sitting, but the flavor is just so great. Last I had one these was quite a while ago, I think I’ll have to go to Isetan tomorrow!

I wrote about the excellent Ikura Hotate 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.

Hokkaido Fest at Isetan, Ikura Hotate don
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!

Hokkaido Fest at Isetan, Ikura Hotate don
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!

GPS: 3.157581, 101.712102