Ever since Haze started her gallery shop GoJyu5 at Publika (you should check it out), we’ve been sampling the restaurants there quite a bit, and since the Entertainment App has buy 1 free 1 deal for ANTE, we decided it was time to check it out a couple weeks ago.
ANTE, Publika Solaris Dutamas
ANTE is located on the ground floor (G1) of the Publika, one of the easiest location to find if you’re not familiar with the ever so confusing layout of Publika (as it’s built on a slope). If you’re going on busy weekends, it’ll be wise to make a reservation as the place can get really busy in a jiffy.
The interior is modern, comfortable, and has a dark-ish ambiance that’s probably very suitable for those who wants to bring your date for a nice dinner.
The claim of fame here are the pork steak, so that’s what we set out to try.
pork striploin black pepper sauce
One bite into those pork steaks, be it the ribeye (RM 52) I ordered or the striploin with black pepper sauce (RM 38) that Haze had, it became evident why the place was so packed. They were absolutely delicious.
They’ve managed to grill pork steak properly – juicy, well marinated, and done at what I can only describe as a perfect medium rare that is cook well enough to be safe for consumer and yet managed to not have it dry and stale. If you’ve tried cooking white meat on grill before, you know this really requires proper skills.
Then there’s the sauce, my ribeye came with truffle butter sauce that worked supremely well with the meat, and just perfect with a small cut of those charred pork fat in every bite. The caramelized onion and black pepper sauce was on point for the striploin too.
whole smoked duck breast as appetizer
Oh, by the way we also had a smoked duck breast (RM 25) as starter. It was basically a huge chunk of whole breast properly grilled and served with balsamic vinegar, simple yet delicious. I think you can have this and perhaps a dessert to make up an entire meal.
Well, looks like I’m going to revisit this place again soon. I’m already thinking of those pork!
By the way, if you
Furthermore, if you purchase it Entertainer App with Promo Code KYSPEAKS2017, you pay only RM 65 off instead of paying the full price of RM 145 (usual price)
I’ve always had problems with parking and navigating within Publika. The place has the most confusing lettering/numbering system for floors. There are numerous different “ground levels”, and some parking lots aren’t connected to each other the way a logically sound person may expect.
That being said, the place is also packed with huge amount of restaurants offering various different dining concepts, and often in relatively affordable price range due to the immense competition. Today, we’re going to look at Tsubohachi Hokkaido Izakaya. One of the Japanese restaurants that is undoubtedly among one of my favorites in the area.
Update 2019: this place is now closed.
Tsubohachi Hokkaido Izakaya, Publika
Izakaya is basically an informal Japanese gastropub, a place caters for after-work drinking and dining session not entirely unlike many of the Western pubs/bars, but one that obviously serves Japanese cuisine.
Tsubohachi is a renowned chain with over 300 outlets in Japan since its inception 40 years ago at Hokkaido, and currently is one of the two izakaya outlets in Publika, the other being Senya Izakaya owned by the Sushi Train group.
Our first time visiting Tsubohachi Hokkaido Izakaya was with Cheesie sampling their normal menu, but this time around we were invited to try their special Zuwaigani (snow crab) menu. How could I say no?
zuwaigani nabe (snow crab hotpot)
The snow crab menu is available till late July, but do call up to make sure its availability. Then again, the usual menu is quite extensive and certainly worthy of a visit or three.
Our session started with zuwagani nabe, or snow crab hot pot (RM 79.90). Basically half a raw snow crab (male, female would have too little meat) with fresh vegetable, tofu, and mushroom in a hot pot. Certainly a luxury comfort dish that is perfect especially on a rainy day, or any day for that matter.
The crab made the soup oh so sweet, it was as good as I had hoped.
aburi zuwaigani, kani chawanmushi
For those who likes it grilled, aburi zuwaigani (RM 58) should satisfy your cravings. A no-nonsense and unadultered way of enjoying snow crab with maybe just a little squeeze of lemon. Snow crab has a much softer shell than our Malaysian mud crabs, so getting a “perfect” peel is an easier job.
Kani chawanmushi (RM 12.90) too is worth trying if you just want to lux up the ordinary Japanese steamed egg with some snow crab meat.
zuwaigani sarada, aburi zuwaigani hakozushi
Want more greens? Try zuwaigani sarada, or snow crab salad (RM 22.90), though all those mayonnaise may discount the perceived healthiness of this salad dish, but those savory taste combined with sweetness of snow crab makes it worth the extra calories.
Aburi zuwaigani hakozushi (RM 35.00) is another dish we tried that incorporate liberal use of those savory Japanese mayo. The pressed sushi was certainly delicious, though I always find mayo & wasabi sort of clashes a bit with each other.
Rice or porridge? Take your pick in ankake kani chahan (RM 22.90), or kani zosui (RM 29.90). Neither should disappoint as they were both expertly prepared and show cases the sweetness of snow crab through the simplicity of the dishes. I can have either of these for lunch and be a happy man.
If you like things in small packages, try the zuwaigani masu-zushi (RM 21.90). A tiny box of sushi rice with generous amount of snow crab meat on top. Just enough to taste, but unless you have had stomach stapling surgery, this can’t be your only dish for the night.
a selection of yakitori, chicken, pork, mushroom
All the trying pretty much all the snow crab dishes sans tempura & sushi, we got greedy and decided to sample some of their signature yakitori dishes.
We tried chicken skin, bishop’s nose, chicken soft bone, chicken neck, pork belly, and mushroom. They came in both salted or in teriyaki, and I wished I had enough stomach space left to order a beer to go with these. Yakitori dishes are priced mostly at RM 7.80 to 9.80 for two sticks, pretty decent deal if you asked me.
Johnny, KY, Kelvin, Haze, macha de roru
Our final dish of the night was macha de roru as dessert, a sweet ending to a satisfying review session. I certainly don’t mind coming back here again, good food, great value, and without fuss, there should be more izakaya around town!
Address: Tsubohachi Hokkaido Izakaya
A2-UG1-9, Publika Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.170961, 101.665721 Tel: 03-6206 5526 Website: www.tsubohachi.com.my
After having a great time celebrating AhFa’s birthday at 42 East a few weeks ago with plenty of Kilkenny Draught, we decided to have an encore. This time our excuse was Suan’s birthday.
OK, maybe it wasn’t just an excuse, Suan is a dear friend and a big fan of Kilkenny (in fact, I first learned about this beer from her). Since she won’t be around on her actual birthday, we decided to get together a few days earlier.
Barfly, and these Kilkenny’s reserved for Suanie
Our destination of choice this time was Barfly at Solaris Dutamas. A place where solving the parking puzzle requires a PhD, but hey, we do it for friends right?
Luckily we had the foresight in calling in a couple days earlier to book for a table.
Michael, Li Ling, Suan, KY enjoying some Kilkenny
The place was well packed with people when we reached there at about 9pm. I always like going to a busy place for draught beer, you know it will always super fresh.
In the case of Kilkenny at Barfly, yeap, the draught were fresh, fragrant, and every bit as how a good pint of Kilkenny should be. Something that we learned from the Kilkenny Masterclass experience.
some of the beer food we have to pair with Kilkenny beer
Of course, when you have beer, you gotta have some beer food to go with.
Dark ale like Kilkenny pairs well with chicken, pork, and generally slightly stronger tasting food. Barfly happens to have quite a decent selection of snacks & even main dishes that goes well with beer.
Mike showing that all pint glasses hold the same volume
We had their flaming chicken wings, superfly potato skin, pig in haystack (enoki mushroom + bacon), fries, ikan bilis with onion and chili, nachos, sausage kau, and commando chips.
Many of the dishes were a bit spicy, and when you wash down that spicy kick with a big gulp of cold beer, that feeling is just the best!
and.. we had a great time! Happy Birthday Suan
Awesome friends, great beer, and some food over a few hours – good times!
I guess I must be one of the last person to have ventured into the second most exciting food court in the country – Food Village at Publika, Dutamas – the newest non-halal food court apart from my favorite of all time, Lot 10’s Hutong.
A couple weekends ago I found myself at Publika and hungry, and after mentally crossing out most hipster restaurants in the building, we decided to check out the food court. A place that I’ve heard good things from quite a few friends and colleagues alike.
BM Yam Rice at Food Village, Publika – pretty good crowd there
But what caught my attention was this stall that goes by the name of BM Yam Rice. I actually have two ex-gfs from BM (both are married now, thanks for asking), but never did hear about this BM Yam Rice place (maybe that was the problem)…
two sets – yam rice with mixed pork soup and pork knuckle
Horng and I ordered two set lunches – mixed pork soup, and the pork knuckle set. Both are priced at RM 9.90 and comes with yam rice, a side of braised egg with tofu, and the main dish.
The mixed pork soup turned out to be a beauty, plenty of pork belly slices, pork tripe, intestine, couple of pork balls, and even my favorite – coagulated pork blood. The soup had a slight sourish taste which goes well with yam rice, and I love the fact that they loaded the soup with Chinese parsley too.
pork slices, innards, and even pork blood, yums!
The pork knuckle with soya sauce (a version of tau eu bak) was not too shabby either. Though you don’t get the variety as you would with mixed pork soup, the pork knuckle was tender and tasted rather good especially when you pair it with the chili paste that accompanies the dish. It’s not quite as awesome as proper sambal but I’m not complaining.
I think I’ll have to try their other dishes at BM Yam Rice stall the next time I find myself at Publika.
Address: BM Yam Rice
UG1, Publika Shopping Gallery, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.170961, 101.665721
A few weeks ago I was invited to Ten Japanese restaurant for a tasting session that I cannot resist, and the reason was not for the food. I didn’t know what was going to be served, or if they were going to be any good, but I knew I had to be there despite the inconvenience of it being held on a Friday afternoon.
That reason was the attendance of one of my favorite chefs of all time – Iron Chef Hiroyuki Sakai.
Ten Japanese Restaurant, Solaris Dutamas
Iron Chef was my most watched cooking show when I was in the States, back in 2001 or 2002 I had contemplated driving up to Philadelphia from Greater Washington DC to have a meal at Iron Chef Morimoto’s, but that plan somehow did not work out, so this chance of meeting the King of Iron Chef, Hiroyuki Sakai, was most treasured.
My life is now complete.
King of Iron Chef – Hiroyuki Sakai, and Yours Truly
Now back to the restaurant. Ten was first launched in Gold Cost, Australia, and had won two Gold Coast restaurant awards for best fine dining and supreme award in the first six month of its opening. So this is a place with some high expectations.
The restaurant was officially opened by Tun Dr. Mahathir himself on the 13th of Oct, 2011. This food tasting session was held just a day after that.
Ten serves a fusion of Japanese and French cuisine. As of late, fusion food has a bit of a tainted name to it, often regarded at something that is neither here nor there, so I was curious as to how Ten’s version would be like.
After all, Ten means “Heaven”.
deep fried prawn dumpling & shiitake mushroom stuffed with prawn
Our entree was deep fried prawn dumpling encased in burdock vegetable, with Japanese cherry tomato and egg yolk with balsamico, and Shiitake mushroom stuffed with prawn and a sprinkle of truffle salt.
It was definitely an exquisite dish, the deep friend prawn dumpling was made to resemble prawn’s head both in look and texture, while carrying a rich seafood taste to it. The shishito pepper and cherry tomato gives a refreshing counter taste to the prawns too.
chicken three ways
Entree was the very casually named Chicken Three Ways.
It was three dishes in one. Grilled chicken thigh marinated with miso served wrapped in iceberg lettuce and seaweed was almost like maki. A dish that exploits the freshness of iceberg lettuce to counter the savory chicken and saltiness of miso.
Dark miso chicken gratin with button mushroom and parmigiano cheese was a dish that is very rich and very flavorful without being pretentious, it was perhaps just slightly too rich for me, but shall go very well with a glass of wine I reckon.
Lastly, there was the foie gras and chicken terrine with Japanese leek and teriyaki sauce. A piece of mango hidden in the foie gras & chicken terrine worked wonder to bring out the full flavor in this dish. I loved it.
assortment of freshest sushi
We were served some of the freshest sushi after the main course. Both ends of the fish touches the plate, and this is how sushi is supposed to look like, the ratio between fish and rice at those supermarket sushi isn’t what sushi is supposed to be.
The chef explained that while some of the fish are sourced from Japan, there are several types of fish & prawns that was sourced locally to obtain maximum freshness too. I like the way they choose the seafood base on it’s own merit without being pretentious and blindly taking everything from Japan and call it the best.
This plate of sushi, while not particularly dashing in its presentation, was one of the best I’ve had for a long time. Definitely mouth watering.
Ten’s green tea cake
We ended the lunch session with Ten’s green tea cake and a couple cubes of watermelon & grapes. The cake creamy but not overly sweet, it was actually very good and the portion was small enough to have it all even when I was already 90+% full.
the owners, Chef Hiroshi Miura, Chef Atsushi Nishibuchi, and Iron Chef Sakai
Leading the restaurant are two Japanese chefs – Mr. Hiroshi Miura, with classical Cha-Kaiseki and Ryotei (traditional upmarket restaurant) training, and Mr. Atsushi Nishibuchi began his training in the “Edomae Sushi” (Tokyo-style sushi) and was a head chef at on eof Tokyo’s premier restaurants in Ginza district.
Prices for lunch starts at around RM 45 for Yakisaba Gozen, Inaniwa Udon Gozen, to RM 65 for Chirashi Gozen, Sashimi Gozen, and RM 80 for Wagyu Steak Gozen. Dinner would of course bit a little pricier, but I do believe that if you are willing to spend some money at Ten, you wouldn’t be disappointed.
Oh, many of the servers are Japanese too.
Address: Ten Japanese Fine Dining D5-G3-5, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.170961, 101.665721 Tel: 03-6211 9910