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Tag / unagi

SS15 in Subang is seriously shaping up as the premier one stop center for Japanese food. Years ago, there was Rakuzen, and now, the number of restaurants at this little area has blossomed to double digit. One of the latest installment being Yamada.

Having blogged about Rakuzen, Hyotan, Jyu Raku, and Sumi Ka, I guess it make sense to pay a visit to Yamada as well.

Yamada Japanese restuarant at Subang SS15
Yamada Japanese restuarant at Subang SS15

Yamada is located right across the road from SJMC, just a few doors down from Jyu Raku and Rakuzen. Whenever a restaurant opens among the more established and still able to attract customers, you know they must be at least decent.

The crowd at weekend night when we were there mainly consists of Japanese expats, and the chef himself is an old Japanese guy, that’s always a good start.

Yamada Bento
Yamada Bento – fried chicken, sashimi, tempura, unagi, and more

I went for Yamada Bento (RM 60) that came with quite a lot of stuff, chicken karaage (fried chicken), tempura, sashimi, unagi, potato salad, saba, and miso soup.

The sashimi tasted pretty awesome, with hotate (scallop), salmon, surf clam, yellow tail, and one of the better cuts of tuna. Chicken was pretty good if not slightly oily. I don’t have any negative feedbacks for the tempura, unagi, or potato salad, but I thought the saba (i think it was saba fish) was a little over cooked to be honest.

potato salad, california handroll, saba, torikara bento
potato salad, california handroll, saba, torikara bento

Haze ordered a serving of potato salad (RM 12), a california handroll (RM 8), and the saba, torikara bento (RM 48). That was of course, a bit too much food. The bento came with saba that tasted nicer than mine, the same chicken, and a bowl of ramen that I thought tasted rather good. Instead of avocado, the california roll curiously had mango in it, a little strange but it worked.

map to Yamada Japanese restaurant

Compared to some the competitors, the price at Yamada seems a bit steeper. As for food wise, the quality is there but I didn’t think it was always spot on. Next time I’m gonna spy on the Japanese customers to see what they order. I suspect most of their raw stuff must be very good, as I can attest with the serving of sashimi in my bento.

There’re still a handful of Japanese restaurants at the area I haven’t been too, next time then!

Yamada Japanese Restaurant
No. 5, Jalan SS15/5A,
47500 Subang Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan

GPS: 3.078895, 101.592711
Tel: 03-5635-2574

Hyotan was discovered accidentally during a fateful night. It was drizzling, and I had Japanese food in mind. I wanted to go to either Rakuzen or Jyu Raku at SS15.

As usual, there were no parking spot along S15/5A where those two restaurants are located. We were steered further and further away from where we wanted to be, and came up to an empty parking space right outside Hyotan that happens to be on the same road, another Japanese restaurant at SS15 that I somehow failed to notice all these while.

Hyotan at Subang SS15
Hyotan Japanese Restaurant

Since we were already facing Hyotan and that the exterior looks pretty good, I thought we should just give it a try, judging book by the cover might not work, but judging restaurant by the exterior usually has a slightly higher hit rate.

My confidence level went up a notch when an old Japanese chef greeted us on the way in, always a good sign.

Chirashi Sushi
chirashi sushi, always one of my favorites

I ordered Chirashi sushi (RM28), basically a collection of seafood items sitting on top of a bed of sushi rice in a friendly bowl. Hyotan’s version includes butter fish, sake (salmon), unagi (eel), maguro (tuna), hamachi (yellow tail), tamago (sweet egg), and ebi (shrimp), and crab sticks. There’s also a bowl of miso soup despite this not being a set.

It was good, the fish was fresh and I particularly like the unagi here. That said, I still think rakuzen’s chirashi sushi with it’s excellent ika  (squid ) edges out this one slightly.

yakitori and bento set at Hyotan
yakitori and bento set at Hyotan

Haze ordered some set of which name I couldn’t remember. It came with sake, unagi, salad, tempura, chawanmushi, saba, bamboo shoots, and some other smaller dishes to go with rice. It was a pretty big set and judging by the look on her face while she was noming in, she was definitely happy with it.

Haze and KY at Hyotan
Haze and KY at Hyotan

On top of that, we ordered 10 sticks of assorted yakitori to share (RM 48), while this isn’t Sumi Ka, the yakitori were still plenty awesome!

We had chicken liver, genko nuts, okra, quail’s eggs, chicken skin, chicken, mushroom, gizzard, some spring onion look alike thingy, and a hot dog thingy. Most items were at least on par with some of the bests I had, and for RM 48 it was a very good value too.

map to Hyotan japanese restaurant

Hyotan is definitely a place worth revisiting. The ambiance is nice, the dishes I tried were good, and well, it’s easier to find parking compared to the other 2 outlets mentioned too. Just about the only complain I have for Hyotan was the fact that yakitori took a bit longer to served compared to the other dishes. Perhaps that’s just a one time thing.

One more places for Japanese food at SS15 for you!

63 Jalan SS15/5A,
47500 Subang Jaya,

GPS: 3.081059, 101.592636
Tel: 03-5636 0326

It was the day before Chinese New Year and we arrived at Mid Valley Gardens with growling stomachs. Amy had suggested “this place with very nice char siu” that turned out to be the Canton-i that was closed for the new year. We moved to Fong Lye for Taiwanese food but met with the same fate again.

Yuzu Japanese Restaurant
very classy interior, illustrated menu

Just when we were running low on ideas and high on hungriness, we walked by Yuzu and decided to go for it.

The restaurant was quite a bit bigger than it looked from outside the entrance. The interior is classy, comfortable, and best of all, their tables for four are actually big enough to hold 4 set meals. I get pretty irritated when the trays have to be slightly off the edge of table.

Yuzu Japanese Restaurant
the three sets we ordered, sushi, udon, unagi, chawanmushi, tempura, etc

We sat down and after spending some 5 minutes on the pretty big and well illustrated menu, I decided to go for the Nigri Sushi & Inaniwa Udon set. Horng ordered a set that includes unagi, kamameshi (iron pot rice), and tempura. Amy went for unagi bento, miso soup, and a chawanmushi (steamed egg).

And then Horny’s eye was captivated by this particular entry on the menu. Sliced kobe beef with stone grill. It took some 5 seconds before temptation took over and we decided to give this a go to welcome the year of Cow.

Yuzu Japanese Restaurant
kobe beef, YUMS

Food did not take long to arrive. The inaniwa noodle is a type of cold noodle that is served with soba tsuyu (noodle sauce) with some condiments such as wasabi, spring onion, and seaweed. It was smooth and has a very subtle taste that I like, very refreshing.

My set also came with the teapot mushroom soup (like the one i had at Ninja Jones) that I really liked. The sushi though, while very fresh, had just a bit too much rice for my liking.

The kamameshi from the other set was very surprisingly very good, tasting almost like a cross between very good fried rice and lotus leaf rice but yet different. The unagi too, received very good reviews from Amy and Horny.

Yuzu Japanese Restaurant
Horng, KY, and Amy

However, the most memorable dish has got to be the Kobe beef. RM 88 for a dozen thin slices of raw marbled beef. The alternating layer of fats and lean meat looked so good sitting right next to the stone grill with hot burning charcoals.

We grilled it just ever so slightly. With a dip in the sauce and down it went into the mouth. The texture was so tender and yet so rich and succulent. This was the best beef I’ve had so far. Amy was supposed to try only one piece since she “believes in kwan yin” and all but she ended up having 1/3 of everything. It was really very good and I would certainly have it again.

Map to Mid Valley Gardens
Yuzu is on the 3rd floor at Mid Valley Gardens

The bill came to be a bit over RM 200 for three of us. The sets were around RM 30-50 and the excellent kobe beef was RM 88. A very satisfying meal and I believe I would return to this place.

Yuzu Japanese Restaurant
T236, 3rd Floor
The Gardens
Mid Valley City
Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.118675, 101.676085
Tel: 03-2284 7663

To commemorate my last day of work at KL and the hot chick’s vacation back to Malaysia. I decided that we should have a nice dinner at more exclusive place, a fine dining experience that is worthy of the occasion. It wasn’t difficult to choose Cilantro at Micasa Hotel, consistently voted as one of the best restaurants in KL. So I made the reservation last Tuesday and we headed downtown last Saturday night.

Truffle butter, Cilantro Restaurant at Micasa Hotel
nice ambiance, truffle butter and the tiger prawn with fish roe

Micasa Hotel is not exactly easy to find, I would have been unfashionably late if I didn’t have trusted N95‘s GPS navigation system guiding me to the restaurant. The somewhat hidden location gives an exclusive feel to the restaurant, the ambiance is very nice with the minimalistic deco, a Zen like environment.

Our waiter was very good, giving us the specials of the day and explaining the dishes in a professional manner. I ordered the dishes based on suggestions by Kelvin (who probably spent a small fortune dining there over the years). While waiting for our first dish to be served, we had some bread with the truffle butter. We were also served the excellent tiger prawn with fish roe, complimentary from the chef.

Appetizer, foie gras unagi, wagyu tartare, Cilantro Restaurant at Micasa Hotel
wagyu tartar (raw beef) and foie gras unagi

For starters, we had the Wagyu Tartare and Foie Gras Unagi. The wagyu tartare came with anchovy toast, egg mollet and Aioli sauce. Having been missing the raw beef sashimi I had in Tokyo, I just had to order this dish. The aioli sauce goes very well with the raw beef and egg, and the contrasting texture provided by the toast makes this dish such a delight to chew down.

The Foie Gras Unagi was very rich. Two generous slab of lightly cooked foie gras sandwiched between the grilled eel gives a very oily and rich texture that is best had with the accompanying salad. This dish is perfect for someone who loves fatty taste (in a good way).

Main dish, wasabi wagyu, foie gras duck, Cilantro Restaurant at Micasa Hotel
wagyu with wasabi crust and duck breast with foie gras

For our main dish, I had the foie gras with duck breast while the hot chick had wagyu beef with wasabi crust. I had been missing foie gras since the Zipangu experience more than 2 months ago, so a generous slab of foie gras was not to be missed. The duck breast was really great, so succulent and tender. I had never imagined duck meat to taste as good as this, coupled with the foie gras and a piece of radish and some vegetable for contrasting texture and character, it was just perfect.

The wagyu beef with wasabi crust was served with some seared mushrooms. I had a taste and thought it was excellent as well, the beef so tender you could cut it just using the spoon. The crust gave it a more sophisticated taste. The mushrooms were equally as good. However, I suggest against choosing the combination of Foie Gras Unagi and the Wagyu as the combination can be a little too rich.

Dessert, chocolate cupcake and earl grey ice cream, Cilantro Restaurant at Micasa Hotel
chocolate cupcake with earl grey ice cream

After the very satisfying main course, we ordered the chocolate cupcake with earl grey ice cream to share. If the appetizers and main dishes were excellent, the dessert was really out of this world. The chocolate cupcake has a molten core and the taste was just so good it was beyond words. Having the hot chocolate flows in your mouth while chewing some berries was just heaven on earth. The earl grey ice cream was quite unique though not too different from the green tea ice cream I had at Zipangu, it was very good.

The appetizers and main dishes were priced at around RM58 to RM68 while the dessert at RM32. With drinks, the associated tax and service charge, the dinner came to around RM361. Though it isn’t something I can afford on a regular basis, the experience was worth every cent.

Map to Micasa Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Cilantro Restaurant at Micasa Hotel

By the way, Cilantro is closing at the end of the year as Micasa is geared for a year long renovation. They are set to open an outlet at Midvalley Gardens with the same chef, though there will be changes in the menu. There are only 3 weeks left if you are to have the Cilantro experience.

Micasa Hotel Apartments
368B Jalan Tun Razak,
Kuala Lumpur 50400

GPS: 3.156874, 101.722530
Tel: 03-2161 8833

For some reasons (don’t ask) I found myself at Kim Gary in Sunway Pyramid for dinner just the other weekend. Not knowing what to order as I have yet to find something that is actually any good from the restaurant, I turned around and look at the nice big poster promoting their new Stoned Grilled Unagi Rice and promptly asked for that instead.

Bad Kim Gary Stoned Grilled Unagi Rice
I couldn’t finish this crap

I thought since I love unagi, I couldn’t go wrong with the decision. *beep* – wrong.

When I first saw the dish, it was the size of the unagi that caught my eyes, or shall I say, almost escaped my eyes. The big poster (top right) showed a nice chunk of eel filet, but in reality it was only half of that, equivalent to about 1.5 sushi. I was going to make a complaint, then I noticed that the picture (smaller of course) of the same dish in the menu actually spotted the tiny portion of Unagi. Borderline false advertising, but they cover their asses well.

The presentation for the food was actually not half bad sans the tiny unagi. However, the dish came with the unagi sauce instead of soya sauce, and there was no wasabi either. I began to wonder why they called it “Japanese style”. A bite later, all hope was lost, as they never bothered to use proper Japanese rice.

Worse still, it was actually Stoned Grilled Rice with Unagi instead of Stoned Grilled Unagi Rice. The bottom part of the rice was all burnt, I had no idea why they made the rice bowl that hot.

When the waiter came and clear the table, he didn’t ask why I had no finish the food. I took the initiative of telling him how bad the rice were, and all he answered “you have to stir the rice at the beginning“. And I thought it was a bad habit stirring your dish like a washing machine before eating.

By the way, if you need some ketchup, Kim Gary served them in packets so you can have the feeling that you are eating take-out orders from McDonald’s, how nice. -.-”

I am not likely to ever go there again.

p/s: I realise some of you come to this blog to look for recommendation of good food, hence I apologize for having to make a post of a bad dining experience. I’ll keep this to a minimum.