Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Japanese Food @ Fukuharu, Terrace @ Hock Choons, Off Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur


the salmon sashimi (RM28+) was prettily decorated with white radish flowers and served in Fukuya's signature black bamboo basket

Let's switch over to some Japanese food after a bout of Chinese traditional favourites. Rather than dine at our usual Taiwanese fave spot in Desa Sri Hartamas with my mother (she was craving for the poached chicken), we decided to try this new place I read about from Eat Drink KL. Getting here is a breeze with just a slight jam on Jalan Ampang and the white bungalow is tucked right behind Hock Choon's supermarket was easy to locate. Parking was ample too since not many people know about this place but I'm not too sure how they'll handle it later on when more places open up. On a weekend night, the place was almost half full with families and groups of friends dining out.

1. my greens topped with mushrooms, 2. sinful shishamo fish laden with eggs, 3. soft shell crab maki with thick soy sauce and crunchy ebiko

This place is part of the Fukuya chain but unlike the other outlet that is famous for their kaiseki menus, you find the menu here to be the typical run of the mill Japanese restaurant with sashimi, teppanyaki, makis, tempura and etc selections. Since it was the 2 of us, I ordered just a small amount of food to share. My mother always insists on salmon sashimi (RM28+)and Fukuharu's version came in a black bamboo basket like Fukuya with white radish flowers and a yellow chrysanthemum flower. Not a lot of people know this but I often eat my sashimi with the petals from the flower. You can either just eat the petals with the sashimi (it adds a nice fragrance) or dip it in your soy sauce if you prefer. Also, just remember one important sashimi rule - never ever mix the wasasbi with soy sauce to a paste. You just need to dab the wasabi on the fish and then dip it in the soy sauce. The Japanese will frown on you, if you mix the wasabi in the soy sauce.

cool endings - cha soba with quail egg, spring onions and wasabi paste

I wanted some vegetables hence it was a choice between the mushroom salad, sashimi salad or a seaweed salad. Being a fungi lover, I eventually went for the mushroom salad (RM18+) - a mix of pan fried mushrooms with a bit of sauce topping lettuce leaves and Japanese cucumber slices. While the salad was pretty tasty with the soy based sauce, it felt quite ordinary. Since I was just eating cold cha soba noodles (RM22+), we had an order of maki. Seems the soft shell crab maki (RM20+) was one of their specialties. Instead of seaweed surrounding the maki, this version uses the powdered seaweed hence you don't get the textural contrast of crispy seaweed with the rice. I quite liked the maki probably because they had super crunchy ebiko topping (a sign of freshness as most ebiko is mushy from the freezing) and a thick reduced soy sauce that reminded me a little of Max Kitchen' s reduced balsamic vinegar minus the tanginess. Not wanting to overload on food, instead of the usual grilled saba fish, we went for the smaller shishamo fish laden with eggs (RM18+ for 2 pieces) that was also good.

Overall, I reckon food here is good and fresh. While the service is enthusiastic, it can get slightly frustrating as they use Myanmar wait staff who can sometimes not understand what you ask them. Hence for anything more complicated, ask for the head Malay waiter or else you'll be tearing your hair out. My only complaint about this place is the menu is quite typical of other places but then since it is still in the early stages, I guess in the future they can add more exciting menu items and hopefully weekly specials flown in from Japan. What would be most interesting I guess is if they start serving their value-for-money lunch kaiseki sets! Betcha that will go down well with the ladies who lunch from Ampang after they do their grocery shopping in Hock Choons!

Fukuharu
241-B, Lorong Nibong
Off Jalan Ampang
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 017-2098477

(Pork free. Located in the ground floor of a bungalow right behind Hock Choons on Jalan Ampang. Upstairs is Il Divo, the Italian place that shifted from Desa Sri Hartamas. Plans to open more outlets including a bakery, a wine cellar, a bar next to the swimming pool is slated to be completed by August 2009.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.

15 comments:

KY said...

I could use some cha soba in weather like this

550ml jar of faith said...

Yes, finally some honest to goodness affirmation!! I always thought flowers were edible! Why we haven't been chomping on them like we vigorously do vegetables, I'll never understand!! :-P

CUMI & CIKI said...

all these jap restaurants i tell ya.. sound like swear words! even dat Daikanyama.. or sumptin (Nyamah!) :P ROFL

thule a.k.a leo said...

Jalan Ampang... a nightmare for me. Don't have many fond memories of this area, as it's congested most of the time when I was doing sales in KL.

ai wei said...

sounds like this is a good place for jap cuisine. would love to try it out once my jap food kaki back. ^^ I have marked this up. thanks for such a great review :)

foongpc said...

I always mix my wasabi with soy sauce. Haha! Guess I seldom go to authentic Japanese restaurants! : )

Sean said...

i wondered the same thing about parking, and the owners said they're opening up a huge vacant lot somewhere nearby for that...
ooo, i've always ignored the flower petals. will try them next time. and yeah, i'm one of those offenders who always mixes my wasabi and soy sauce. but it tastes good that way! :D

Jason said...

I don't fancy wasabi, so you won't see me do that!

Tummythoz said...

Oh my. I pass through that old expat establishment so often & yet have no idea of the restaurants behind it. Only noticed the small Jap restaurant next to it closed down (no loss to me) to be replaced by Hock Choon's vege mart.

About that wasabe + soy sauce matter, think most are guilty. Not me tho. Moi a soy sauce + chilli flakes regular.

Kwong said...

I really love Jap Food. Which restaurant do you guys recommend that serves up the freshest sashimi?

Sugar Bean said...

Nice restaurant, will try out any restaurants in relation to Fukuya, since Fukuya is good. :)

Horlic said...

Wah!! Salmon sashimi looks fresh..

PinkAddict said...

love your blog! i use it as my guide to new food discoveries since we arrived in Malaysia. It's been 2 years living here and we love it. Continue your nice blog and we hope to follow some of your food trail! Now that I will be delivering soon at Gleneagles hospital, i discovered there is a Japanese restaurant nearby thanks to you. will surely check it out.

Justin said...

http://www.facebook.com/pages/TERRACE-at-Hock-Choon/132164716360

Dakuro said...

all the pictures look so delicious, except the boiled egg, I don't like boiled egg, is not the flavor is the texture, is not like Buy Cialis and take it.

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