Nowadays, I find that hitting the right restaurant is getting harder and harder in a sea of mediocre eateries. Probably that is why a lot more thought (and repeat visits) has gone into each eatery to test their breadth on what they can actually do. One particular place is this Japanese restaurant cum pub, I have been frequenting on an "on-off" basis to determine what it can actually do.
mejina sashimi (RM35)
My first visit wasn't too memorable as I remember through a haze of too much melting cheese (the bane of classic Japanese but very much an essential ingredient in fusion Japanese). I reckon we overdid it with their volcano maki - a pool of melting cheese on top of rice rolls to give it taste. A double whammy was in the avocado gratin, squared pieces of avocado mixed with cheese and gratinated over a hot grill. Instead pungent flavours from the stewed ayu fish still stick to the brain (it is very much an acquired taste as it can be very very fishy!) and the fresh sashimi, where they even deep fry the fish bones for you to chew on.
Sake to ikura potato salad (RM24)
Not feeling inspired after the first visit, I shoved thoughts about blogging about this place aside. Then, a chance opportunity to sample dinner here one night (I wanted to eat at Shuraku next door but it was a Monday and they were closed hence I ended here) led me to believe there was a ray of hope through that dark tunnel.
Suishin dragonmaki with prawn
I was alone and wanted something simple yet comforting...hence the perennial favourite of mine i.e. chirashi sushi. You may think I go for this dish purely for the raw fish but nope, I'm a little different (and weird) as I relish the sweet taste and slightly sticky texture of the sushi rice under that layer of colourful raw sashimi. It is the same rice they use to wrap the sushi and for me, it tastes great just on its own that sometimes I rather eat it versus normal rice. Even though it wasn't technically a chirashi sushi (more like a bara sushi since it was chopped into pieces versus sliced), it was still a very satisfying meal that made me hanker for more.
That second visit bought the restaurant a third visit by us and this time round, we discovered some hits but also stumbled on some misses. I'm always partial towards home style Japanese hence when I saw niku jaga (stewed beef with potatoes), I ordered it. This dish is often cooked at home (in fact I just made it two nights ago) as it is pure comfort food - flaky soft potatoes mixed with tender beef slices and sweet onions dressed in a sweet thickened dashi sauce. Suishin's version is not as sweet as my cooked version and nice and light with vegetables to make it healthy.
hotate to kinoko mentai yaki (RM28)
Seasonal fish is available so ask the wait staff for recommendations. I can never resist something unusual, hence I zoomed in on the ikura topped salmon potato salad. It's a fusion dish as underneath the creamy potato salad is a pesto sauce. Nice textures but way too salty for my liking (maybe from the ikura?) especially since we were eating dinner sans carbohydrates. We tried another popular dish, the hotate to kinoko mentai yaki (RM28) - scallops with a dash of mentaiko roe and cheese flashed under the grill. Nice stuff but nothing earthshattering.
yaki anago tofu (RM29) and volcano maki
We were then persuaded to try one of their makis, the Suishin dragonmaki with prawn. With promises that no cloyingly cheese will be present, we were happy to discover the maki was an excellent choice as it had a very light and delicate coating of freshly fried tempura batter bits to give it a slight crunch. It also had just the amount of sauce to make each biteful so tasty that we totally enjoyed it. Another dish we were recommended was the sea eel or anago agedashi tofu. It's similar to something I've eaten at Sushi Zanmai (unagi tofu) but this one felt more refined and elegant as the sea eel didn't feel too oily or sickeningly overwhelming. The grated daikon radish and leeks on top complemented the whole experience with the lightly deep fried tofu.
Overall impression of the place after three visits, the place does have its hits and misses so luckily we did return for more (sometimes first impressions need a little more work). You just need to know what to order and even though it does not have a Japanese chef, this has not deterred the Japanese patrons from dining here. It's definitely best you follow the wait staff's recommendation especially for those who hate cheese (yes you know who you are!). Just inform them so they can cater to your tastes.
5-1, 1st Floor
Jalan Solaris 1
Solaris Mont Kiara
Tel: 03- 6203 6642
(Pork Free. Daily menu specials are available. Some of the items in this review may not be available but check with the wait staff if they can whip it up for you. Open for lunch during the weekdays and for dinner throughout the whole week. More pictures can be found in the Flickr set.)
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.
Other blogger's opinion:
Eat Drink KL
Other blogger's opinion:
Eat Drink KL