Thursday, November 10, 2011
Japanese Food @ Ten Japanese Fine Dining, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur
No secret that I love Japanese food.
It is always the preferred choice whenever I dine out or even cook at home.
News of Ten's debut first came trickling through the Internet last month on the seventh.
Described as "a delectable exquisite fusion of Japanese and French cuisine at its finest" in the email, I was rather curious on what this meant.
Hold on, my brain started clicking...is this more like Cilantro or the atypical traditional Japanese restaurant?
Like a cat whose curiosity is piqued, I decided to join the opening rites.
Sampling their special menu for that day definitely perked my interest. While I would not peg it as Cilantro-like, this seemed to veer towards the traditional food. However, they did have some fusion items with the use of French ingredients such as foie gras.
There was also the bonus flashbulb moment of Iron Chef Hiroyuki Sakai making an appearance. He didn't do much in the kitchen (maybe flambe something as caught on screen) but he was all smiles and cheekiness with his watermelon (I wonder why though?).
Since I can be rather thorough about my reviews, I went back this time for dinner.
I was blown away......by the fresh sashimi on a Friday, the day shipment arrives from Japan.
Ten seems to favour Tasmanian ocean trout instead of the usual Norwegian salmon for their sashimi selection giving it an edge compared to the other places. In comparison, the trout has a richer taste with an incredibly "buttery" mouthfeel. Everything on that assorted selection such as the kingfish (hiramasa), tuna belly (toro), botan shrimps, scallops and even the local fish, the garoupa was fresh and sweet that we both slowly savoured each piece.
Equally good was the wagyu tataki, lightly seared with just a well balanced ponzu sauce that didn't overpower the sweet natural taste of the beef but complemented it.
I also enjoyed the salmon avocado roll (RM32) - the combination of the creamy avocado with salmon topped with ebiko is something you can't go wrong. One item I did notice when I tasted the sushi and maki is the rice here is exceptionally good with each grain beautifully formed. In a later lunch, I just picked each grain to slowly savour it.
I started to plot my return here...should it be the kaiseki for RM300++ per person for ten courses or the set lunches that are offered from Tuesday to Friday.
I decided on the lunch whereby the sets range from RM45 for the items like yakisaba (grilled mackerel), chicken teriyaki or the inaniwa udon sets to RM80 for the wagyu set.
Each of the sets are served with chawan mushi, an appetizer (that day it was a hijiki or seaweed one), a salad, miso hotpot (a sweet tasting soup with chicken and seafood), a bowl of rice and pickles.
Unlike other places, no fruits nor sweets are offered in the set. You can also order today's pick from a handwritten menu.
The sashimi set (RM65) is said to offer 12 pieces of sashimi but I think I counted more on my cherry blossom platter.
It is different from the one I got for my deluxe version (that was double its price) but the selection was still a head over the usual Japanese outlets. Let me see what I had - ocean trout, garoupa, amaebi prawns (smaller and not cloyingly sweet like the other places), tuna and scallop.
Aside from the sashimi, wagyu tataki, I was blown away by the steamed monkfish liver (ankimo) with ponzu sauce. Unlike other places which seem to favour a firmer texture, this one was steamed to a creamy foie gras texture that had me sighing over my meal as I nibbled on each piece with seaweed and the cucumbers on the side.
So I guess the millon dollar question on everyone's brain is will I return again? I think I will since this place is definitely one of its kind. Moreover, as you know how things work in Kuala Lumpur - today's star can easily fall as quickly as it rises so it is always best to seize the opportunity (or carpe diem) the food now or never.
Pictures (top to bottom) 1. Wagyu tataki with ponzu sauce (RM80) 2. & 3. Sashimi moriawase (Deluxe, RM150) 4. Deep fried prawn dumpling encased in burdock vegetable with Japanese cherry tomato and egg yolk with balsamico. 5. Salmon and avocado roll (RM32). 6. assorted sushi. 7. Sashimi gozan lunch set (RM65) 8. Chicken gratin, grilled chicken marinated with miso and wrapped in iceberg lettuce and seaweed with foie gras and chicken terrine. 9. Green tea cake. 10. Ten's interiors and its sushi counter. 11. Iron chef's many faces. 12. Sushi chefs prepare for the lunch.
Nibble on this:
1. Ten means heaven in Japanese.
2. The original outpost is Australia's Gold Coast where they started in 2009 .
3. The executive chef is Hiroshi Miura and the executive sushi chef is Atsushi Nishibuchi.
4. Miura has cha-kaiseki and ryotei training while Nishibuchi is trained in edomae sushi (tokyo-style sushi) and has worked in Tokyo and Sydney.
5. Source of supplies is the most important for Japanese restaurants so go on days where it is super fresh. The fish is airflown from Japan on Tuesday and Friday. Fish is also sourced from Singapore on Wednesday and local fish is sourced from our markets on Wednesday and Friday. The local fish they get is horse mackerel, garoupa, prawns, squid and baby tuna.
6. Prices range from RM10 to RM80 for entrees, sashimi moriawase is RM80 for entree and RM150 for deluxe version, salad is RM35 to RM80, main dishes range from RM40 to RM150, sushi moriawase is RM70 for entree and RM120 for deluxe, maki range from RM15 to RM38, rice and noodles from RM30 to RM45, desserts are RM25 each.
Ten Japanese Fine Dining
D5-G3-5, Solaris Dutamas
Off Jalan Duta
(Pork Free. Open for lunch from 11.30am to 2.30pm for Tuesday to Friday; dinner is from 6.30pm to 12 midnight with last orders at 10pm from Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Mondays. To get here, best you take the new entrance to level B3 from the Kencana Petroleum side (from Jalan Duta, take a left turn, go straight at first traffic light and then turn right at second traffic light) and go up to level G3 for block D5. The restaurant is located near Kencana Petroleum side and right opposite Overtime Bar. For more pictures, see the Flickr set. See their facebook page for more details.)
Note: Part of the review was invited while another part was paid by the reviewer themselves.