Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Jogoya @ Starhill Gallery, KL

Ever since Jogoya, the famous restaurant from Taiwan opened in Starhill Gallery, there has been a buzz around town saying how great the food selection is. Recently a whole group of us managed to catch the action there and I must admit the food is excellent even though the restaurant still has a few hiccups to look into. We also took the opportunity to savour the seafood delights at discounted prices since they were running an opening promotion of RM10 off their usual charges. The promotion ends on 31 March, 2006.

The restaurant is located on the third floor (also known as the Relish Level) of the newly revamped Starhill Gallery and is enormous with 30,000 square feet of space. It's advisable you book a table but you will still need to queue in front to pay for your meal in advance. The restaurant is pretty dark and full of little corners and nooks and can fit up to 580 people. I took this sneak view of the restaurant from the outside through the wooden slats that front the place hence you can see the slice of light from outside versus the dimly lit restaurant.

Since it was a big group of us, we got a round table to ourselves tucked in one little corner. If it's two of you at this place, they give you a nifty sized booth with not much of a view as it faces a wall. There are also VIP rooms with special titles like reunion, giving, I love you and etc. Each of these rooms can be used for different purposes, for instance the reunion room is perfect for families to spend time together at the dinner table. Every table gets a portable burner that is great for keeping your food warm and cooking certain dishes like the claypot items. You also get a metal clip (seen above) with your table number on it. When you peruse the different counters and want a cooked meal, drop this metal clip at the basket and they will send you the food once it is ready. Be warned though, it takes quite a while.

As the place is huge, one gets really confused on what they have and where things are located around the different counters. I spent quite a bit of time at the sashimi/sushi counter since it is my favourite food plus it had great light there. There were a small selection of makis, nigiri sushi at one side like this California Maki. You could also order a California roll to be hand rolled from the counter. Next to it is a selection of cold appetizers like winkles in chilli sauce, wakame seaweed, cold cha soba noodles and etc.

Their sashimi and raw seafood is packed on top of beds of crushed ice and a layer of dry ice that emits this ghostly smoke from underneath. It's an excellent idea as it keeps the seafood like these raw oysters so fresh.

There is a huge selection of sashimi but my favourites were the buttery salmon and scallop which I took loads to be dipped in soya sauce and wasabi.

A selection of the sashimi counter: amaebi (sweet prawns), scallops, stuffed inari beancurd pouches or battleship sushi and tuna. You get a lot of fresh seafood at this place so load up on oysters, prawns (they use freshwater ones with the big heads), crabs, scallops and etc here.

This is one of the counters they have dotted around the restaurant. At this counter, they serve dimsum, chawan mushi and the paper pot soup. You choose from a selection of crabs, freshwater prawns, scallops, an interesting fish cake (has two layers) and vegetables for your soup. There is also a selection of soup broths i.e. miso seafood, chicken and tomyam.

Once you select the items for your soup, they will blanch it at the counter and pour it inside the paper pot. The hot soup broth is then ladled inside the paper pot. You can keep your soup warm at your table with the portable burner.

Another snapshot selection of items they have at Jogoya: baked cheese seafood, scallops and oysters which you can cook on clay pots at your portable burner, chawan mushi and xiao long bao. They also have excellent prawn tempura which comes encased in a light crispy batter.

Oysters are in abundance at this place - besides eating them raw, you can also get them baked with cheese. There is a cooked food section that allows you to select from drunken prawns, oysters with black bean sauce and etc. Another section has steamed fish and there is even an Indian section if you prefer your food spicy. I probably did not cover the entire selection as the place is so huge.

Special mention must be made about the desserts here. Although they have no traditional Japanese sweets like green tea matcha ice cream and mochi, they made our day with their Movenpick ice cream. We liked the maple walnut flavour best of the lot (as seen above) and kept going back for numerous tiny scoops. (Note that Marche serves this ice cream at about RM8 a scoop so this is a real good deal)

They also have a large selection of desserts behind a glass counter for you to choose from - tiramisu, cappucino mousse (seen above), fruit tarts, cheesecake, almond tuiles, herbal jelly with honey, puddings and etc. The cakes were nothing exceptional and after a nibble here and there, we just concentrated on the Movenpick ice cream. Another great thing about this place is their neverending supply of juices. We liked the sweet coconut water you get from tiny cute coconuts. There is also coffee you can make from their machines.

Like any other restaurant, this place is not perfect so there were little quirks here we thought entailed a little development. Since the place is so huge and confusing, suggestions to add a location map to the various counters would be appreciated. We also felt that the staff behind the counters were too busy to explain to us the various items served and how everything worked as there were moments of confusion. For instance, I was only able to work out how to get my paper pot soup when a nice lady waiting for her soup told me how it worked when she saw my confused face. They probably need a few wait staff circulating around the counters to explain how things work. Another gripe was although the wait staff was extremely polite and helpful, they could not really speak English well. What I like about the place is they seem to change if things do not work, for instance initially when they started out they did not blanch the items in the soup and it took forever to cook it at the portable burners. Another plus point is you can see the top management of YTL keeping an eye of things by patrolling the premises.

The restaurant also runs a VIP members program which entitles you to privileges such as special menu items. To qualify for the VIP membership, you need to purchase coupons for fifteen seatings in advance from the restaurant. The fifteen seatings allows you to visit the place at three different times. Once you have the coupon book, you can use this to order the special items on the menu. To give you an idea of it in monetary terms: You pay RM1,020 for fifteen seatings that is 5 @ RM68, 5 @ RM78 and 5 @RM88 (the various prices is due to the various times you are allowed to eat there). If you purchase the coupons after their 31 March, 2006 promotion, the price goes up to RM1,170.

If you love Japanese food especially fresh seafood, head over to this place as it won't dissapoint. Be prepared though to camp out at the place for almost two to three hours to get your money's worth.

T3, Relish Floor
Starhill Gallery
Kuala Lumpur

Tel No: 03 - 2142 1268

Prices are RM78++ (Lunch - W/day is 11.30 am to 1.40pm, W/end is 11.00 am to 2.00pm), RM68++ (Late Lunch - W/day is 1.40 pm to 4.20pm, W/end is 2 pm to 4.20pm), RM88++ (Dinner - W/day and W/end is 5 pm to 9.30pm) and RM78++ (Supper - W/day and W/end is 9.30pm to 1am). Kids are charged RM10++ or more depending on their individual height.

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

Tagged with: + +

Other reviews:
  1. Xtra Peri2 Mentality - 15 January, 2006
  2. Juan's Not So Mundane Life - 22 January, 2006
  3. Din and Yus' fotopages - 26 January, 2006
  4. Life's A Square - 5 February, 2006 (scroll to the main site for the pictures which is posted as individual postings)
  5. KYspeaks - 7 February, 2006
  6. Wiwiwetwet - 28 February, 2006


whistler said...

Very comprehensive review on JOGOYA you have. I been to JOGOYA twice, I think they have some problem in quality control.. This is what happened, the first time I been there, crab taken from the paper pot soup section is completely "crab", it's so salty like eating raw salt. However the second time I been was ok.

I did take some more photos there, for those who like to see what's JOGOYA like, feel free to check out my blog.

J said...

Everytime I think of Jogoya I feel quesy... I think I was too kiasu and went totally overboard when I went there to eat.

What to do?
To me, RM88++ is so expensive... so I tried to make it worth my money.

I don't think I will ever go for such an expensive buffet again - even though the quality of the food is good....
(Not enough space in my tummy so I might as well eat ala carte)

Unknown said...

i think RM88++ is slightly expensive, as the Jogoya in Taiwan is at NT700,which is about RM7xx.
I've tried Jogoya Taichung and Taipei. Jogoya Taichung is much bigger than their Taipei branch. Lots of food there....but i'm definitely looking forward to try out Jogoya KL....

MJ said...

PASIM received an email fwd with pictures from your blog :)
It's at Jogoya Buffet promotion

Anonymous said...

Shaitza! Can I pretend to be full! So many delcacies. So hungry, sitting here eating a greasy slice of pizza...

Great blog... Ill just pretend this piza tastes good.


cmy said...

Very very difficult to get through the phone, always no body answer, seems like so busy... what a service is this? any easier way to make reservation? so dissapointed.

leong said...

We are really disappointed and felt cheated by the offer of 50% discount because we are really given 50% of the normal food. Those expensive food like salmon is missing. The service is terrible, I think the waitresses are overwork and the organisation is so unorganise, Our buffet lunch suppose to start at 1.40 p.m. but @ 1.45 only we have to queue up to pay before we can go in, so you can imagine they are about 200 people waiting to swipe their credit cards to 2 cashiers (time wasted) and the buffet will end at 4.15 p.m. Real disappoined.

Elaine Chong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elaine Chong said...

It is very very difficult to get through the phone line. I tried to call them 2 days before Valentine day but sometimes sound engaged and sometimes ringing but nobody answer. On 14/2/09, at last there was a staff picked up my call, she told me that all their 3 lines were engaged and fully booked.

I managed to visit them on Mar 7 for Dinner. It supposed to be from 5.00pm to 9.30pm but the staff told us we just can dine-in from 5.00 to 7.00pm, is that's a new procedure? Is it because their business is too good, so they can change when they like? We went there with 50% discount voucher but we found that they actually count the RM88 plus 15% (service & Govt tax) for both of us.

The food there considers presentable & nice but too little choice for Japanese food. Their charges are too expensive. I am thinking if we do not have 50% discounts voucher, we have to pay for RM202.40 for 2 pax. I think this amt is good enough for us to go for luxury seafood dinner someway already!

wino said...

The foods is not actually as good as its looks, the cake and the tiramisu to say cant eat at all, over there i can say i like to drinks the coconut water more.
the food preparation is v v poor,
with the price going to pay i can say i can eat alot better with a cheaper price.

my last word for jogoya is no next time.Even with buy one free one promo.

some more VIP also limited choice not like last time.

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