Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Chinese Japanese Fusion Food @ Chuka Zanmai, Hartamas Shopping Centre, Kuala Lumpur

chinoiserie dinner setting

The Super Dining group has definitely made a mark on the dining scene in the Klang Valley with their Rakuzen restaurants, budget places like Sushi Zen and Sushi Zanmai and their Italian fusion place, Pasta Zanmai. Their latest outlet, Chuka Zanmai is all about the Japanese interpretation of Chinese food. In Japan, this type of food is known as Chuka.

salmon yuke - poached egg with minced salmon (RM16++)

At this newly opened restaurant (they started business on the auspicious date, 8-08-08), you find Chinese elements in the decor and an open kitchen. The menu has familiar items like stir-fried dishes, fried rice, ramen noodles in 4 types of soups and etc.

Ms. Speedy Hands cooking fried rice

For starters, it was the Salmon Yuke - minced salmon topped with a wobbly poached egg and a diluted sesame sauce. Really yummy stuff that we both loved. I scooped some on a lettuce and savoured the salmon. Unlike the sesame sauce in Pasta Zanmai, this sauce seems very mild.

stone fried rice chicken teriyaki with egg (RM20++)

We ordered the stone fried rice, kinda similar to the Korean stone bowl rice with a chicken teriyaki and poached egg. I didn't expect to see the waitress appear to cook the dish in front of us. Before I could say anything, she was busy mixing the rice with the egg amid a puff of smoke. The chicken teriyaki is cooked seperately and placed on top of the rice once cooked. While I loved the teriyaki chicken, we didn't quite like the fried rice, which tasted bland and a bit soft. Maybe the next time, I'll order the version with soup, as that should be similar to nasi air from Kelantan.

chicken charsiu ramen with shoyu broth (RM20++)

I ordered the ramen noodles. Here you get a choice of soups - shoyu or soy that is the most basic, miso and a spicy broth. There was one more variety but for the life of me, I can't seem to remember. Topped with chicken charsiu (no pork here), it was a bit plain and nothing fantastic.

tick tock, when is my food going to be ready???

Instead, I had better fun with the last dish - pan steamed scallops or hotate. Arriving the last of our dishes, this was definitely one of the best. Hot stones are placed underneath the metal pot with scallops and hot water is poured on top to create steam. Cover the pot with a wooden cover and you will get a simple yet delicious meal. I especially liked the cute timer they gave us to show the 5 minutes to cook the scallops. The best part of the scallops is the sweet juices that collect on the shell - slurplicious stuff.

pan steamed hotate (RM28++)

Overall, we did enjoy our experience here even though it was hard to say this was Japanese since most items are familiar to us. I guess some may say this type of food is not as good compared to a Chinese place but I reckon the group gives their distinct touch to the Chinese cuisine.

Chuka Zanmai
P-2C, Ground Floor
Hartamas Shopping Centre
Jalan Hartamas
Kuala Lumpur

Tel No: 03 - 6201 1610

(Pork free. Open from 11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm on Monday to Friday. For Saturday and Sunday, the place is open from 12 noon to 11pm. Restaurant is further down from Starbucks and next to Haus showroom.)

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.

Other review:
Note: Visited this place, end of December 2008 and it was closed for renovations. Not sure if this place will still exist or Rakuzen plans to change it into Pasta Zanmai. Call ahead to check if this place is still in business.


J2Kfm said...

oh was passing by this place the other day, din realise it's a new outlet.
but the Zanmai moniker did give hint on relation to Sushi Z and Pasta Z.

Japanese intepretation on Chinese food? interesting.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

hmmm japanese interpretation of chinese or what they like to call it..err fusion..

i suppose its still japanese food but with hints of chinese? or are there more "chinese" items on the menu..

Julian Si said...

Great shooting, the food in your blog looks yummier and yummier ... or perhaps it is just your photography :-) BRAVO!

sc said...

the hotate looks absolutely scrumptious! can imagine those steamed juices...wooooo

minchow said...

That salmon yuke looks A-mazing! Two of my very favourite things, superbly executed!

ling239 said...

would likt to try the pan steamed hotate... how many pieces do u get for that price please ?

Penang Tua Pui said...

open at 080808 sure very fatt fatt later..lolx

i like the scallop.. look yummy..

choi yen said...

Chinese + Japanese food ~~ interesting...

J said...

Boooo.... It's so irritating - there's a "copy/paste" of one of your reviews at this site:

The worst thing is that there is no link back to your blog at all!

daphne said...

WAh! The ramen-the soup looks thick and flavoursome!

mamasoju said...

the hotate looks tempting... slurrrp...

boo_licious said...

j2kfm - yup, brand new outlet, just opened this month. Reckon not many know of this place as it is well hidden in Hartamas.

Joe - it is kinda like chinese food but given a Jap touch.

Jules - aiyoh, my pixs still have a lot to learn. Yet to master the DSLR.

sc - it was yummy. not the measly local scallops with no roe, so delish the juices.

550ml - salmon yuke was the best. Very nice combo and so tasty.

ling239 - 4 scallops in one pot. Not many but better quality than the local small ones.

penang tua pui - chinese thinking hence go for 8-08-08!

mimi - something new but actually taste kinda Chinese still.

J - thxs for the info. How weird, the acct has been suspended????

daphne - the one at the fair was much more kaww!!

ah_mel - it was very good but then I love all things scallop.

Simon Seow said...

Wow, How many different type of Zanmai concept they coming out with? Teppan Zanmai next?

J said...

to boo_licious:
No probs.... :)

Anyway, I'm glad it's suspended - my blood was really boiling when I saw it!
(Dunno how it got suspended though though)

Ms One Boobie said...

I wanna come home..!!

boo_licious said...

simon seow - I guess, as long as they all make monies, they can keep coming up with different versions.

J - thxs for letting me know. So weird, it is now suspended.

mamabok - we switch places???

Michael said...

Japanese intepretation on Chinese food? interesting.

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