teeny weeny mentai cheese avocado spring rolls (RM22)
Third time lucky - that's how many times it took us to get to Kuriya, the new Japanese outlet in Bangsar Shopping Centre. Sean of Eat Drink KL had enthusiastically mentioned to me about this place hence, it crossed my mind to check it out last Saturday when we were searching for food. Sadly, since it was too late, we didn't make it for their lunch session, and ended up having a lazy lunch cum tea at Alexis instead. Vowing to return, we made an effort to revisit on Sunday and our luck fell through as they unexpectedly closed due to unforeseen circumstances. Hence on Tuesday, when we decided to give it the third try, I was a little hesistant on what we will discover here. On hindsight, we're lucky we ended up here on Tuesday, since it is the day the fresh fish is flown in from Tokyo - definitely way much better than Saturday or Sunday.
making soba noodles - slicing them into thin strands after rolling them out
Kuriya is huge in Singapore with branches everywhere on that red little dot of an island. Here in Klang Valley, they also run Ichiban Boshi at Pavilion, where they make their own soba noodles. On that day, I visited here, I managed to catch them going through the last part of the noodle making i.e. the cutting of the soba noodles. I caught a little on the camera just before I got a gentle reprimand from the management of the restaurant to stop snapping pictures. Guess it is a trade secret? They don't make that many noodles (about 15 portions for that night) and it's super fresh - within 10 minutes from the time they cut it, I was slurping down my noodles. If you want to see the whole process of soba making, see this link to a class taken in Tokyo.
1. the condiments, 2. noodles so good, 3. yummy stuff
The best way to enjoy fresh noodles - just plain and cold with the tsuyu dipping sauce (RM18). I wanted my kamo seiro noodles with duck but decided I better eat it plain since Splashie Boy is not very into duck meat. One can't help to compare it with the other place in town that does fresh soba noodles aka Kampachi. While this one pales in comparison with Kampachi - a little less bite in the noodle strand probably indicating less buckwheat flour used, it was still very good noodles compared to packet ones. I especially liked the fact, I could order (by special request) the hot water the soba noodles are cooked in (sobayu). Once you finish with your soba noodles, you can add the water to the tsuyu dipping sauce and drink it down like soup. As the soba noodles are cooked in the boiling water, it retains some of the nutrients in the water making it healthy and tasty to drink.
the gorgeous tai (seabream) sashimi
Feeling very adventurous, we ordered the mentai cheese avocado spring rolls (RM22) - teeny weeny rolls filled with creamy avocado, very little cheese and a bit of mentai. Not much taste on its own, it needs the spicy wasabi mayonnaise dip on the side to give it a little oomph! Also sampled was the wagyu kushiyaki (RM16), tender wagyu beef slices with peppers that we thought was average tasting. The yakitori (RM5) wasn't too fantastic either hence we doubt we'll return for their skewers.
milking the tai fish to the bones (literally!) - 1. slightly tangy ginger soy sauce dip, 2. sashimi array, 3. tai fish head soup with miso, 4. deep fried tai bones.
Unlike other restaurants in town, Kuriya seems to offer a great deal when it comes to preparing the fresh fish flown in from Japan. For our fresh tai (seabream - RM150 for a fish), we enjoyed it prepared 3 ways. First, it was prepared sashimi style, pieces of delicate fish for us to enjoy with a tangy soy sauce ginger dip. Once we finished the gorgeous sashimi pieces, it was time to whisk the fish away and cook the fish head in a miso based broth. Sweet and tender, I reckon it would be better plain with konbu seaweed as the miso tends to be slightly overpowering (I once had an excellent tai fish head soup in Sushi Dokoro Maeshima with just seaweed). Last but not least, the bones were deep fried till crunchy giving you loads of calcium. A little care is needed when you eat the bones though as they're not very fine and can be a little too thick to chomp them down.
Overall, we had a great experience here and definitely won't mind returning to try the other items. A very modern and pretty place, I especially liked sitting outside facing House & Co, as one could hear the trickling water sound from House & Co's new water feature that is very soothing. Incidentally, if you do visit here, remember to take the "disco-like" glass lift near Chillis - very psychedelic with the blueish light.
Bangsar Shopping Centre
(Pork free. Restaurant is located at the same level as House & Co and Grand Imperial Restaurant.)
*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.