Thursday, January 21, 2010

Japanese Food @ Tykoh Inagiku, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur

seasonal cod milt or sperm served with ponzu sauce

Reading Oishinbo can be a little dangerous to the wallet as it starts an incredible itch to have all the wonderful things described in the manga. Even though I know I can't get those food, it led me to start craving for Japanese food. Hence one night, we ended up at this place, which has been on my "to-do" list for the longest time ever.

Comfort food: Miso soup with tofu and dashimaki tamago

Always at the back of my mind, it perked my curiosity when I read how
Sugarbean raved about the food that they visited the place three times. Well tucked within Menara Keck Seng that is off that "always-jammed" Jalan Bukit Bintang, this place is frequented by locals and Japanese. One of the oldest Japanese restaurants around (it is said to have started in the 80s at Kompleks Antarabangsa), this place is owned by a Japanese fish wholesaler from Tsujiki Market, Tokyo.

nigiri sushi platter - just pick what you want by marking it on the paper

Prices here are generally on the higher side compared to other Japanese restaurants but you get quality and fresh seafood in return. We stumbled upon their sushi price crush promotion that started end of last year. Not known by many (it seems they only advertised in the Japanese papers), this means you get to enjoy a selection of nigiri sushi from RM6++ or RM9++ The RM9++ selection sees a choice of: uni (sea urchin), negitoro (chopped tuna), ikura (salmon roe), anago (sea eel), chu toro (tuna belly) and aburitoro (seared tuna belly). The RM6++ selection is a choice of 24 varieties that include items like: maguro (tuna), engawa (hirame), ika (squid), ebi(prawn), aji (horse mackerel), hamachi(yellowtail) and hotate (scallop). Temaki or handrolls are also available at RM6+++, with choices like soft shell crab and the perennial favourite, California.

Avocado tempura, prawn teppanyaki and dobin mushi

Our first visit was unadventurous since we stuck to a small selection - just to try out the place. Ever so simple but fluffy and ethereal with its dashi taste, I loved the dashimaki tamago (RM18) or eggy rolls served with finely shredded daikon radish. The dobin mushi, a must for both of us wasn't as rich tasting compared to other places. We reckoned it needed a little stewing to allow the flavours to develop. The ingredients used within the teapot were all super fresh - a tiny fish, a crunchy prawn, gingko nuts, fishcake, a piece of chicken and shimeji mushrooms.

gorgeous uni sushi with a dab of wasabi

I liked how the nigiri sushi had a little dab of wasabi within and not too much sushi rice that I could pop it into my mouth at one go to fully enjoy the taste of the fish with the rice. That dab of wasabi was just the right amount of fieryness needed to balance the taste of the fish and rice. Too much of it would have drown the taste of the fish. We sampled the ikura that popped in the tongue with its salty taste - simply gorgeous and the smooth tuna belly. I especially love the anago sushi - made with sea eel and lightly dabbed with the sweet sauce. It's not as cloyingly sweet compared to unagi.

tuna sushi, chutoro sushi and waksagi karage

On our next visit - we got more adventurous and ended up having a specialty that has been popping up in Cilantro ever since it opened in December (We had it in a gorgeous broth for Christmas eve). Technically known as cod milt and shirako in Japanese, it may resemble brains, but it is said to be the seminal fluid the fish sprays on the eggs to fertilise them. Usually steamed, its texture is soft and creamy to the mouth. Here it is served in a traditional manner - with seaweed, sliced Japanese cucumbers and grated daikon radish in a ponzu tinged soy sauce. For RM28, we got three pieces of cod milt which I reckon is a steal versus what we probably paid in Cilantro (it's part of a set). It is currently the season for cod milt and is said to end by April. For more on this, see
The Nasty Bits where pictures of what it looks raw is shown. Warning, it can put you off the food if you hate squirmy stuff.

Another specialty was the wakasagi (RM20), a type of smelt (Splashie Boy likens it to giant ikan bilis that will go well with nasi lemak) that is fished by boring a hole in ice covered lakes during winter. The restaurant is also well known for their prawn teppanyanki (RM38) - a large prawn is cooked teppan style and served with a creamy hollandaise sauce. Definitely a more-ish dish with loads of rice, as you can't stop eating that rich emulsion of butter and eggs. I also had a hankering for avocado tempura-RM19 (that cod milt reminded me of Sage where we had foie gras with avocado tempura before) hence we ordered it off the menu. Creamy melt-in-the-mouth avocado in a light batter - simply heavenly stuff. I was also well satisified with my uni sushi, the sweet hotate or scallop, hamachi and the aji or horse mackerel sushi, we ordered.

Next on the agenda I reckon when I return here, as I'm smitten with this place - their famous grilled tuna cheek on a charcoal grill that sounds simply divine. They also have Tabehoudai beef sukiyaki or shabu shabu during weekends. For more pictures, see
the flickr set.

Tykoh Inagiku
2nd Floor, Podium Block
Menara Keck Seng
No. 203, Jalan Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur

Tel:03-2148 2133

(Pork free. Closed on Sundays. Place is open for lunch and dinner. Fresh fish supplies come in on Tuesday and is available from Wednesday. The uni tends to run out fast so try and eat it when the fish supplies come in.)

*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.

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Sean said...

ooh, rm9++ for the uni seems like a great deal! but the fish is flown in only once a week instead of twice?
am always getting this place mixed up with the OTHER japanese outlet at menara keck seng. can't recall the other one's name right now... :D

Julian Si said...

(rubbing my eyes) ... Uh , milt ... sperm!?


:-) My untrained and uncultured pallet will stick to chicken and porky stuff!

ps - Great piccies ;-) and what a nice write up , as always!

Ciki said...

sperm is the new black! LOL (it's white too, innit?)

boo_licious said...

Sean - yeah, it seems fish is flown here once only. The robata place closed down already but do check out the dodgy looking Club San on ground floor where GROs sit in front for you to pick up.

Julian - we're Chinese and can eat everything, so milt or sperm is sap sap sui!!

C&C - hmmm, I wonder if this will start a trend for "sperm"

KY said...

aghhhh uni, you're killing meeee

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

wow, the promotion is price worthy indeed!

Unknown said...

ok its going into my to do list now!!so tempting

thule a.k.a leo said...

Japanese wave for you these days huh???

Bangsar-bAbE said...

Uni and chu toro sushi for RM9?? When does this promo end?

J2Kfm said...

I still remember my aunt, who's a Japanese tour guide in KL, kept on raving about this place. Claiming that the food served at Tykoh surpasses the others, even Jap restaurants in hotels.

I wouldn't mind paying an arm and a leg for the best dining experience, though I had my qualms when it comes to the ... sperm. >_<

Kwong said...

I was here a few months back and sampled their Claypot Rice with mushrooms. It was really good! The Tuna Sausage was also something I've never tried until I came here.

牛五花Orange said...


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