Kita No Zen (Hokkaido Ichiba) Japanese Restaurant @ The Gardens, Mid Valley

I could still vividly remember the last time I was at Kita No Zen (Hokkaido Ichiba) for lunch. The food was prepared with care and presented nicely, had generous portions and most importantly, tasted good. So even though the extensive menu is priced about 10-20% higher than the average Japanese restaurant in the mall, you get what you pay for – quality. Since SL had not been to the restaurant before and it was long since we had a good Japanese meal, we headed there last weekend.


Feeling deja vu? That is because Kita is owned by the same company that operates Sushi/Pasta Zanmai hence the familiarity in the restaurant’s decor.



I believe the Dragon Roll (RM30) is a popular dish at any Japanese restaurant. I felt it is so exceptionally good here that I ordered it during both of my visits. Topped with flying fish roe and sliced avocados that cleverly resemble the scales of a dragon, the sushi has a whole fried jumbo ebi wrapped inside. The prawn is very meaty too (thicker than my thumb!) and the flesh was firm and tasted sea-sweet. Simply delicious.


The superbly fresh Salmon Sashimi (RM22, 7pcs) comes in thick, generous slices and had an amazingly silky smooth texture that melts in your mouth. They are probably as good as they could get.


Unagi Kabayaki (small, RM28) – tender and flavorful in every bite, there was nothing to be faulted about this.


We also had the Winter Roll @ RM22, which I feel is somewhat a sister version of the Dragon Roll. It consisted of shrimp, sweet Japanese omelette and cucumber. I have to admit both its presentation and flavor are inferior when compared to the Dragon Roll but still, it is a good sushi.


Since the Salmon Sashimi was impressive, we decided to try the Toro Salmon (salmon belly) as well. It is understandably more expensive (RM30, 5pcs) for being more fatty and having an almost buttery taste. What can I say? Money well spent!


Iced Green Tea Latte @ RM6 – very milky and not much of green tea flavor, worth a try nonetheless for me. We also tried some other food like Chawanmushi, Grilled Saba and Cheese Baked Oysters that were all equally tasty albeit not spectacularly memorable. I am not a huge fan of Ramen and Sukiyaki, which is why I almost never order them at Japanese restaurants. So even though I adore the unagi, sashimi and sushi here, I cannot vouch for the rest of the menu, alright?


At the end of the meal we were very satisfied with the food we had. In fact both of us unanimously felt that the overall experience at Kita was way better than our last visit to Yuzu, which is another high-end Japanese restaurant located in the same mall.

Hokkaido Ichiba
Lot T-201, Third Floor, The Garden Mall
59200 Kuala Lumpur
GPS Coordinates: N3 07.145 E101 40.538
Tel: 03 2283 1060

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21 Responses

  1. Baby Sumo says:

    It’s my daughter’s fav Japanese restaurant, service here is good too even at peak hours.
    Baby Sumo´s last blog post ..Favola Italian Restaurant, Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur

  2. Michelle says:

    Have you tried the ice cream? I love this place. And yes, it’s so much better than yuzu.
    Michelle´s last blog post ..Simply Cooking: Chicken mince, tomato and corn congee

  3. Chong says:

    Tried once and quite liked their food. However, there is this odd smell which is quite distinctive… even from outside of the restaurant (same goes to Sushi Zanmai). Not sure what the smell is or where it comes from but I find it a lil annoying.
    Chong´s last blog post ..El Meson, Bangsar

  4. Their service is very slow. But their food is really good.
    Apple Foodees´s last blog post ..Hakka Mee – Chun Kee at Jalan Sayor, Pudu, Kuala Lumpur

  5. JD says:

    One of my favourite Japanese place in Klang Valley. The only setback is sometimes the waiter/waitress services are average.

  6. Ducky says:

    Like like like !

  7. Choi Yen says:

    Is there still got long queue ? Planning to revisit :)
    Choi Yen´s last blog post ..Cinnamon Coffee House, One World Hotel

    • vkeong says:

      When we went there was a queue, about 3-4 groups ahead of us. But the queue cleared up quite fast.. in just about 5-10 minutes.. It was 2pm yeah

  8. We love Japanese restaurants especially those by the street sides or in the bamboo like shops. We usually fancy their morning tea (real hot and natural).

  9. nikel says:

    Finally, Have one in The garden now..
    nikel´s last blog post ..QQ SnowMix 雪花鲜 @ Bandar Puteri Puchong, Puchong

  10. Ducky says:

    Why do people queue up for Sushi Zanmai when there’s Hokkaido? Especially in One Utama.

    Is there something so attractive about Sushi Zanmai that it trumps Hokkaido?

  11. Kevin says:

    Your description on the Salmon Sashimi is just what I remembered. It has been long since I have last dined in a Japanese restaurant. Although I find them expensive, I was always satisfied at the end of every meal. Thank you for the recommendation.
    Kevin´s last blog post ..DTS Home

  12. panda says:

    service sucks!

  13. Raymond says:

    The service is super sucks today! the portion also super small and not acceptable !! i swear i will no visit hokaido anymore !

  14. Karachi Eats says:

    I will try definitely a dessert because I love to eat sweet dishes and from Japan recipe it will really surprising for me.

  15. I do not like this restaurant, the food is not fantastic, and its really overpricy where it cant even redeem itself in its serving quality.

  16. NA says:

    Disappointed!!! Very very bad service!!! Even trainee are better than them. My first and last time here!

  17. Charles says:

    vkeong you should try the wagyu beef which served with a piece of big leaf. RM75 but around 6-7 pieces, but the price is totally worth. You will open your eyes widely and shouting in your heart when the meat melting on your tongue. Cook the beef about 50% done is the best :D

  18. Anonymous says:

    I’m planning to visit them tomorrow. Hope their service is good. Thanks for the info :)

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