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.
I only got to know about Sumo Japanese Restaurant after they approached me to photograph food required for their restaurant’s new menu. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, my photos aren’t great and I am not a professional, which is why I turned it down in the end. Even though the project did not kick off, I was glad I had the opportunity sample some of their food during the project’s initial discussions.
Anyway, I am not going to lie to you: the meals were complimentary but I honestly thought the food was good. Hence SL and I returned as paying customers a few days ago to celebrate my birthday.
Sumo serves very fresh salmon and that is also the main reason that got me hooked. The Salmon Sashimi Belly @ RM30 seems expensive for the portion but if you compare it with other Japanese restaurants, the serving size and price are actually similar.
The Rainbow Roll @ RM19.90 is a combination of tuna, white tuna and salmon served with a creamy and sweet Tobiko (fish roe) Mayonnaise sauce. The rolls have a slightly crunchy texture at the center and taste delicious on their own, but it is the rich dipping sauce that makes the dish so satisfying. Personally, I like this a lot and I feel it would suit those who have strong taste buds.
Finally TAO has opened a branch in Klang Valley at Sunway Giza mall, Kota Damansara. When it first opened in Penang it created a buzz among buffet lovers, as the variety of food was considered to be fresh and unique for us – not to mention tasted great too. I have anticipated this day long enough, for a Penang based restaurant to make its mark in Klang Valley.
But first of all let me just clarify that TAO is not a Japanese restaurant serving Japanese buffet, despite always being referred to as ‘TAO Japanese Buffet‘. Actually the dishes served at TAO are Asian specialties including mostly of Japan, Thailand and Chinese.
My personal experience with TAO at E-Gate a few years ago was a good affair and I still could remember some of the dishes I had that day like the Lamb Teriyaki and Spicy Mayo Scallops. The main difference with Penang’s TAO and KD’s is that the latter have a self-service sushi and sashimi counters, which is definitely a good news for sashimi lovers. We had the lunch buffet @ RM42++ per pax, which comes to RM48.30 after including the 5% gov tax and 10% service charge.
The entrance to the restaurant, quite grand. I like how TAO designs their restaurant giving a nice, calming ambiance. But I think they seriously need to change the songs they are playing.. 90s boy bands songs ain’t cool yo.
Wahiro is a family run Japanese restaurant located at Roxy Square, Katong that provides authentic Japanese cuisine. The dishes are prepared with fresh air-flown ingredients from Japan at a reasonable price – reasonable in the sense that you get what you paid for.
Although the prices are a notch higher than its counterparts, I didn’t really mind because good service was rendered, the staff is knowledgeable and most importantly the food was great for me. No wonder it is one of the most well-received Japanese restaurant in Singapore. So I consider myself lucky to have discovered and dined at Wahiro before returning to Malaysia.
I chose the special Sushi Set @ $50 from the dinner menu for its variety of dishes served on a course-by-course basis. First was a mini Otsukuri consisting some of the chef’s selection of the freshest sashimi of the day – Hamachi, Maguro and Sake.
Then some mini Japanese appetizers served in small Chinese tea cups – Salmon Roe, tangy and spicy Seaweed, and Baby Squids served with mustard sauce. The latter two were new to me and I liked them. Not too much of a fan of Salmon Roe personally because of its fishy and salty taste.