Manmaru Robatayaki & Bar is where Japanese cuisine meet Italian plating and traditional dishes are given a modern touch by Chef Danny Leow, a veteran in the industry known for his eclectic style of cooking. And you’ve guessed it right, Manmaru is indeed related to Manmaru Udon. Both of them are under the same management, so you can expect a few crossover items between their menus.
The restaurant is made up of a few different dining sections such as a sushi bar, a robatayaki bar, a common dining area and a private room for special functions. Although it seems like each section has a theme of its own, they all blend in well together to create a unique ambiance which will enhance your dining experience.
A selection of seasonal fishes are available and Tobiuo (Flying Fish) happened to be one of them during our visit. It was transformed into a carpaccio @ RM90 and served with savoury homemade sauces.
Each slice of raw fish is also topped with a bead of ikura and tobiko at the side for pops of umami. As beautiful as it looks, the more important question is: do the intricate presentation and painstaking attention to detail live up to the taste? The answer is “yes”.
Kuromutsu (Japanese blue fish @ RM80) was also in season and it was sent to the robata for a slow grilling, seasoned only with sea salt to bring out the flavour. The fish is slightly oily which makes it great for grilling and the flesh is soft with a marbled texture that makes it so tender and delicious.
Traditional Japanese soup is seldom spicy, unless it’s served in a ramen or udon so the Kaisen Gekikara Jiru (Spicy Seafood Soup) @ RM18 is a refreshing change from the usual like miso. Frankly speaking it felt almost like having a kimchi soup but minus the sourness.
For the freshest selection of sashimi available, the Chef’s Pick of Sashimi Combination is recommended and the price starts from RM68 for 3 sashimi varieties. If your budget allows or you have a large party, the 5 types sashimi @ RM150 is ideal for sharing and maybe even perfect just for photography purpose.
Needless to say, the sashimi was great (especially the tuna) but not as fantastic compared to those served at higher end Japanese restaurants. But as far as presentation is concerned, this has got to take the cake.
Manmaru does a really mean robata and the quality shows in their delicious Tebasaki and Kamo skewers (RM18 each), both are skillfully grilled to juicy perfection without being excessively salty. And I am not kidding at all when I say this is one of the best grilled chicken wings I have ever tasted.
Next, the most extravagant sushi roll I have ever seen to date. The Lobster Roll @ RM88 consists of a whole lobster wrapped with cucumber and topped with slices of fresh mango, salmon roe and flying fish roe.
The price tag might be high but fair considering you’re in fact getting a lobster after all. Not to mention the satisfying bite when you sink into the succulent lobster flesh, that’s a magical moment alright.
For something less elaborate but still big on taste, the President’s Roll fits the name well for combining some of the most premium ingredients such as toro (tuna belly), wagyu, foie gras, crabmeat, prawn and salmon into a extra-ordinary makimono with only a thin layer of rice. Priced at RM78 per serving, the President’s Roll will impress with its burst of flavours.
If you are a chawanmushi lover, you MUST NOT leave without trying their Hotate Chawanmushi @ RM30 which is steamed upon order so it takes 20 minutes to serve. The difference in taste is unmistakable compared to those that are prepared in a large batch and kept warm in a food steamer.
It’s silkier and creamier and made more luscious with the addition of a plump scallop and a spoonful of fish roe. This is quite frankly a work of art. After trying this, I am sure you will not see chawanmushi the same anymore.
The most expensive dish we had throughout the meal was Australian Wagyu Teppanyaki @ RM180. It was delightfully delicate and velvety with that desirable melt-in-your-mouth sensation and seasoned flawlessly. Simply heavenly and well worth its luxurious price.
Can’t get enough of salmon? Then the Salmon Ikura Millefeuille with @ RM45 will certainly satiate that appetite. We are still in awe of Manmaru’s modern take on the classic French dish and turned it into such a beautiful dish to behold – it looks too good to be eaten!
Anyway, it’s meant to be enjoyed with a piece of smoky cracker then top it off with a creamy wasabi and avocado sauce for a wonderful kick of spicy heat. And if you’re wondering, that’s a real crab.
There is also a noodle section in the menu consisting of mostly pasta and udon (from Manmaru Udon) that are all affordably priced between RM20 and RM35 except for the Wafu Spaghetti (Braised Spaghetti with Flower Crab & Assorted Seafood) which clocks in at RM48. Looking at the generous portion size and copious amount of fresh seafood given, the prices are justified. Even more so when they tasted outright delicious.
Lastly, we had a tiramisu that looks like it appeared right from a fantasy world. Chef Danny really went the extra mile and surprised us even more with this truly unforgettable dessert. Everything you see can be eaten, besides the lychee wood of course. This is usually included as part of the omakase for two pax as dessert, so we were fortunate enough to experience even just one of the dishes.
Everything being said, I would recommend Manmaru as one of the Japanese restaurants you have to check out because their food quality speaks for itself. Tasting is believing, so let your taste buds be the judge.
G26, Ground floor,
Jalan SS22/23, Damansara Jaya,
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7733 1038