It has been almost six months since my first visit to Sake Room and there had been some changes. If you didn’t know, Sake Room Sushi & Lounge serves a large variety of excellent Japanese sushi and Fusion dishes.
Located in Seberang Jaya, it is definitely one of the best restaurant in Penang for Japanese food. The director of Sake Room, Melissa has taken over the kitchen as the only chef and has introduced many new dishes to the menu.
Recently, Melissa invited me over for to sample the new dishes, which I gladly accepted – knowing that I would be in for an awesome meal. I also get to bring along a guest – who else but Siang Leng ;)
The first dish to arrive was actually a soup – Baby Shishamo Soup @ RM11.90. Shishamo (Japanese smelt fish), or more commonly known as pregnant fish and traditional gin’an soup are used to prepare it.
At first glance of the second soup, we thought we were going to have tea. But this is actually another appetizer newly introduced in Sake Room – Zen Kettle Soup @ RM8. A number of fresh seafood like abalone, shrimp and vegetables like cabbage and carrots are cooked together in a combination of Dashi broth, sake and soy sauce.
If you were me, I bet you will think that the soup is prepared earlier in a big pot then transferred to the kettle. Well this is not the case. According to Melissa, every dish in Sake Room is prepared to order where quality will not be compromised.
For us, it was a new and unique experience to drink soup from a tea cup instead of a bowl. Because of the relatively large amount of fresh seafood used, the soup is very flavorful and intense – simply the best Japanese soup we ever had.
The kettle may look small but it contains enough soup to serve each of us twice. Even after the soup was finished, we get to eat the seafood ingredients left in the kettle. I have especially enjoyed the abalone, lol.
For starters, Atlantic Salmon Ceviche @ RM14 is a Carribean inspired dish. Served in a cocktail glass, it uses cajun spices and togarashi tossed in with avocado, orange bits, tomatoes, salmon and Ikura. Ikura is the Japanese term for salmon roe, which are round in shape and red in color.
Sake Room gets their supply of Ikura by importing them from Japan and processing them to be edible themselves. Ikura has a rather strong fishy smell and by applying a little pressure using your tongue, they will pop in your mouth!
Next up was Naruto Maki @ RM22 – An appetizing and beautiful dish which is said to take time and experience for a sushi chef to master. Without using sushi rice, paper-thin cucumber instead is used to wrap around the Atlantic salmon and crab.
This is the starter we enjoyed the most, because the combination of salmon, crab, some mayonaise and fresh cucumber is simply brilliant. Sweetness and freshness ooze from this marvelous dish.
Third and the last starter was Tuna Tataki @ RM28 – Magura lightly seared with butter sake and accompanied with ponzu sauce.
Tuna Tataki is prepared by searing sushi-grade tuna in a hot pan and sliced into thin pieces after cooling down. Then, black sesame and black pepper are sprinkled on top. While Ponzu sauce is a citrus based sauce which is lightly yellow in color. I didn’t really like it since it was pretty tasteless, or maybe it’s because I don’t know how to appreciate the subtlety of the dish, lol.
For mains, Sashimi Platter was the first to arrive. To be honest, I don’t really know how to appreciate sashimi, even though it is regarded as a Japanese delicacy. Main reason being I find sashimi to be somewhat tasteless unless dipped in wasabi and soy sauce. I also noticed that girls generally appreciate sashimi more compared to guys.
After some explanation by Melissa, I finally had some idea behind enjoying sashimi. Because of its delicate and subtle taste, sashimi is meant to be eaten before main course, before other strong flavors affect the palate.
And because sashimi is raw, the fish slicing process can be considered how the chef ‘cooks’ it. Besides being a sashimi garnish, the shredded daikon (white) radish can also be used to refresh the palate.
The Sashimi Platter we had consisted of fresh white tuna, ika squid, salmon and tiger shrimp. That day, I found a new way of appreciating sashimi which is through the creativity of the chef in organizing the sliced seafood.
If you look carefully, the salmon pieces are arranged to look like a rose! In the middle, there is a generous serving of Ikura sitting in a carved cucumber too.
For those who like inventive stuff, you will definitely love the variety of sushi Sake Room has to offer like Monkey Roll. Priced @ RM32, it is already a popular dish among Sake Room’s guests.
Don’t worry there’s no monkey used to prepare the dish, lol. Soft shell crabs and fish roe are used as the sushi filling, then topped with crispy Unagi slices. Simply the nicest among all mains for me. Well, anything with Unagi tastes awesome for me lol.
Another main served was Volcano Roll – a creative Makimono by Sake Room. To create the dish, California rolls are used and topped with hot baked fish in some spicy sauce.
There are actually four types of fish used – white fish, salmon, cod and butter fish. Thanks to the different type of fish being used, you get to taste a variety of texture and flavor.
Making its way as the third main, Den Miso Salmon Udon @ RM21 consisted of a fillet of salmon and some mushroom. The salmon is marinated overnight with in-house den miso sauce, then oven blasted for a couple of minutes to make it moist and tender. The end result is a nice, sweet tasting salmon fillet that complimented the light flavored dashi broth very well.
Another dish using Japanese Udon – Seafood Yaki Udon @ RM24 has a special sauce made out of fruits and vegetables infused in the noodles. The dish came with a lot of seafood like prawn, squid and crab sticks.
While enjoying the noodles hot, I tasted a hint of mayonaise in it too. Bonita flakes – dried shavings of fish that are sliced from bonito fish are also present in the noodles. Because they are thin and flaky, they appear to be waving and made the noodles seemed alive!
After indulging in so many delicacies, Banana Chips with Ice-Cream and Honey @ RM8 is welcomed.
In this dessert, deep fried banana in crispy pockets are drizzled with generous Hershey’s Chocolate and honey, then served around a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream. The combination of hot crispy banana pockets and cool ice cream in this dessert created a nice contrasting sensation!
Another dessert, Sake Room’s own made green tea ice cream is smooth and not overly sweet. Premium green tea leaves are grinded and mixed into the ice cream providing some texture.
Since sake is used in the restaurant’s name, of course there are plenty of sake and imported beers to choose from. And it would be a shame for us not to try any sake. We chose a sake for beginners – Pineapple Sake.
As the name implies, pineapples are used to infuse the sake to provide the natural sweetness. This is Melissa’s own sake recipe and according to her, it takes about 2 weeks to prepare 3 litres of it.
Another notable thing about Sake Room is that sake is present in all the dishes. For example sushi, the rice is cooked with sake. The same goes for their fried rice because the soy sauce is mixed with sake.
Shown here is only some of the sake and beer Sake Room has to offer. Throughout the meal we sat at a table facing the bottles.. it was quite a sight.
The meal was great and we are really thankful to Melissa and Bernard for being such a wonderful host. If I were to choose a few dishes to partake at Sake Room, they would be none other than Zen Kettle Soup (really must try), Naruto Maki, Monkey Roll and the home made green tea ice cream.
A promotion and contest with many great prizes to be won at Sake Room will be coming up next in a few days so stay tuned! You wouldn’t want to miss out this amazing opportunity to try the food I had above! Sake Room: Sushi N Lounge is located at
Jalan Todak 3,
Pusat Seberang Jaya,
If you are unsure about the address, look out for Roxbury or Billion Supermarket in Seberang Jaya. Sake Room is across the road from Billion, or 2 doors away from Roxbury. Better still, refer the map contained in this link, zoom in for a better view. Or you can simply take a look at Sake Room’s listing at Wok.com.my
If you wish to try the foods above, you are in luck. Sake Room is giving vkeong.com’s reader a 20% discount on the total food bill (not valid for beverages). The discount card* can be printed and used as many times as you like! Cool huh.
*Discount card is valid until 30 November 2008.