**Nov 2001 update: Life Centre is undergoing major renovations but Munakata is still open for business as usual.
About a year ago I went to Munakata‘s Japanese Buffet and I was happy with their authentic Japanese dishes served in the ala-carte buffet. Since then I have been to a couple of Japanese buffets with some even in Singapore.
Speaking from personal experiences I found that although the number of dishes served in Munakata is less compared to the rest, their food quality is hard to beat because they are fresh and only prepared upon order. This is especially true for the cooked food, Teppanyaki and Sashimi (albeit only Salmon Sashimi is available in Munakata)
I am also glad that there were no complaints on Munakata since it was posted, while the others were still bombarded with bad experiences and comments every now and then (eg. Tenji). Recently, Munakata updated their ala-carte buffet menu by removing some unpopular items according to customer feedbacks and introduced some new dishes. So I thought it is a high time for me to revisit to try the new dishes while keeping in check the food quality.
Starting with the new items, Yakinasu No Nikumiso Kaka (Japanese style grilled brinjal topped with minced chicken meat & soya bean paste) Despite being grilled to a soft and tender bite, the eggplants were still able to be picked up and held as a whole using chopsticks, while the toppings actually resembled sambal minus the spiciness.
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.
Kuishin-Bo was the last Japanese restaurant in Singapore I went before coming back to Malaysia. The restaurant is popular for its Japanese buffet. Unless you want to risk not having any seats, reservation is a must especially during weekends.
Sushi and sashimi, very good quality and fresh for a buffet.
Tempura prepared with really huge and meaty prawns, some fried items and Yakitori.
Japanese Fried Chicken, soft shell crabs and squid.
Among the cold seafood the sweet mussel is said to be a specialty but I found it to be sandy and chewy.. not my type of seafood. The prawns were enjoyable though, sea-fresh and succulent.
Surprisingly I found that I liked the Kaminabe (Japanese Paper Steamboat) the most. The soup stock was already very flavorful on its own, made even sweeter with the additional seafood thrown in. A