This Japanese eatery is the new darling of Malaysian food bloggers. Piqued, I too made my way to this recently converted bungalow to restaurant off Old Klang Road to join the crowd. Despite the rain and late hour, the place was still quite packed. Apart from the raved about Kaiseki meals, they also serve a variety of ala carte dishes. Having heard so much about the multi-course dinners, we began with Omakase Ryori (RM170) for one.
Omakase Ryori is basically a dining experience where the Chef decides on what to serve based on the freshest pick of the day or availability of seasonal ingredients. We heard prior to our visit that an 8 course meal is expected for bet. RM150++ to 180++ but during my visit, we had 6 types for RM170+. Dessert was not included too, to our disappointment.
First up was an appetiser dish, tofu with uni and baby crab. The tofu was a tad firmer than the silky soft types I have come to appreciate. So this was so-so to me only.
And the baby crabs are edible, but have not much crab taste to it due to the little flesh they have within their crunchy shell. But they do remind of the savoury baby crabbie snacks relatives bought us during they holidays in Japan, just a tad more bland tasting.
Next was the double boil scallop soup which was delightful. We loved how it brimmed with the sweetness of the scallop and rich-tasting it was despite being a clear soup. Perfect for warming ourselves up on this cold, rainy night.
The sashimi platter had thick cuts of salmon and yellowtail, along with one lone prawn and what I think is sliced scallop topped with ebikko. Very fresh and sweet but it would have been lovely to have a bit more variation.
Our grilled dish was Enoki wrapped in salmon and topped with duck liver on the stone grill. It smelt heavenly and tasted so despite being a bit on the oily side. The duck liver was literally a one way ticket to heart attack land but it was oh so good.
The braised beef cheek was served atop a thick slice of radish. The beef was very tender and easy to tear off but it tasted sweetish, which was a bit unusual for my liking. But luckily the radish balances out the sweetness so it was still a rather tasty bite.
The last dish for my Omakase Ryori experience was the Chilled somen noodles. Very much like our mee sua, the trick is to quickly slurp these babies up before they get too soggy with the imbibing of the stock.
We ordered a portion of Shio Gindara (RM32), or grilled cod fish and it was properly the biggest disappointment of the night. It was just not as fresh as we hoped it would be and tasted blah.
We had a portion of the 3 taste mini chawanmushi (RM12) and even though it looked cute in their eggshells and tasted silky, I think next time I would have regular chawanmushi coz apart from a bit of topping in these mini chawanmushis there was only egg custard in them. The toppings we had were crabstick, ebikko and uni (sea urchin).
This portion of tempura was actually served with udon (RM26) which was firm and chewy. It was alright, not as light as I hoped.
To end our dinner, we ordered a scoop of lavender and Momo (peach) ice-cream (RM12/scoop) and the lavender one was the clear winner with an almost gelato like texture, with a subtle and delicate flavour. Even the peach flavouring was also rather subtle, the ice-cream had some rather hard, icy bits in it so we didn’t quite enjoy it as much as the lavender one. Which brings one to wonder, is it possible for ice-cream to be too frozen?
Overall, presentation of the food was gorgeous and even though there were some misses, it was generally a great dinner with an old friend and some very interesting characters. And maybe it was a packed night, but service was somewhat scarce and some of the waiters served the dishes without really telling you what it was, which I think is the least they can do for the kaiseki deal.
Ishin Japanese Dining (www)
202 Psn Kelang Off 3 3/4
Old Klang Road,
58000 Kuala Lumpur.