Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ishin @ Off Old Klang Road, Kuala Lumpur

Just in case some were wondering, while others were much sharper, the subject of the contest was no other than the Salt Grilled Tuna Jaw which we sampled in Ishin the other day.

Now Ishin is a newly established Japanese restaurant housed in a 2 story bungalow facing the main streets of Old Klang Road. Turn left after you pass the Vikas International school, you will be greeted with a nice bright red logo of the restaurant. Stepping into a rather spartan facade which will be slowly enhanced as time past, you are shielded from the noise and bought into Japan as you are greeted with Chef Q's delights.

Trying to build a reputation for Kaiseki, the chef will oblige to serve for anything between RM100 onwards for a complete dinner meal and RM50-RM80 for a quick lunch.

Focusing on fresh and in season ingredients, our first dish of our RM150++ Kaiseki dinner is an assorted appetiser featuring a stalk of the cherry blossom as decor surrounded by broadbeans, japanese tomatoes, sea snail and snapper sushi. Starting with the gigantic version of an edamame which had a smokiness to it from the grilling, followed by extra sweet tomatoes with a lower water content for a more concentrated flavour, proceed to a huge juicy sea snail and end with a snapper sushi ball.

A soup followed and it had a layer of oil which was kind of putting off but once we took the first spoonful, everyone was in eternal bliss. A robust broth that kept everyone guessing what it was, whether it was beef broth, fish broth and etc. The piece of meat also kept us in suspense till we found out it was toro!

The Sashimi Boat came on shore on our table and boy was it grand. From salmon belly, scallops, kampachi, flying fish, butter fish, botan ebi and even flounder, this was perfectly prepared, which means the fish is slightly chilled and cooling when you bite into it even after rounds of photo taking. Best of all, its served with freshly grated wasabi!

The bones and the prawn heads are taken away to be deep fried to the crisp and you can chew on them, bones and all.

The Tuna Jaw. Depending whether it was directly over the grill or hidden within the strong bone structure, the meat can be fattier or abit dry. Eating tuna this way was a first but definitely not the last. On the ala-carte menu, this is RM68.

The focus of the tempura is the scallop but mine unfortunately was rather dried up when i think back to the night. The sweet potato was gorgeous and like its name, very sweet.

The highlight of the night, the A5 top grade wagyu beef, stone grilled style. From the marbling, you would not expect anything but the best and thats what we got. Almost eating fats but in a good way, we rationed a slice and a half per person, all dreaming what it would be like to eat it as a steak.

The meal finishes off with a carbohydrate, the sakura soba. Chilled pink tinted noodles, this was refreshing and ensure that one was full for the price paid.

There is an assortment of flavours and you get to choose 1 scoop of either wasabi, green tea, lavender, sakura, peach or black sesame. While i found some with a sorbet texture, the flavours and creaminess was full bodied like an ice cream. Perfect way to end the meal.

As if the above wasn't enough for a normal meal for one, Chef Q had to come up with a few more dishes to tantalise the palate.

A trio of Chawan Mushi served back in their egg shell with various toppings such as caviar, crabmeat and ebiko. Reminds me of eating half boiled egg, the more civilized way. (RM12 for the 3 eggs)

A platter of sushi that consists of abundance use of salmon, prawns, avocado, unagi and one even involved some deep frying action which was fabulous! The Maki(s) range from RM18 to RM28.

The highlight of the place isn't the ambience eventhough it was comfortable but the presentation of the food. After having a chat with the chef, we found out a tiny box of cherry blossoms used in our decor costs RM70 and thats not cheap decoration by all means but he goes the extra mile to make it look dainty and pretty.

So if you are looking for a place to splurge and be excited with whats in season, do give them your budget and feast on a kaiseki. The ala-carte menu looks reasonable and has a good range of items with foie gras and more wagyu beef action.

Address and contact details:

No. 202, Persiaran Klang
Batu 3 3/4
Off Jalan Kelang Lama
58000 Kuala Lumpur

Tel : +60 3 7980 8228
Fax: +60 3 7981 0011

Lunch from 12-3 and Dinner from 6-10.30pm, open 7 days a week (apparently)

Join them on facebook for 10% discount (as per their website)

No pork served

Verdict: 4 stars out of 5 stars. The fact that we only knew about the price after the meal only made this more memorable as estimates for the meal ranged from RM200-RM300 per pax. The quality stood out and the presentation was fancy which only make me want to go back and eat very very soon on my own account.

Thanks so much to Delectable Su for the invitation and recommendation, who by the way has just turned 1!


eiling lim said...

wow this is so luxe! how much is that sashimi boat?!! looks like it will burn a big hole in my wallet!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

eiling: if you go in with 7 fellows each with a budget of rm150++, you will get the boat to share!

thenomadGourmand said...

yea..unka told me the meal tht nite is RM150++, whch even by my scrooge stds, it's a steal!

thule a.k.a leo said...

yeah!! I definitely will try those interesting Japanese dishes one day, as I am getting bored with the usual sushi and sashimi at those sushi chain restaurant

fatboybakes said...

i so need to go again!

Sean said...

gosh, it's been years since the last time i enjoyed a kaiseki meal. i guess i'm stubborn, i prefer the freedom of going a la carte, instead of leaving everything to the chef, especially since i'm not a fan of anything tempura and teppanyaki. but everything in your kaiseki set looks delicious (ok, maybe except the tempura) :D

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

sean: i suppose u can do a kaiseki minus tempura on request? that should do the trick!

fbb: me too, trying to see if wkend lunch can make it!

leo: i say, enough of mall restaurants!

tng: yes, its a luxury for scrooge!

Bangsar-bAbE said...

You just made me feel worse and jealous about not showing up that night!!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

bbabe: trust me, alot more will come to haunt u for missing out!

UnkaLeong said...

@b-babe : echoes Joe's statement. Da meal was da bomb!

@Joe : Okay wert your pictures. Heh ;) Lovely write up bro.

qwazymonkey said...

Ah Pa bring me along when you go! I love it!

minchow said...

Gorgeous!! I won't be able to stay away for long.. that sea snail is an enigma! I tried that once in Japan and life of consuming marines has never been the same again!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

minchow: haha i dont c wat u r waiting for, theres plentiful of sake too!

qm: haha ah pa better bring the brood along incl me!

unka: the bomb!

kenwooi said...

the food looks sophisticated and the presentation looks good.. =)

Anonymous said...

looks doesn't meant it tasted good. nothing to shout about as i had better before.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, if u can afford it, go and try the food, they all taste good, not just look good. I have been there 8 times with my boyfriend. Everytimes we tried different food. Nothing disappointed us.