I had the opportunity over the weekend to taste some absolutely scrumptious Japanese food, thanks to my old friend Darren. His company recently purchased this restaurant over and he thought, why not get some folks over to review some of the food. This was definitely one of the highlights of my weekend.
Located in Maju Junction mall, directly opposite Tune Hotel located on Jalan Sultan Ismail, this restaurant is definitely very easy to spot from the road. Best thing of all is that if you are going to dine there, give them a call and you can get a free parking spot in front of the restaurant. No need to find a parking in the basement.
The restaurant offers a wide variety of seating choices, from your normal rectangular tables, to a sushi bar, to a teppanyaki counter (located upstairs) as well as a lounge area and a bar! It also has a private function room to boot as well.
So let’s begin with the food. We were given a variety of dishes and the operations manager, Mr. Fauzi, explained about each dish and gave us some very insightful tips about the dish and what makes them unique.
First off, we were given green tea and even that was different from the usual green tea. The ones served at Mikan has been blended together with roasted rice so the taste is quite distinct as well as also very tasty. I definitely drank more than 7 cups of green tea throughout the entire lunch session!
The first dish was a shashimi dish where there were a good variety of raw fish available. Served with very fresh salmon sashimi flown in from Norway, this dish was a very refreshing dish with a good blend of flavourful fishes imported in from Japan.
We were thought the right way to eat sashimi as well. Frankly, I really never knew there was a right way to eat them! Most of the time, I am usually quite the pig so I just scoff everything down in my mouth. Anyway, here is the proper way!
Step 1: Put the piece of shashimi on your plate
I wanted to use a better subject but as I said earlier, I scoffed the pieces of salmon into my mouth already by the time Mr. Fauzi explained.
Step 2: Take some wasabi and spread it on your shashimi
The wasabi they served was extremely fresh and potent!
Step 3: Dip your piece of shashimi into the soy sauce and eat it!
Sweet and simple as that!
Next on the menu is the Chawan Mushi.
So how different can a chawan mushi actually be? Well I learned that it can definitely be very very different, taste wise and texture wise. This chawan mushi served here at Mikan is made with a blend of starchy sauce and together with high quality ingredients such as high quality mushrooms and eggs, the taste of this dish was simply delicious.
After this, we were treated to some fish.
I love cod fish and I love teriyaki sauce. Put them together and this becomes an awesome dish served together with black seaweed and renkon lotus root. The fish portions served at Mikan are usually around 120grams. Cooked perfectly and served on top of a bamboo leaf brought in from Japan, this dish was not only tasty but I wished I had more of it. The secret to this dish is that the teriyaki sauce is mixed with a secret blend created specially by head Chef Machi himself. You have to eat the cod fish together with the seaweed to get the real taste of the entire dish.
As compared with other restaurants, this dish is served with pan fried chicken. By pan frying the chicken, you keep the meat moist and juicy (versus grilling which makes the meat a little dry at times). Accompanied by the teriyaki sauce, this dish is also served with a small side potato salad topped with Japanese mayonaise. An absolutely lovely dish. Normal portion for this is about a 150 grams of chicken and its not frozen chicken.
Stocked with an open teppanyaki counter, here we have a beef teppanyaki (150grams). The meat is flown in from the US and it is cooked teppanyaki style together with some assorted vegetables and fried slices of garlic. They have a teppanyaki chef available and you can see him cook the dishes. When you order the dish, you can choose to have your meat to your liking. Me, I prefer it medium rare usually but in this case, well done would be fine as well.
They also have other teppanyaki dishes available as well, one of their more popular ones would be the four mushrooms teppanyaki.
I am a real big fan of chicken katsu don and ask Munz and she will tell you that I love Japanese curry a lot. This one however was very very different, and I found out why. Different in a very good and unique way because the taste is just so addictive! Frankly, after eating this dish, I just ate up all of the curry left in the bowl. What makes this unique is the blend of coffee, local curry and Japanese curry to create this scrumptious concoction which really left me wanting more. The base of the curry is beef so you definitely can taste the distinctive beefy taste.
With every restaurant experience, one would expect to be served first with a menu and that was exactly what us bloggers were presented with before the start of lunch. A list of all the dishes that will be served in order for us to expect. This time around, the chef decided to surprise us with a dish that wasn’t on the menu. A fried croquette stuff with lots of seafood which included scallops, prawns crab meat, green soya bean and topped with home made thousand island. You definitely can’t go wrong with this dish!
Mr. Fauzi and head chef Machi was very kind to ensure that we don’t get too many fried dishes back to back so after tasting and gorging on the croquette, we were then served with two dishes, soft shell crab roll as well as a dish of assorted sushi. Frankly, I wished that I could have eaten the entire dish myself to be able to savour all the different kinds of sushis but since we were sharing, I had to control myself. Although that didn’t stop me from taking the salmon sushi first 🙂
The soft shell crab roll was topped with not ordinary fish roe but flying fish roe. Gives it a more unique and tastier kick. Mr. Fauzi also then explained that good sushi chefs are so used to handling sushi rice that the perfect sushi roll has about 100 grains of rice. How in the world they count it, I guess it comes with experience.
The name of the dish explains it all, its tempura and the prawns are ginormous. Seriously, I kid you not. Perhaps the image above doesn’t really justify the size. So let’s put it into scale.
See how large those prawns are right next to my iPhone 4! These prawns were my highlight of the day. Originally sized at 8 inches before being fried, this is definitely a dish you should try and the prawns were very fresh as well.
Mikan is also introducing a new teppanyaki dish in April, so to give you all a sneak peak of what is to come, here is the head chef Machi with the main ingredient of that teppanyaki dish.
No that is not a lobster.
Its a friggin 12 inch long prawn! I am definitely heading over there in April to try out this new dish. The chef was kind enough to show us a fresh sample that he had just ordered in. I wished that we could have sampled that but of course it would mean us having our cake and eating it too.
The last dish was very controversial. Back when I was in university, I got a lot of smack when I told people I made a chicken ommelette and they asked me why was I cooking mother and child in a single dish. Personally I don’t know what makes it controversial in the first place. Its not like we don’t eat them at all so I didn’t see any wrong in that. Back to last weekend, it was the same discussion again but of course not as heated as the one that I had. Served on a hot plate, it was really nice and warm and definitely a great end to the long list of food.
Last but not the least, dessert! Both the black sesame ice cream and the red bean paste on top is fully imported in from Japan. Both of these were of very high quality and it definitely meets my personal sweet tooth taste test!
By the end of lunch, I was completely blown away by the food and extremely satisfied with not just the food but the overall experience. I just love how each dish is explained whilst it’s being presented by the server. I think this is how most restaurants should do especially those who pride in their food. I guess even after watching seasons and seasons of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and Hell’s Kitchen, I would definitely say that Mikan is top notch.
Mikan restaurant is located in Maju Junction Mall along Jalan Sultan Ismail in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Just to note in regards to the photos above, all were taken with natural light and available restaurant lights with my Canon 5D MkII. I swapped between either the 50mm prime lens and the 35mm prime lens on several occasions. All of the photos were taken on top of a normal dining table.
Disclaimer: All of the above mentioned review is purely based on my own personal tastebuds. The actual tasting of the food was done in March 2011. Also to note that I did not get paid at all to write this review nor was I paid to take those photos above.