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Miyako Land Izakaya, Petaling Jaya

Tucked on the southwestern most tip of Japan, Okinawa Prefecture is known for its azure blue waters, sandy beaches, and tropical climate. Also called “Japan’s Hawaii”, the prefecture regularly bags a spot on lists of top domestic destinations for locals.

Okinawan food is also popular, as it is notably different from that of the Japanese mainland. This is thanks to its proximity to Taiwan, China and Southeast Asia, as well as the long history of trade between these regions.

Lucky for us living in the Klang Valley, we don’t have to splurge thousands on a holiday to Japan, as there’s a hidden gem serving Okinawan cuisine, right in the heart of Petaling Jaya.

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Miyako Land Izakaya, which opened its doors last year, is tucked within an industrial-turned commercial lot called B-Land, sharing the place with a few other popular restaurants, a futsal court, gym facilities, and more. Touting itself the ‘first Okinawa style izakaya in Malaysia‘, diners can expect something different from the usual sushi, ramen, udon, and rice dishes that most people associate with Japanese cuisine.

PS: Miyako-jima is an island in Okinawa prefecture, some 300 kilometres southwest from Okinawa’s main island.

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I love the shop’s design and aesthetics. Most Japanese restaurants carry an elegant look and feel, featuring lots of wood, dark accents, orderly tables and chairs, tatamis, and the like. Miyako Land, on the other hand, is a vibrant medley of colours and cutesy knick knacks: reminiscent of a tropical beachside hut, but with a Japanese vibe.

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There’s a gazebo of sorts with rolled up bamboo blinds and noren (small banners that are hung on the exterior of traditional izakayas), bright and colourful posters of beer/soda ads, wooden tablets, as well as manga on shelves. The TV plays a travel show promoting Okinawa’s specialties, and there’s even a stand with imported Japanese magazines and newspapers.

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Trivia: Ultraman’s screenwriter, Shozo Uehara, was an Okinawan native!
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And here are some of Miyako Land Izakaya’s menu items:

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While the menu does carry some of the usual favourites such as ebi tempura (fried shrimp), you also get some not so conventional ones like Gooya (fried bitter gourd) and beni shouga (red ginger tempura). We wanted to try the signature Nankotsu karaage (chicken soft bone) but they had run out for the day, so we went for Mimiga (fried pig’s ears) instead.

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For the mains, again, some typically seen dishes like prawn tempura soba and curry udon – but also lesser known items like Ginger Tempura Udon, Natto Udon, Miyako Soba, Somen Champuru, ham and egg onigiri, and pork miso onigiri.

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And more dishes I have never seen or heard of before, like the Chi Bi Teh (slow cooked pork leg in Okinawa style), Ra Fu Te (braised pork belly with Okinawa sugar), and Goya Chan Puru (bitter gourd omelette).

I don’t know about you, but they sound quite similar to Chinese cuisine (chi bi teh reminds me of bak kut teh!). This is perhaps influence from when Okinawa was part of the Ryukyu kingdoms, and had a distinctly separate identity/culture from that of the Japanese mainland.

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For some reason, there is also a page on the menu dedicated to cheeses – crispy / grilled camembert, crispy cheese sticks, cheese crackers, and cheese korokke. But hey, I’m not complaining: it’s cheese!

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Some desserts as well, if you’re looking to finish off strong.

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Of course, being an izakaya, there are plenty of drinks to go with the snacks and munchies. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options are available.

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To match the whole ‘tropical holiday’ vibe, I got a Melon Cream Soda (RM14). The beverage came fizzing in a tall glass; the liquid a bright, almost acid-green, topped with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. It tasted sweet and syrupy, with an obviously artificial melon taste – but it was not unpleasant. Pretty refreshing, actually.

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I wanted noodles, so I ordered the Yakisoba. Ordinarily it comes with vegetables, but I requested for none. It was good; the noodles were chewy and had a nice texture, and they were generous with the pork slices. But it lacked wok hei, and I didn’t enjoy the red strips of pickled ginger either. If you want outstanding yakisoba, I recomend Okonomi. Still, Miyako Land’s version is pretty decent.

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The Hubs had Miyako Soba, a traditional pork based noodle. We ordered the half size (RM15) coz we got a couple of dishes to share, but you can go for the full (RM25) if you want something more filling. The soup is flavourful without being too rich, and you can really taste the goodness of the pork.

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We both agreed that the stars of the show were the small bites. I’m not an alcohol drinker, but the Hubs commented how well they would go with beer. The Sumi Yaki Buta (charcoal grilled pork belly) was excellent – glistening with juices and fat, with a smoky, slightly charred exterior. It was served with a slice of lemon, and the sourness actually elevated the flavour of the pork. Our only qualm was that the portion was pretty small for RM13, and you’d probably have to order several plates to feel satisfied!

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My personal favourite? The Mimiga (fried pig’s ears). It is cut into narrow strips, battered, then deep fried and lightly seasoned. The winner here is the texture. Pig’s ears are usually crunchy, and because of the batter, it was double the crunchiness, but with a layer of hardness to within (kind of like when you’re biting on cartilage). It was a workout for the jaw, but also strangely addictive. The mayo was creamy and had a hint of lemon and pepper, which cut through the greasiness.

There are so many interesting dishes to try at Miyako Land – which is why I think the place warrants another visit soon! Prices are on the steep side for the portions, but service is good, and the food is excellent.

Come check out the place and its Okinawan cuisine if you’re ever in PJ!

MIYAKO LAND IZAKAYA

Lot 4, B Land, 2, Jalan 51a/225, Seksyen 51a, 46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Opening hours: 12PM – 2.30PM, 5PM – 11PM

Website and menu here

PS: You can’t see the shop from the main road as it is located within a compound. Just Waze to B.Land and park inside the lot. Miyako Land is located to the left of the parking entrance.

I hope you liked this post! Please consider supporting my blog via Patreon, so I can make more. Or buy me a cup of coffee on Paypal @erisgoesto.

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Sushi Mentai, Bandar Puteri Puchong

It’s no secret that Malaysians (or at least, Klang Valley-ites) love Japanese food. But dining at high-end sushi restaurants or izakayas regularly can be painful on the wallet.

For the budget conscious who still crave a taste of Japanese fare, there’s Sushi Mentai. Despite most establishments raising their prices to accommodate rising ingredients costs, Sushi Mentai has maintained its RM1.80 and RM2.80 sushi plates – and their ala carte rice and noodle dishes are pretty reasonably priced as well.

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The Hubs and I had a quick lunch at their outlet in Bandar Puteri Puchong. I’ve written about my visits to other Sushi Mentai branches, and this one is similar in aesthetics – no frills, tables squeezed close together, a conveyor belt in the middle peddling sushi. It’s a place made for fast, casual dining rather than long chit chats.

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While waiting for our mains, I took a plate of what I thought was scallop from the conveyor belt, but turned out to be battered boiled eggs. They were still tasty though, and were topped with a dollop of creamy mayonnaise mixed with faux crab meat and fish roe.

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Another appetizer: soft shell crab temaki. Sizeable, fresh, and with a nice balance of flavours and textures – there was chewy and moist sushi rice, crisp lettuce, salty fish roe, crunchy soft shell crab, and cucumber, all rolled into a cone of seaweed.

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For mains, I had the ebi (shrimp) curry rice, which came with large chunks of potatoes and carrots, a mountain of rice, and three pieces of deep fried ebi tempura. While I wouldn’t call it spectacular, it tasted decent for the price. The potatoes and carrots were cooked until soft, the shrimp was well seasoned, the batter was crunchy, and the curry sauce was mild (if a bit tepid).

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The Hubs had hotate with egg rice, essentially an omelette of scallops and onions. Again, it was decent for the price, albeit I think it could do with more seasoning.

Sushi Mentai is a good choice for those who are on a budget. At least it’ll tide you over until pay day, when you can go to pricier establishments like Ippudo.

SUSHI MENTAI (BANDAR PUTERI PUCHONG)

22, Jalan Puteri 2/4, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: 12PM – 9.30PM

PS: I hope you liked this post! Please consider supporting my blog via Patreon, so I can make more. Or buy me a cup of coffee on Paypal @erisgoesto.

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Miyatake Sanuki Udon @ Mont Kiara

When Japanese department store Isetan@1 Utama announced that it would be closing down in April 2022, I was devastated. Not because I liked shopping there, but because my favourite udon spot – Miyatake Sanuki Udon – was located within, and Isetan’s closure would mean that the shop would have to shutter too. I often went to this location when I was employed with my previous company, and I really enjoyed their udon noodles, as they were tasty and affordable at around RM11-RM20 per bowl.

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Not all was lost, however!

A few months after ISETAN closed its doors, I read that Miyatake Sanuki Udon had moved to a new location at Mont Kiara. Since it’s pretty far from where I live, it was only recently that I got to go there for dinner with the Hubs. The store is located in a quiet commercial area just a stone’s throw away from Publika, so it’s relatively easy to find parking.

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The restaurant is definitely more upscale than its predecessor, ditching its previous casual ambience for full service. The interior marries Zen and industrial chic, featuring lots of wood juxtaposed against raw concrete walls and dark, exposed ceilings. Diners can choose to dine at the counter near the kitchen if you’d like to watch the chefs in action, or the section at the back with bigger tables suitable for families. The latter is slightly partitioned with traditional noren (curtains), and offers more privacy.

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The old outlet did not serve alcohol, but here you can order Japanese beers, sake, and cocktails to go with your noodles.

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Ordering is done via a tablet.

While I understand that the restaurant has now branded itself to be more upscale, I was a bit taken aback by their new prices, with their noodles now averaging between RM15 to RM30. The Hubs and I ended up ordering two bowls of Kake Udon. At RM16, this is the cheapest, most basic option.

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Taste wise, the noodles are as good as I remember them. One thing I enjoy about Miyatake Sanuki’s udon is the texture, and these are perfectly chewy. The winner for me is the dashi, which is gentle but flavourful, and tastes distinctly of anchovies. To be fair, even though the price has increased, the portion has as well.

The noodles also come with a side of tempura batter, which you can add into your soup for extra crunch.

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For sides, we went with chicken karaage. What came to the table was three humongous pieces of juicy fried chicken, crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, and packed with flavour. Chicken karaage is typically marinated in soy sauce and mirin before deep frying, which gives the meat a rich, savoury taste.

While I am happy that I’m still able to enjoy my favourite udon, I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic for the old Miyatake Sanuki brand of fast, casual, and affordable udon bowls.

Not complaining though – good food is always worth it, and that just means I’ll have to fork out more if I’m looking for an udon fix!

MIYATAKE SANUKI UDON

LG3-1, Residensi Duta Kiara, 7, Jln Duta Hartamas, Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

Opening hours: 11.30AM – 3PM, 6PM-10PM (closed Mondays)

I hope you liked this post! Please consider supporting my blog via Patreon, so I can make more. Or buy me a cup of coffee on Paypal @erisgoesto.

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I’m A Terrible Blogger. But Ippudo Ramen @ Sunway Pyramid, is Excellent

I’m a terrible blogger.

What else do you call someone who has stuff from November 2021 that has yet to be posted?! That’s like, almost nine months ago wtf.

This blog is more than just a space to share information and experiences. It’s an online journal of sorts; a way for me to look back on what I’ve been doing at a specific point in time. So in that sense, I’ve failed miserably lmao.

Oh, I can give excuses, of course:

  • Busy with getting the husband settled in, after we spent two years seaparated due to the pandemic
  • Busy getting his papers done so he can stay here long term
  • Busy bringing him around on dates (hey, give me a break, we did not see each other physically for two years)
  • Busy caring for the mom, whose health has not been good
  • Busy with new job, responsibilities and tasks of which has picked up significantly
  • Unmotivated due to writer’s block and burnout
  • And the list goes on.

But the fact of the matter is, there are things that I haven’t been prioritising – this blog included. Heck, I bought Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous and sank so many hours into it over the last couple of weeks, so the excuse “I’m busy” is shit.

So I’m going to do what a good blogger should do. I’m going to stop gaming and doing unnecessary shit, and finally get down to posting all the things I have lined up. Also edit those videos that I should have edited but was just too lazy/unmotivated to.

I can’t promise I’ll be able to fulfill this 100%, but I’m going to try my best.

….

BTW, said #throwback from November 2021 : I finally tried Ippudo Ramen!

The brand, is, of course, not new in Malaysia – they opened their first outlet in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur in 2013, so I’m about 10 years late to the party. But as the saying goes, better late than never – and I’ve heard so many good things about their ramen over the years, I had high expectations going in to their Sunway Pyramid branch.

History

Originally from Fukuoka in Japan, Ippudo Ramen has over 37 years of history, having opened its first store in 1985. It has since expanded all across the world, with branches in Asia, Europe, and the United States. The brand is well known for its tonkotsu ramen, which features a rich soup broth made from pork bones that has been simmered for hours.

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Understandably, the outlet in Sunway Pyramid is super popular. I’ve passed by the shop a couple of times and they’re always busy during peak hours. I was lucky to land a seat at the counter, which caters to solo diners. You can watch the chefs in action through a glass partition, so I would call these the best seats in the house!

Decor wise, the restaurant looks like your typical ramen joint, with all the trimmings – red and white lanterns, as well as lots of wood contrasted against dark walls and accents, giving the space a clean, elegant feel.

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Service was efficient and the food was served promptly.

Being a first timer, I wanted to try the original that has made them a household name for Japanese tonkotsu ramen across the world: the Shiromaru Special, featuring bouncy, ultra-thin cut noodles in a pork bone-based broth simmered for over 15 hours to achieve full-flavoured umami. The bowl also came with a perfectly cooked half boiled egg, crisp sheets of seaweed, spring onions, kikurage (wood-ear fungus) for extra crunch, and succulent chashu (roast pork). PS: It should also have beansprouts, but I hate beansprouts with a passion, so I requested for them to be left out of my order.

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Ippudo’s ramen definitely lives up to its reputation. The broth is creamy and sweet, but not overly so, and the richness is not cloying. Some ramen places with rich soups will leave you feeling bloated and overwhelmed after a few sips, but Ippudo’s version is well balanced. The noodles are excellent as well; bouncy and al-dente, with just the right amount of bite, while the chashu is tender and juicy, with just a hint of smokiness and char imparted onto its surface from the grilling process.

Does Ippudo have the best ramen I’ve tasted? No. I think that still goes to Menya Shishido for me (although I can’t say it tastes the same now, since they moved somewhere new and I haven’t been to the new place yet). But it certainly is one of the top ones on my list, and worth a little splurging at RM37 per bowl. The only con I can think of: because the outlet has such high traffic, you do feel a little harried to finish up your food ASAP to make way for other diners – they cleared my bowl almost immediately after I finished up my soup, and I felt compelled to gulp down my green tea because customers waiting outside were staring at me balefully like VACATE YOUR DAMN SEAT 😛

IPPUDO RAMEN (SUNWAY PYRAMID)

G1.45, Sunway Pyramid Shopping Centre, No. 3, Jalan PJS 11/15, Bandar Sunway, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor

Opening hours: 10.30AM – 10PM (daily)

*Ippudo ramen also has other branches around the Klang Valley. For more info, visit ippudo.com.my

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Cafe Yamatatsu, Old Klang Road, Kuala Lumpur

Cafe Yamatatsu is a gem that you have to go hunting for. Originally a pop-up at Kongsi KL, the Japanese-Taiwanese eatery has since moved into permanent quarters just off Old Klang Road’s sixth mile, hidden within a quiet industrial estate.

It was a cloudy Saturday evening, and after missing the turning twice, we finally pulled into a street that looked almost deserted. As we were wondering if this was the right place, Yamatatsu’s distinctive storefront – with Japanese characters emblazoned on traditional noren (banners) – loomed into view. And even though we were early (the store opens at 6PM for dinner service; we were there at 5.45PM), there was already a queue – a testament to the place’s popularity.

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We didn’t have to wait long. A waitress popped out of the shop to take down the number of people in queue, before sliding the wooden door open to reveal a Japanese-style diner, warm and cozy in hues of beige and brown. One side of the space was dedicated to the kitchen and bar, the counter lined with sake bottles; the other featured anime posters on its walls. We were quickly seated and given a QR code menu.

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The menu features a plethora of Japanese and Taiwanese dishes, the likes of braised pork rice, mee suah, udon, oyakodon, and more. But aside from the popular staples, you can also get regional specialties, such as the Creamy Potato Salmon, which is a nostalgic home-cooked favourite in Hokkaido, or Tamago Kake Gohan with natto, featuring a pasteurized egg marinated over soy sauce, and fermented beans. Other unique creations include the Stewed Pork Rib with Corn, and Taiwanese Chicken Chop and Duck Rice, which pairs the iconic Taiwanese deep fried boneless chicken thigh with fatty slices of smoked duck over a bed of rice.

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We ordered an appetizer of Yamatatsu fried chicken (RM11) and two of their recommended dishes: braised pork rice (RM9.50), and chicken over rice (RM9). The prices are a steal, considering the cafe’s setting. Even some kopitiams without air conditioning charge that much these days. Our orders were processed quickly and arrived to the table within minutes.

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The fried chicken is made Japanese-style — that is, extremely crunchy on the outside, thanks to the use of potato starch and a double-fry method. The cuts are from the thigh, so they have a nice, juicy texture. The meat is also well-marinated in soy sauce, giving it a sweet and savoury taste. While karaage is typically served with Japanese mayonnaise, Yamatatsu pairs it with wasabi mayo, which is creamy with a pungent kick: it’ll keep you coming back for more!

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The chicken over rice is a specialty in Chiayi, Taiwan. Tender pieces of shredded chicken are laid atop rice, then drizzled over with fragrant scallion oil and soy sauce. The bowl is served with pickled cucumbers and egg. Simple, but comforting food.

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The star for me at Yamatatsu is their braised pork rice. While this dish is extremely common thanks to the many Taiwanese restaurants we have in the Klang Valley, some places serve the meat minced (gasp!); else, the pork belly is sliced too thickly, or they include pickled vegetables (*which to me spoils the entire bowl. the star is meant to be the pork!).

In my opinion, Yamatatsu’s is the closest you can get to authentic Taiwanese street food: the pork belly is cut into small pieces and braised until it boasts a sticky gelatinous texture. The thick, caramel-like sauce is lip smackingly good, rich and savoury. People who love rice and meat should easily be able to polish off at least two bowls of this!

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For drinks, I went for the Sparkling Honey (RM7.50). It tasted exactly like the carbonated HoneyB brand from Australia; sweet and fizzy, but spruced up with some herbs. It was perfect for cutting through the greasiness of the fried chicken and braised pork.

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Hubs had the Yoghurt Sake (RM20). Had a small sip. I don’t like alcohol so I can’t really judge; it tasted okay to me but not something I would drink on my own volition. The Hubs loved it though, and described it as “interesting, because you can taste both the yoghurt and sake blending together, but you also get the distinctive flavours of each”.

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We left with satisfied tummies and a warm, fuzzy sense of satisfaction.

Their prices are very affordable, portions are generous, and the service is impeccable – the latter is somewhat of a rarity in many F&B outlets in Malaysia – so a big thumbs up to the Yamatatsu team. If you’re planning to stop by for your Japanese/Taiwanese food fix, I suggest coming early to avoid the queue.

CAFE YAMATATSU 山達小舖

30, Jalan 2/131A Project Jaya Industrial Estate, Batu, 6, Jln Klang Lama, 58200 Kuala Lumpur

Open Fridays to Tuesdays (12PM-3PM, 6PM-9.30PM). Closed on Weds and Thurs.

https://www.my-yamatatsu.com/

PS: I hope you liked this post! Please consider supporting my blog via Patreon, so I can make more. Or buy me a cup of coffee on Paypal @erisgoesto

Okonomi @ Tokyo Street, Pavilion KL

Another day, another food adventure – this time at Pavilion KL’s Tokyo Street!

Much like J’s Gate Dining at Lot 10 Shopping Centre next door, Tokyo Street houses a slew of Japanese eateries, serving everything from shabu-shabu (hotpot) and sushi, to authentic matcha desserts. We had our sights set on Okonomi, a casual spot specializing in – what else – okonomiyaki.

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For the uninitiated, okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake, comprising shredded cabbage mixed with batter and items such as pork, shrimp, beef, or even cheese. It is flattened and cooked on a teppan (hotplate) before topping with okonomiyaki sauce, dried seaweed flakes, and katsuoboshi (bonito flakes).

The word is a portmanteau of okonomi (meaning ‘as you like’, or kinda like the ‘chef’s special’) and yaki (fried) – a fitting name, seeing as how the dish is basically a mix of different ingredients. Different regions in Japan have their own unique versions, but the one that is most common is Osaka-style, where it was popularised. Trivia: okonomiyaki is also nicknamed “Osaka soul food” !

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The shop is cozy, with wooden furniture and a warm, earthen colour scheme. A large section of the restaurant is dominated by the kitchen, which features a teppan (grill). The cooking area is separated from the dining area by glass.

The appeal of such a setup is that guests will be able to sit at the counter and experience the food with all the senses. It almost feels like a performance, as resident chef Takeshi Wada whips up dishes right before your eyes; you smell the aroma of food cooking on the grill, and hear the satisfying sizzle of more ingredients being added to the hotplate.

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For best value, order the set meals, which come with rice, side dishes, miso soup, and dessert. While okonomiyaki is the main attraction, there’s a good selection of other grilled items as well, such as yakiniku (beef), pork belly, and salmon.

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If you’re feeling fancy, opt for premium orders such as the wagyu sirloin and Iberico pork chop.

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Complimentary edamame as appetiser
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Our first order of the day was one of their signatures: Spicy yakisoba (RM20). This was da bomb. The wheat flour noodles were cooked perfectly and had a chewy, al dente texture, each strand coated in a sweet and savoury sauce.

We couldn’t place the unique flavour while we were dining, but I googled it later and apparently the ‘base’ is a Worchestershire sauce, which explains the rich, full-bodied flavour. In terms of freshness, you can’t get any fresher than noodles curling around on the plate like they were wriggling lol, because the heat was making the strands contract. To top it off, shavings of katsuoboshi and dried seaweed flakes.

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Unfortunately, after the star performance of the yakisoba, the okonomiyaki (shrimp and pork – they ran out of squid, so they gave us extra shrimp) felt a little underwhelming. It was still tasty, but the sauces and toppings were very similar in taste to the noodles, but did not pair as well. I also felt that the shredded cabbage had a bitter aftertaste, which sort of ruined the enjoyment for me.

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Last but not least came the fried omelette with pork belly (RM10). The omelette was fluffy and stuffed with tender slices of pork and onions.

Here’s an extremely thoughtful gesture: I ordered one dish, but was surprised to see that two portions came. At first I thought that the server mistakenly keyed in two orders, but it turns out Chef Wada made them so that the Hubs and I would each get an individual portion. Which I think is awesome; that he pays mind to these details. It reminds me of omotenashi, or the Japanese concept of hospitality which centres around going above and beyond to make sure guests are well taken care of.

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That being said, there’s one thing to remember when dining at Okonomi: be patient. During our visit, the shop was at full capacity (about 20 pax). Since Chef Wada was the only one preparing the food, and they are all made to order, our dishes took a long time to get to our table. But hey, good things are worth the wait!

If you want a taste of authentic Osaka-style okonomiyaki, Okonomi checks all the boxes. I do think they make good okonomiyaki – it’s just that I’m not a big fan of the dish itself; it has nothing to do with the chef’s skills.

As for the Hubs and I, we’ve already made plans to return for the phenomenal yakisoba.

OKONOMI BY TOKYO DON

Lot 6 . 24 . 1C, Level 6, Tokyo Street, Pavilion KL, 168, Jln Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur

Opening hours: 11AM – 9PM (daily)

Curry Udon @ Menya Ichiyutei, Lot 10 Kuala Lumpur

When it comes to Japanese cuisine, ramen is a staunch favourite among Klang Valley-ites – think famous chains like Ippudo and Ramen Seirock-Ya, or Japanese-owned-and-run places like the ever popular Menya Shishido.

Udon, however, gets a lot less love. Almost all of my favourite spots for udon (Miyatake Sanuki, Marufuku, Hanamaru) have closed, and these days, I struggle to find a spot that can satisfy my cravings.

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J’s Gate Dining at Lot 10 Shopping Centre, Kuala Lumpur, has an entire floor dedicated to Japanese restaurants and eateries – so it seemed a good place as any to look for udon. True enough, we found Menya Ichiyutei, which specialises in curry udon. Their signatures are the Creamy Curry Udon and the Pumpkin Curry Udon – but they looked a little too heavy for our early lunch, so we ended up ordering other items instead. Aside from curry udon, they also carry a selection of dashi udon and rice bowls.

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My Beef and Egg Curry Udon (RM21.70 – regular, RM24.60 – large) featured a generous portion of noodles, a runny egg, and tender, thinly sliced beef. It was decent, but not spectacular. The curry was well balanced, with a hint of spice cutting through the sweetness. I wished the noodles were cooked al dente, though, as they were soft and did not have much bite. One thing I liked is that the shop provides free flow of tenkasu (deep fried tempura flour batter) so you can pair it with your noodles for some crunch.

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Hubs ordered the Fish Cake Tempura Curry Udon (regular – RM15.80, large – RM18.70).

Overall, what we tried at Menya Ichiyutei was enjoyable, but lacks that oomph factor. Still, service is fast and efficient, and the setting is comfortable – so it can be a choice for those craving curry udon while in the area.

In the meantime, my quest for the best udon joint continues…

MENYA ICHIYUTEI

P1-03, J’s Gate Dining, Level 4, Lot 10 Shopping Centre, 50250, Kuala Lumpur

Opening hours: 11AM – 8PM (daily)

PS: I hope you liked this post! Please consider supporting my blog via Patreon, so I can make more. Or buy me a cup of coffee on Paypal @erisgoesto

Rolling Daruma x Olfactory Bulb, Kota Damansara

If you like creative Japanese cuisine, alcoholic desserts, and inventive cocktails, Rolling Daruma x Olfactory Bulb hits all the right spots, served in a cozy setting ideal for intimate get-togethers. The Hubs and I stumbled on this place purely by chance: we were hunting for dinner around Kota Damansara and saw their menu on the sidewalk; our interest piqued by offerings of Japanese tapas, donburis, and ramen.

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Two red darumas greet visitors at the entrance, where the bar is. The space is mostly black and grey, with warm lights and concrete accents, giving it an industrial look. I especially like the decorative cracks on the wall, which are varnished to create a glossy look.

The menu is pretty extensive, but since we were not very hungry, the Hubs and I decided to share a main, a Japas (japanese tapas), and a drink.

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Our choice of Japas was Bourbon-Peach Pulled Pork on Deep-Fried Mantou Bun (RM16), featuring pork shoulder loin, slow cooked til tender for eight hours in balsamic vinegar and peach and bourbon sauce. The taste of the bourbon is mild, but it lends a rich depth to the soft, melt-in-the-mouth pulled pork. The fried mantou is crisp on the edges and soft on the inside, so you have a nice medley of flavours and textures.

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We also got their signature Gyoza Ramen in Sake Pork Bone Broth (RM24). I was expecting the gyoza to be served on the side and was surprised to find them swimming in the soup, which also came with egg, a smattering of seaweed, corn, and spring onions. Some ramen dishes come with rich soup; this was mild but still flavourful, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. The noodles were too soft for my liking, but otherwise this was a decent bowl of ramen.

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No libations for me, but the resto serves plenty of non-alcoholic drinks too such as mocktails and shakes. We got a Salty Yuzie-San (RM16), a refreshing mix of lemon, kaffir lime leaves and yuzu sauce balanced with pandan syrup, brown sugar, and soda water. Perfect for quenching your thirst on a hot day, or just to cut through any greasiness from the food.

Service was friendly with most of the servers, but the one assigned to our table was probably having a bad day because he looked tired and sounded disinterested when taking our orders, and seemed to heave a visible sigh when we requested for an extra bowl. I hope you have a better day, man!

There are still many things we have yet to try at Rolling Daruma x Olfactory Bulb; and I’d like to make a return visit when I’m in the neighbourhood again to try their other items – reviews seem to be stellar for their desserts and coffee.

ROLLING DARUMA X OLFACTORY BULB

15-2, Jalan PJU 5/13 Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya 47810, Selangor

Phone: 03-61511108

Open: Wed-Fri (5.30PM – 11.30PM), Sat-Sun (11.30AM – 11.30PM). Closed Mondays and Tuesdays

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