Monday, March 19, 2018

Kakigori, Pavilion KL - A Matcha Delight

One fine day after our Japanese lunch, we walked over to Pavilion KL for desserts. We chose Kakigori, but we didn't have the kakigori (Japanese shaved ice) but opted for the Matcha Dessert Set (RM23) instead.

If you're a fan of green tea (aka matcha), I highly recommend this.They use ceremony-grade matcha produced by the award-winning century old Marukyu-Koyamaen from the Uji region of Kyoto, Japan.

It took them quite a while to prepare this - I guess cos there are quite a few different elements in this dish. With this set, you get to try several of their signature items such as melonpan with matcha soft serve, matcha roll cake, matcha warabimochi and shiratama dango and a scoop of azuki paste.

My favorite item from this set was definitely the matcha roll cake. This Japanese-style roll cake is light and fluffy, and best of all, comes with a generous amount of whipped cream and matcha flavoured cream. The matcha taste was intense, absolutely lovely.

Melonpan with matcha soft serve - delicious but quite messy to eat as the soft serve ice cream was spilling out of the bun! :P

Matcha warabimochi and shiratama dango, which you can dip in the kuromitsu (literally "black honey") before eating ;)

Opening times: 10am to 10pm daily.

Location: Kakigori, P4.17.00, Level 4, Pavilion KL, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (opposite Cotton On)

Tel: 03-7865 8999

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Kouzu Bangsar, KL - Great, Affordable Japanese Fusion Restaurant & Bar

Located on Jalan Telawi 3, Kouzu is a vibrant new addition to the Bangsar food scene, boasting contemporary Japanese fusion dishes at wallet-friendly prices. The kitchen is helmed by Chef Kaito, who has over 17 years of culinary experience in Japanese cuisine.

The menu offers a mix of authentic and contemporary Japanese cuisine, including japas (Japanese tapas), yakitori, pasta and noodles, donburi (rice bowls), pizza, roll sushi and dessert. For lunch, they also offer a very attractive lunch menu, with sets priced at RM19 including mains, miso soup and fruits.

Comfort food in a bowl, the Kouzu Don (RM29) was my favorite dish here, featuring sliced sirloin steak topped on rice with a beautifully runny onsen egg, crispy garlic, scallion and truffle teriyaki sauce. Chef Kaito tells us that he uses F1 beef (that's a cross between a fullblood Wagyu and another breed), which explains why the beef was so tender and delicious! The best thing we've eaten this month - I'd definitely return for this! (Pssst... beef don is also available for lunch at RM19.)

Simply amazing!

Kouzu offers over 15 types of yakitori, including chicken, smoked duck, ox tongue, rock lobster, quail egg, vegetable and mushrooms. We sampled the Wing (RM6), Sirloin (RM15), Rack of lamb (RM15), King mushroom (RM6) and Okra (RM6).

The yakitori here is cooked over bincho charcoal, which imparts a lovely smokiness to the meat/skewers. The salty flavours goes well with a cold glass of beer.

My fav is the Wing, with its lovely crispy skin.

Roll sushi is reasonably priced, starting from RM10 for the California roll. The Dragon Roll (RM15) comes with shrimp tempura and ebiko in the centre, topped with tuna, avocado and shrimp and some caviar. The different toppings gives the impression of enjoying three different types of sushi.

We also tried Chef Kaito's new creation, the Salmon Kabuki Roll (RM18) , which features torched salmon with ebiko, foie gras, cucumber, chives, avocado, wasabi mayo and caviar. Th avocado adds a lovely creaminess to it ... Lovely!

We were pleasantly surprised by the Yasai Heritage Salad (RM17) which proved to be more than just a bunch of greens. Chef Kaito has selected point pennywort, point selom and cosmos candatus, which you may know better as pegaga, Chinese celery and ulam raja - three types of Malaysian herbs for this salad, and they went really well with the mandarin orange and ponzu vinaigrette. Topping the salad also are some crispy sakura ebi, yuzu and grated coconut.

Kouzu also offers a wide range of Japanese hot and cold tapas (also known as Japas). All the hot tapas that we tried were well executed and delicious.

The Japanese maguro (blue fin tuna) is lightly seared so it's still lovely and rare inside and paired with a slice of luscious, rich seared foie gras, apple chutney and unagi sauce. So so good! An absolute steal for RM29 too!

Blue fin tuna and foie gras 

I'm not a fan of raw oysters, but I do love a good baked oyster. Using Japanese oysters, they are baked with Chef's special sauce and topped with ebiko (5 pieces for RM25). We loved them!

Creamy Baked Oysters

Gyoza Kaisen (3 pcs for RM22) with a 19th century twist - turns out these plump, juicy gyoza are filled with seafood (shrimp and scallop) as well as foie gras.. yum!

If you love duck, you should try this Smoked Kamo Steak (RM25) - the herb grilled smoked duck breast was juicy and flavorful, beautifully paired with the creamy spinach and onsen yolk.

From the Chilled Tapas, we tried the Hiyashi Tofu (RM18) - homemade chilled tofu with bonito flakes, scallion, grated ginger, nori and tofu sauce served on the side.

I would liken the taste of this Sanuki Udon Pasta (RM19) to an aglio olio - udon is sauteed with garlic and dried chilli, giving this quite a spicy kick.

They also offer a few types of Japanese pizza here with toppings such as Atlantic salmon, chicken, escargot, seafood and seasonal vegetables. We had the Jidori Yuzu Kosho (RM19), which is topped with grilled spring chicken, tomato paste, yuzu miso, mozzarella, dried tomato, pineapple, wasabi mayo and teriyaki. What's different about the pizzas here is the pizza base - which are made using Japanese rice and semolina - so the base stays crispy for longer.

Three scoops of ice cream - whiskey raisin, rum & coconut and yuzu umeshu sorbet (RM12 each), sprinkled with crumble, concluded our meal here at Kouzu nicely. I personally like the creamy whisky raisin best, with the refreshing yuzu sorbet coming in a close second.

Relaxed ambiance

Lunch Menu (available daily)

Opening times: Lunch 12.00-2.30pm; Dinner 5.00pm - 1.00am.

Service: Good.

Location: Kouzu, 19, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tel: +60 11 6050 0995 / +60 3 2201 1592


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