It had been a while since we had a Japanese meal. Jap cuisine is very perplexing - simple, not elaborately cooked, small portions and definitely over-priced. Yet it is so sought-after. We have been to various Jap restaurants in KL, PJ and Subang Jaya. There was one that we wanted to return to. Rakuzen.
According to their website, Rakuzen is a chain of 4 or 5 restaurants in Sri Hartamas, Jalan Raja Chulan, Desa Park City and Subang Jaya. They added one more in the newly opened Empire shopping complex in Subang Jaya. Their first Subang Jaya outlet is located at Jalan SS15/5A. Along this road, there are 3 other Jap restaurants. When we arrived at the place, it was already jam packed with people waiting outside for their table. We registered ourselves and sat in a small waiting lounge.
The restaurant has 2 dining areas. The ground floor has a sushi bar, some cubicles and some dining tables. It was rather congested, noisy and not very conducive.
After about 15 minutes in the waiting lounge, we were led upstairs. The upper floor has a much better dining environment. It is bigger, less congested and more quiet. But we had to remove our shoes and sit on the floor. The whole floor is tatami dining - not my preferred manner to eat. Sitting on the floor is very taxing on my back (without support) and my legs.
Fortunately there were recesses under the tables where we could comfortably stretch our legs. And they had lockers for our shoes.
We settled down with tea and took our time with the menu. We ended up with a bento meal each.
The beef was very pleasant. The meat, sliced thin, was tender and was very nicely done with a good sauce.
The unagi don (eel on rice) was wonderful. The eel in terikayi sauce was most tender and almost melted in the mouth. The sauce seeped into the rice, making it very aromatic and delicious.
The grilled saba (mackerel) was another splendid fish. It was so very well done outside, yet the meat inside is soft and succulent. And it was very fresh. I always marvel on how they grill the fish in Japanese restaurants. I have tried several times and have not been able to get it the way they do.
The bentos came with several appetizers and side dishes....
Fried fish with a sweet and sour sauce.
A salmon thingy.
Cawan mushi, which was rather ordinary.
Miso soup. Again ordinary.
And some pickles.
For desserts, we ordered a frozen strawberries with cream. The strawberries were too cold. I fumbled with them in my mouth and did not really get to enjoy its goodness. Freezing strawberries were perhaps a mere novelty, and in my mind, was not a very practical dessert.
We also had my favorite green tea ice cream with red bean paste. That was a more reasonable dessert. Very enjoyable.
During the meal I noticed a hole at the bottom of a nearby cabinet with a mesh over it. I joked that the resident rodent has a grille gate. While paying our bill, we casually asked the waitress why they had a mesh over the hole. She nonchalantly said it was to keep away the mice.
They had rats in this Japanese restaurant?!!