Sunday, January 01, 2012

The Kura at One World

This was Crystal's belated birthday dinner. And as usual being a Japan freak, she chose to go Jap. She had wanted to go to a Japanese buffet place, but my wife convinced her to try this restaurant. And was I glad that she agreed for it turned out to be a most pleasant meal.

The Kura is in the One World Hotel in Bandar Utama, PJ. Its name means "Treasure House" in Japanese and is meant to reflect the treasured Japanese delicacies that they serve.

The restaurant spans quite a big area on the 1st floor of the hotel. It has different dining areas, each compartmentalized to offer privacy and exclusiveness to the diners. They include a sushi bar, an area overlooking the PJ skyline and an unique room with a glass flooring. The whole place is very elegantly furnished with soft lightings and an very posh aura.

There was a good selection in the menu. It had full visuals and everything looked so good. We decided to have a set meal each and some side dishes to supplement.

My wife opted for the Collagen Kaki Kimuchi Nabe - a real mouthful of a name. It was kind of a sukiyaki thing. Fresh oysters and vegetables in kimuchi soup, in a "collagen" hot pot. I tried to make sense on the name of this dish. I googled "kimuchi" and I think it is the Japanese version of the Korean kimchi. Collagen hot pot? I have no idea what it was. The pot of vegetables, mushrooms and tofu was served on a hot stove. A plate of fresh oysters and soba (buckwheat noodles) was served separately. I had a taste of the oyster. It was superb - so very fresh and pleasant in the mouth.

Crystal had the Teppanyaki Zen. It was a teppanyaki beef and vegetable set. Included in the set was a bowl of garlic fried rice, a cup of chawan mushi and a bowl of miso soup. Crystal offered me pieces of the stir fried beef. They were very tender and delicious.

My selection was the Sashimi Yakizakana Zen. It was a total fish meal. I had a nice piece of grilled mackerel, a plate of assorted sashimi (salmon, tuna and saba), a cup of chawan mushi, a bowl of miso soup, a bowl of white rice and some fruits for dessert. The grilled mackerel was fabulous. It was so deliciously done. The skin was crispy and the meat was soft and succulent. I have tried making fish this way, but have not been successful. The sashimi (raw fish) was absolutely fresh. The quality of the sashimi was impeccable.

We ordered a few side dishes. The first was the delightful fried salmon skin. It looked like the miniature version of our Malaysian keropok, but the flavor was totally different. The salmon skin sprinkled with a dash of teriyaki sauce. It was crispy and delicious. A real good appetizer. 

The Aburi Hotate was a sushi dish. It was half boiled scallop on sushi rice. The scallop was very fresh. Real quality stuff.

This was the cream croquette - fried creamy mashed potato. It wasn't spectacular. 

Finally, this was the Autumn Roll. It was salmon, omelet and crabmeat rolled in sushi rice. It was topped with slices of avocado and salmon roe. I believe the description is salivating enough. And indeed, it was very nice. The avocado complemented the roll well. Again, it was the freshness that really made the difference.

It was a big meal for the 3 of us. Perhaps we over-ordered. But we enjoyed every morsel of it. We cleaned up every plate. Still we had a little more room for a small dessert. It was our favorite Japanese green tea ice cream with red bean paste. The serving was tiny. But enough.

The biggest plus at the Kura was the quality and freshness of its food. The fish and seafood in particular were pristinely fresh. Every dish was authentically Japanese. And it was was not that horribly expensive. The set meals that we had was RM30 to RM45 each. The salmon skin and cream croquette was RM12 each. The autumn roll was more expensive at RM22. Considering that it was in a hotel and with the ambiance of the place, I did not think we paid too much for the meal. Of course it is not a "everyday" sort of place. For an occasional celebration, I think it is not a bad place to pamper ourselves.

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