Friday, August 5, 2011

Watami

After opening over 600 outlets in Japan, China, Singapore & Taiwan, Watami has landed on Malaysian soil, promising what it calls a "casual Japanese restaurant" experience.

A staggering selection is offered; it's not fine dining, but some interesting items are available, such as this crispy capellini pasta (nope, it's not part of the table decoration). A bar snack with a Japanese twist, boasting an infusion of umami, possibly thanks to some seaweed. Be careful while chewing these; they're sharp enough to poke a hole through your gums!

Salmon, cream cheese & veggies in rice paper. Look mom, no carbs! Well, almost anyway.

Another relatively healthy option: Sapporo Miso Ramen, filled purely with veggies, no meat. Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, is supposed to be the birthplace of miso ramen; this subtly sweet preparation stuck close to the authentic recipe, topped with sweet corn & bean sprouts.

On the other side of the eat-healthy spectrum: chicken katsu, partnered with a raw egg poured on a sizzling plate. Watami offers plenty of DIY dishes that are potentially fun for families.

Tofu with cheese & mentaiko. Prices here are lower than expected; this one cost about RM15, including service charge. We predict Watami will be packed at peak hours in the weeks ahead, even though the restaurant is spacious enough to fit more than 100 customers.

A yakitori set of beef with spring onions & asparagus, chicken wings, thigh & soft bones. Not as smoky or succulent as the best ones out there, but for below RM20, we can't complain.

Okonomiyaki with a difference, stuffed with mochi for a sticky surprise. A well-executed version of this oft-abused pancake; thick and aromatic without being sickeningly greasy.

A reasonable range of booze is available at heartening rates. From sake to Suntory beer...

... black whiskey soda to yuzu soda ...

... umeshu with grapefruit to shochu on the rocks.

Watami Malaysia @ Pavilion,
Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant,
Level 4, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2141-6671
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

27 comments:

  1. Posted mine already in FB...haha...

    Thanx for d Yuzu Whisky Soda :D

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  2. ulric: your yakitori photo is nice. if you ever wanna sell your camera second-hand (for less than half price), i'd consider it :D

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  3. U r third in d queue of potential buyers :D

    Some of ur photos have a very good perspective :)

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  4. Mmm. Worth a look this weekend. Mentaiko here I come! :D

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  5. This looks like a good visit! Considering it's in Pavilion, I would expect the price to be rocket high. ;) Perfect for my meal this weekend when I go shopping there! Hehe

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  6. ulric: hmmm, sounds like i'll need to find a way to assassinate the two people in front of the queue. but there's gotta be an easier way to upgrade my camera, heheh :D
    kenny: if you bump into iamthewitch there (see her comment) and strike up a beautiful new friendship, you know who to thank for helping to facilitate the circumstance =)
    iamthewitch: hope you enjoy watami if you manage to try it! there are at least a dozen new restaurants that have opened at pavilion in the past month, mostly on level four and level six (tokyo street). watami is on level four :D

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  7. I'm definitely having the chicken katsu if I dine here. Looks yummy from where I'm sitting. LOL

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  8. bangsar-babe: you're right, the katsu was crisp, meaty and flavorsome :D the menu also offers an alternative of chicken nuggets on a sizzling plate with a raw egg...

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  9. New friendship? Aiyo she and I friend friend oredi ma... albeit online ones. Still counts, no?

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  10. Lfb: nothing cements a friendship forever like sharing sushi together. Now wouldn't that be a nice motto for a Japanese restaurant, heheh

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  11. TOFU WITH MENTAIKO AND CHEESE T________T

    i want!

    do you think i can make that?

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  12. Michelle: with your kitchen skills, I think you'd be able to whip up a very tasty version of that recipe! It's quite comfort food-ish :D

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  13. Watami's rep in Japan doesn't exactly scream greatness but this looks plenty good Japanophiles this side of the region! I can't take my eyes off that golden tall glass of beer... minus the typical Japanese head that I detest! BEER!! Think I'll channel my inner Homer Simpson this evening!

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  14. Nice slogan. Which restaurant do you think's gonna use it? :)

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  15. Went n tried their lunch menu...lunch sets are pretty good...comes with a drink of which u can choose from a small list...FB photos incoming :D

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  16. All i can say is, Pav needs good food outlets & im thankful fr Tonkatsu & Ben's and now im thankful fr Morganfields, watami & tokyo st!
    If only KLCC would do the same!

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  17. Wow the chicken katsu really looks good la... I wonder if its bcos of the raw egg topping?

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  18. min: yeah, they seem kinda low-key in singapore too. but i love your train of thought! they've got a decent set of beer brands here at watami, a good way to kick off the weekend :D
    kenny: any outlet with sushi in its name, i figure. sushi king, sushi zanmai, sushi tei. wonder if i could sell that slogan to any of them and use the money for a japanese vacation =)
    ulric: ahh, maybe they'll introduce dinner sets too eventually. oops, i forgot to mention in this post how good the service here is. smooth, attentive and efficient :D
    tng: yeah, and there are still some more new eateries at pavilion that are gonna open in the next few months. i doubt klcc will ever be able to catch up (especially since there's a strict no-pork policy at klcc) -)
    baby sumo: yeah, the egg definitely boosted the flavor, though the chicken would still have been tasty on its own. served in an interesting style too, on a pan over a stove to keep it hot :D

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  19. Tried once in Singapore. They were pretty decently priced. I guess they are here to give other sushi joints a run for their money.

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  20. Chong: yeah, I think they're still a notch above the other shopping mall Japanese eateries in KL, like sushi tei and sushi zanmai, especially in terms of variety :D

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  21. went for lunch today. updated my website with some pics. somehow I felt if I ordered noodles or rice bowls would make it more worth it without feeling pricey. I didnt do that today

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  22. ooh another new japanese restaurant to try at Pavilion! The food does look like the casual japanese dining and i guess Kampachi is still the higher end restaurant.

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  23. jeffrey: hope you manage to try the other stuff here soon. so far, i'm hearing mostly positive feedback from other friends who've eaten here =)
    eiling: yeah, this is definitely a cheaper alternative to kampachi. i haven't tried the sashimi here yet, but it's pretty cheap, below RM50 for a set of six types =)

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  24. will make another visit one of these days hopefully. didn't feel like taking rice or noodles yesterday(esp after visiting Santouka twice), but the tonpeiyaki was very good. and yeah, this is a cheaper alternative. overall, does worth another look

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  25. jeffrey: i'm aiming for their anago maki, DIY potato salad, and probably also their potato-&-mentaiko pizza :D

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  26. hey, great write up on watami! are they halal in malaysia?

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  27. escaffe: thanks! they're definitely pork-free, but they serve alcohol =)

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