Saturday, July 14, 2012

Haru Zen @ Puchong & Shinjuku @ Hartamas



Checking out a couple of Japanese eateries in the suburbs: first up, Haru Zen in Puchong. Japanese food buffs might be hard-pressed to find outlets in this neighborhood that impress them _ Haru-Zen won't change that, but it has worthwhile offerings.

Okonomiyaki stuffed with natto. A well-executed version of this oft-abused pancake recipe. Fairly thick and fluffy, but not excessively greasy. The flavor of the fermented soybeans is subtle, but it adds a nice nuttiness.

Ramen with Osaka-style pork broth. Springy noodles in rich broth. No complaints.

Baked tofu with salted cod roe and cheese. Soft and savory, exactly as expected. Not the healthiest tofu preparation, but it's piping-hot, creamy comfort food for a rainy evening.

Pork belly preserved with miso. Home-cooked fare, more or less. Tender and tasty, with a pleasantly distinctive aroma from the miso.

Nankotsu. A letdown; tastes like KFC chicken cartilage. Overcooked and over-salted.

Shochu, mixed with calpis and cucumber.


Next, Shinjuku at Hartamas. Porky fare is prevalent here on a menu with both hits and misses.


Shinjuku Maki, an unusual roll stuffed with raw salmon and smoked bacon. The sweet, succulent fish and savory, sinewy pork mingle like they're meant for each other.


The sashimi platter is substantial, with lots of fairly fresh fish, though not impressive enough to recall for long. But Shinjuku's prices are reasonable and service is friendly.


Tsukimi Udon _ noodles with raw egg in hot soup. Hearty, but the noodles seem a bit too chewy, while the soup lacks a definitive flavor.


Yakiniku buta sasami. Barbecued pork _ adequately tender and tasty, with a sprinkling of sesame seeds to add some crunchy texture.


Sake makes everything better. Yep, it absolutely does.


Haru-Zen,
IOI Boulevard, Puchong.
Shinjuku,
74, Jalan 27/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas.
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18 comments:

  1. I enjoy eating okonomiyaki, but I've never tried natoo okonomiyaki before.

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    1. Smitten by Food: the natto makes the okonomiyaki stickier and somewhat nutty-tasting. quite enjoyable, actually! :D

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  2. Interesting! I don't like natto but I might change my mind after that okonomiyaki!

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    1. Vien: oooh, i'm usually not a major fan of natto either, though i know at least one person who loves it! :D

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  3. After reading this, I'm craving for a good bowl of udon.. and I know where to go to get it :)

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    1. Baby Sumo: heheh, yeah, no need to drive all the way to hartamas for a bowl of udon, since you can find it closer to home :D

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  4. I don't know why... I never really have cravings for okonomiyaki as opposed to pajeon. for me okonomiyaki is a bit too icky...

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    1. Michelle: maybe we've had too many bad encounters with greasy, starchy okonomiyaki at other places. but i think the good ones are worth eating! :D

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  5. Your haru zen post is really outdated. This shop has closed down a year ago at ioi boulevard.

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    1. Ng: oops! Thanks for the info. Heh, guess this post had been stuck for too long in my drafts folder. Shinjuku is definitely still open though :D

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  6. my jaw drop when i saw the baked tofu...tofu and cheese=cindy's favorite...

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    1. Cindy: oooh, i agree that the combo is a yummy recipe! :D

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  7. oooh I'm eyeing that Pork belly with miso. I'm sure it tasted really nice with some coke sake or even beer.

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    1. Eiling: oh ya, i guess pork belly is one of those items that's always worth ordering on a menu at japanese (and chinese) restaurants! :D

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  8. If I asked you to hazard a guess, how many Jap restos in Klang Valley, what would u say ? :P

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    1. Ciki: including shopping mall outlets, i'd guess somewhere near 500! :D

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  9. hmm is it a new shop at IOI boulevard?
    seems a lot a of new shops arise...

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    1. Simple Person: oh, it's difficult for me to keep track of the outlets at IOI Boulevard, since i only go there once or twice a year, heheh :D

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