Sunday, October 21, 2012

Doraku @ Life Center

From Florida & Honolulu to Malaysia: Doraku, which boasts branches in Miami Beach & Waikiki, opened its first Asian outpost at Kuala Lumpur's Life Center this month.

Founded by Kevin Aoki, a scion of the Benihana restaurant empire, Doraku offers audacious cuisine that marries Japanese traditions with Latin American & Pan-Asian inspirations. This is one of 2012's most interesting new eateries.

Purists might scoff at this plate of shiromo sashimi (RM30+), resting on shiso leaves, topped with marinated cucumbers, sweet onions, tomatoes, kaiware sprouts & kabayaki soy sauce. But it's really a fanciful riot of attention-seizing colors & flavors.

Sure, the sauces can seem heavy-handed, relegating the red snapper in this tiridito recipe (RM28+) into an ensemble player, not a star. But when the heat of the jalapeno garnish kicks in, coupled with the miso sauce's soothing sweetness, our taste buds still do a happy dance.

Hello, Hawaii! This Pacific Rim medley of ahi tuna, seaweed, nuts, spring mix & crispy green onions (RM36+) is another recommendation on Doraku's KL menu, which is nearly identical to the U.S. one. We'll see if Malaysians enjoy it as much as the Americans.

We love this rice-free, seafood-rich Emperor Roll (RM38+), made majestic with a succulent stuffing of lightly seared salmon, tuna sashimi, crab meat, shrimp, scallops & avocado, flash-fried in a crisp panko breadcrumb crust.

Okinawa's famed chanpuru stir-fry (RM32+) makes its presence felt, featuring sirloin, bittergourd, tofu & egg. Not our favorite, but hot & hearty enough for a rainy night.

Doraku's cocktails keep the creative streak running: Try the "Asian Mojito," graced with ginger-infused vodka & a shiso leaf.

More shiso leaf madness for the Midori Bath (shochu, midori liquor, pineapple juice).

Sake Sangria (sake, red wine, plum wine, orange juice, fruits).

Doraku's shaded alfresco first-floor area comes complete with a DJ booth for late-night lounging.

Let's hope Doraku's U.S.-based chieftain Kevin Aoki makes a visit here eventually, maybe bringing along his musician brother Steve and model sister Devon.

Doraku opens daily for lunch & dinner, serving drinks well past midnight.

Doraku Sushi & Sake Bar,
Mezzanine Floor, Life Center, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2181-4828
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

63 comments:

  1. I like the look of the Emperor Roll... rice-free makis are ideal for me since I usually avoid them cos of the rice. :P

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    1. Baby Sumo: yeah, i sometimes shy away from makis too if i think they'll contain more rice than seafood. this emperor roll is pretty ideal for us, since it's like 90 percent seafood, heh! :D

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  2. I think I can handle the Emperor Roll maki and the Pacific Rim medley all by myself...hehe =)

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    1. Ulric: both the emperor roll and the hawaiian ahi tuna dishes could be main courses on their own, heh :D

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    2. I m a main course monsta...especially with Jap food...hahahaha :P

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  3. Oh wow, this sounds rich and absolutely delicious!

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    1. Cquek: it's a nice new option for japanese food in kl's city center =)

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  4. If I ever order the Emperor Roll, I'm definitely not going to share it with anyone!!!! hehehehe :P

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    1. Vien: heheh, but sharing is caring! :D

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  5. Oooooo...love the place. Very nice design and decor. The Emperor roll looks like to die for... Food certainly looks different from elsewhere.

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    1. Suituapui: yeah, i like this place especially at night, when it's dimmer and more romantic. and ya, there are recipes here that we can't find elsewhere in kl =)

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  6. that looks closer to a carpaccio than shashimi isn't it? reminds me of the concoction they have at Senjyu

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    1. KY: oh true, you're right, that's more of a carpaccio. i'm gonna try to hunt down the food at senjyu next time! :D

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  7. The place looks 80% like House in G-tower. The emperor roll indeed triggered my production of saliva... ;P

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    1. Eunice: ooh, that's true, the use of indoor trees and the warm, woody floors are similar to house :D heh, i hope you get to satisfy your cravings with a good maki roll soon =)

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  8. Those dishes looks so mouthwatering! I'll def give it a go even though i hated the life centre's narrow and impossibly worn down parking

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    1. Augustdiners: oh ya, i think it's worth at least one trip. i can't 100 percent recommend this place, cos i think it might be too 'fusion' for some customers. but ooh, life center's parking is actually pretty convenient after office hours, though the RM10 flat rate is kinda high =)

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  9. I love the sound of Emperor Roll already - not only rice free, but filled with so much seafood goodies! Yum!

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    1. Iamthewitch: oh yeah, a roll fit for an emperor! and all the seafood in it was really fresh and juicy and combined really deliciously together :D

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  10. Looks like this is indeed one of KL's most promising eateries! :)

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    1. TNG: i hope it does well! it's a risk, and the rent at life center might be costly. but cross fingers that there'll be enough customers to sustain it =)

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  11. Yay!! Another new japanese restaurant! I love love love Japanese food, can't wait to check out this place!

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    1. Smitten By Food: i hope you enjoy it, and maybe we'll bump into each other here sometime soon! :D

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  12. I'll like to check out the Asian Mojito. Looks like Life Center certainly has a lovely selection of eateries these days.

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    1. Missyblurkit: that's quite an interesting mojito compared to the usual ones, though the taste of ginger is subtle =) yeah, all of a sudden this year, life center has become a cool place for restaurants! :D

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    2. An Asian Mojito for me too! =)

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  13. What an intriguing place! So great to see something completely different arriving in this sea of same-same eateries. You do discover some beauties!

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    1. YouHadYourLunch: oh yeah, while i love all the traditional japanese restaurants that serve great classic cuisine, it's nice to also have these adventurous outlets that won't play safe! and thanks! :D

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  14. The Emperor Roll sounds like my kind of sushi. :P

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    1. Bangsar-Babe: it might be my favorite maki for october :D

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  15. had dine thr recently and the emperor roll was my favourite besides sirloin garlic steak. they also have ribs and burgers (japanese style). My personal fav drink would be Ice Lychee Tea (for those who doens't drink)..wld recommend and dfntly come back again :-)

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    1. SherryL: glad to hear you enjoyed it! i haven't tried the steak yet, though i'll keep it in mind =)

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  16. The Japanese Beef Ribs is superb. It's a must try.

    The same goes with Wafu Burger and both Wagyu beef dishes, which is the sirloin garlic steak and the wagyu teriyaki.

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    1. Unknown: thanks for that. oh yeah, i wanted to order the ribs, but they were unavailable. definitely worth considering for the future =)

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    2. I see wafu burger n sirloin garlic steak...attack mode on! =)

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    3. Ulric: hope you enjoy it!

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  17. interesting.. got peruvian tiridito ! LOL . Yeah I cannot wait to meet Devon Aoki either .. hwat!! :P

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    1. Ciki: yeah, not exactly a traditional tiridito, but a creative one, heh! :D and ya, hopefully the entire Aoki clan manages to make it here to KL =)

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  18. The sirloin + bittergourd + tofu + egg really interest me, probably a tough combination to a make a successful dish; i do not cook but i dont it is easy to make the combi work !!!!

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    1. Wong: oh yeah, it reminds me in some ways of a Chinese recipe. It's quite healthy, I think, thanks to the bittergourd. And it's not oily =)

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    1. John: heh, guess she has quite a strong fan base =)

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  20. Pretty impressive repertoire of dishes and the decor looks very nice too! Love the riot of colours in almost every dish - feast for the eyes too, hehe!

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    1. Pureglutton: yeah, fans of sushi rolls will especially enjoy the menu here. and i like how the place manages to have such a welcoming feel, with warm, earthy colors in its decor and fun, splashy colors on the plates! :D

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  21. Replies
    1. Unkaleong: hope you enjoy it! bring a big appetite along, cos the food here is hearty :D

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  22. shiromo sashimi looks so colourful..
    seems like having CNY yee sang.. nice..

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    1. Simple Person: wow, you're right, it's like yee sang in its colors! :D

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  23. looks like there is quite a few places to discover at Life centre. the only downside to this place is the traffic.

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    1. Eiling: yeah, there've been at least five or six new restaurants that have opened this year at life centre. it should become the new place to eat at jalan sultan ismail! :D

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  24. The Emperor roll is a MUST try item on the menu - its like death by seafood wrapped in crispy seaweed. Will definitely be back for this and owh the lunch set looks scrumptious and sinfully delicious too!

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    1. Afiq: glad to hear you enjoyed it too! love your phrase 'death by seafood' :D

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  25. Replies
    1. Mon-Yann: it's a good one! =)

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  26. Hi,

    by any chance the "Hawaii Pacific Rim medley " is called Ahi Hawaiian Poke? I just ate it today, its lovely but seems like its missing some components. (like a shadow of urs). :C

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    1. Olivia: i think it could be that one, i've forgotten its official name. hmmmm, sorry to hear it was missing some ingredients, but glad to hear you still enjoyed it =)

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    2. We showed ur pics to the chef, and the chef said you quoted wrongly and that is "seafood salad" instead. nontheless, nice flavour and great write out

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    3. Olivia: oops, i don't recall a seafood salad, but thanks for the info anyhow, and the kind words =)

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  27. https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Food-Porn-Malaysia/167208866766363?hc_location=timeline

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  28. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=228252333995349&set=a.167238253430091.1073741828.167208866766363&type=1&relevant_count=1

    reported to HQ!

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  29. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Food-Porn-Malaysia/167208866766363

    Bad Service deliver from this restaurant, while using the voucher.

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  30. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Food-Porn-Malaysia/167208866766363

    Bad Service deliver from this restaurant, while using the voucher.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Check this out :-

    https://www.facebook.com/wats2eatinmy/photos/a.480290442000235.121893.440188876010392/703646229664654/?type=3

    ReplyDelete