Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Kingyo @ Life Center & Ju.Ne @ Solaris Dutamas

A tale of two Japanese eateries: one in the city, the other suburban; one steadfastly traditional, the other cautiously experimental.

First up, Kingyo, which opened at Life Center this month, practically the same time that sushi-serving rival Doraku launched upstairs in this building.

Kingyo's prices are slightly on the steep side; its specialty roll, topped with seared minced 'toro' tuna belly & stuffed with avocado & spring onions, is a melt-in-the-mouth pleasure, but costs well north of RM60.

Salmon-&-tuna sashimi salad, satisfyingly fresh but far from memorable.

Inaniwa udon to round up a meal at a place that might be playing it too safe; the menu is wide, but everything here can be found elsewhere at more competitive prices.

We wish Kingyo luck, but it needs an extra edge to stand out in KL's sea of Japanese eateries.

Next up, Ju.Ne, a fairly comfortable little nook in Solaris Dutamas.

Simmered eggplant with bonito flakes, warm & soft, invite us to linger for dinner.

Ju.Ne's starters include worthwhile fare with fun-but-not-radical twists, including a big bowl of crunchy veggies on ice (love the Brussels sprouts) partnered with a savory anchovy sauce dip that's kept hot over a flame.

Keeping the healthy streak alive: Momotaro tomatoes & Japanese cucumbers, cool & crisp, paired with sauces spicy & creamy.

Crab meat & avocado mayo salad. Can't go wrong with this; tastes exactly as expected.

Minced prawn stuffed in lotus root. Warm & juicy, but it might need a sauce to add some zing.

Garlic bread, a tad too stodgy, to be topped with a terrific mix of tuna belly, anchovies & wasabi.

Oyster-stuffed omelet, a mouthwatering finish to a creative meal whose hits outpace the misses.

Cute sake cups; customers choose their favorite when the service team offers a tray of them.

Kingyo @ Life Center, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.
Ju.Ne @ 4A-G2-3A, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur.
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

28 comments:

  1. Agreed! Kingyo needs to have more competitive pricing in order to survive amongst d myriad of Jap restos in KL =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ulric: though it's tricky, cos keeping prices reasonable shouldn't come at the expense of cutting the quality of the food. Still, I think I saw the spider roll here priced at over RM40, which is too stiff.

      Delete
    2. Tats a good example, the most expensive spider roll I have seen so far only costs RM3+ =)

      Delete
    3. Ulric: maybe i'll try kingyo's spider roll someday =)

      Delete
  2. I love to be there for all those delicious cuisine .....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. “追食富迪”: hope you get a great japanese meal soon! =)

      Delete
  3. Kingyo's prices are almost similar to Jap hotel prices- like Kampachi, etc.!! Maybe they need lunch & dinner specials :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vien: ya, maybe they'll have set menus eventually. i guess this is just the beginning. who knows, maybe in six months, kingyo will turn out to be a very popular eatery :D

      Delete
  4. Kingyo's offering looks good especially within a building that is to an extent still struggling to get people in in the evenings an weekends. That aside, I think based on what you shared, the food looks promising to a foodie.

    Oyster stuffed omelette...sounds awesome. Its hard to say no to juicy oysters! Does look like a version of our regular orchien but perhaps bigger oysters?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Missyblurkit: yeah, the food at kingyo is definitely solid, but it just feels like it needs something more in order to stand out and really succeed. maybe we can give them some time and give them the opportunity :D ooh, yeah, soft omelet and plump oysters ... i guess it could be the japanese version of chinese oh chien. healthier though, since it isn't as greasy as oh chien! :D

      Delete
  5. Like the 1st place, so neat & clean...very Japanese. LOL!!! Wow!!! You've been on an eating spree, I see....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suituapui: yeah, it's got a clean, smooth feel ... though maybe a bit too sterile and lacking in character, some might say =) heh, i'm always game for good japanese :D

      Delete
  6. Salmon-&-tuna sashimi salad indeed look fresh. Judging from the colors... ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa: definitely no complaints about the freshness of the fish (or the veggies) :D

      Delete
  7. No visit to Kingyo and more visits to Doraku then =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Smitten: i'd recommend kingyo to folks who want traditional japanese, and doraku to others who prefer fusion twists =)

      Delete
  8. oooo! u should be japanese overdose by now, no?
    It's unfortunate that both outlets looks unmemorable.. though i wouldnt mind having the minced toro sushi :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AugustDiners: heh, but japanese food is so satisfying that i think we could easily eat it three times a week without feeling overdosed :D yeah, the combination of minced toro with avocado is quite pleasurable indeed! =)

      Delete
    2. Agreed!...on the visitations to Jap restos...hehe =)

      Delete
  9. I saw some Momotaro tomatoes in the supermarket the other day, wanted to buy it but am still thinking what sauce I shd serve it with. Any suggestions? ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Baby Sumo: ooh, my first thought would be some sort of sesame-based sauce. or maybe even just some good olive oil and balsamic vinegar, that would be totally safe :D

      Delete
    2. I nominate wafu vinaigrette with yuzu peel =)

      Delete
  10. I agree price is kinda steep..
    but hey the food looks good and delicious..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simple Person: true, you're right, i guess in the end, quality matters the most :D

      Delete
  11. wow RM60 for a roll. that's expensive but of course anything that comes with toro would be expensive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eiling: yeah, i'm not too sure that mincing the toro was the ideal treatment for it though. but ya, it's quite a gourmet maki, heh =)

      Delete
  12. went to kingyo last nite and there was only 2 table occupied. they really need to revise the food and the price, the food was not what one expected....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FrozeH: yeah, on one hand, i guess we have to accept that good japanese food will be pricey, but i think the prices here at kingyo will turn off too many customers, even though the quality of the food is decent...

      Delete