Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Daikanyama Meets Simply Mel's @ Changkat Bukit Bintang

Culinary worlds collide at Daikanyama, where a menu that's likely never been seen at any other Japanese restaurant on earth will be launched next week.

Inspired by the soul food served at Simply Mel's, Daikanyama's maverick team has latched the inimitable nuances of Malaccan Portuguese cuisine onto favorites of the Japanese cookbook, creating a new canon of boldly original oddities. Thanks to Daikanyama's Shahril for this preview.

Looks like regular agedashi tofu, but slice open the golden cube & a center of cincaluk spills out. What might otherwise taste pleasant but predictable mutates into a firestorm of fermented flavors that pack a pinkish punch by no means shrimp-sized.

No culture clash: Daikanyama strives for balance, so even though the salted kurau fish pickle remains pugnaciously savory in this rice-paper harumaki roll, it's harmoniously tempered by a creamy potato salad, oba leaves & carrots.

Chicken pongteh hand rolls, with a little sambal, making use of Simply Mel's own pongteh recipe. Talk about a vote of endorsement: Simply Mel's exacting chef Melba Nunis herself has sampled these creations at Daikanyama & enjoyed them.

Ginger-garnished Devil's Curry chicken, yakitori-style, spicy enough to make tongues tingle, with a sweet-sour edge that'll encourage taste buds to tango.

The final member of the fab five that'll be served on this three-month experimental menu starting July 1: Braised sehbak chicken, aromatic with star anise & cinnamon, wrapped in tofu skin & lettuce with chili & soba sauces.

Can't wait till next week? There's no reason not to head to Daikanyama even now, since there's a current Hawaiian-honed promotion through this Sunday.

We're a long way from Honolulu, but the invigorating crunch of these cucumber wraps, stuffed with salmon, onions & togarashi spices, makes us feel like heading to the beach for a luau & munching on these for snacks.

Maguro Poke, a reinterpretation of the classic tuna tartar. In its gastronomic globetrotting, Daikanyama has previously also tackled everything from Hong Kong fusion (teriyaki lo mai kai & century egg chawanmushi) to Indian (soft-shell-crab briyani temaki), Thai (tom yam wraps) & Mexican (salmon tataki quesadillas) & more.

"Wafu Loco Moco," comfort cuisine that'd be universally beloved, a crisp rice cake crowned with Daikanyama's house-made hamburger patty & a sunny-side-up.

Not all spam is undesirable, not when it's chicken luncheon meat bundled in a roll with mango, cucumber & kampyo.

Battered prawns & asparagus, for dipping into tangy pineapple mayo. Addictive.

Two more for the road: Believe it or not, Daikanyama manages to maintain a full a la carte menu besides its seasonal selections, complete with crowd-pleasing choices like seared salmon with truffle oil (RM34 before taxes).

Sake Bomb Maki: Salmon, soft-shell crab & avocado (RM30).

Cielo Dolci's now-renowned gelato is also available here, in the Daikanyama-suitable flavors of wasabi, green tea & black sesame, drizzled with both caramel & shoyu.

Fun beers & fearlessly concocted cocktails complement Daikanyama's fare very nicely.

Daikanyama,
42, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.
Open daily starting 5:30pm

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30 comments:

  1. Genius...the fusion of salted kurau, creamy potato salad, oba leaves n carrots in harumaki roll =)

    I see hamburg n runny egg...m I going loco?...hehe :p

    Sake bomb me...and I happily die with scoops of Cielo Dolci...haha =)

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    1. Ulric: ya, u can tell that the chef and his cohorts thoroughly thought out every recipe, using all their talent and experience to create combinations we've never seen before. They even tried to use 'buah keluak' but weren't able to nail a balance of flavors for it =)
      Heh, you're not insane, this is a restaurant of many temptations, from start to finish :D

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    2. Oops...forgot to ask...how's d Suntory Premium beeru compared to Sapporo Premium? More full-bodied or lighter? =)

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    3. Ulric: ooo, the glass says suntory but it's actually Owa beer in it (an interesting Belgian beer that's brewed by a Japanese man in a small village apparently) =)

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    4. Wow...tat piece of info got me really interested in trying some of his beeru! =)

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    5. Ulric: yeah, I dunno where else in KL to find this brand, but I figure maybe outlets like Brussels beer cafe or ales & lagers at Solaris Dutamas might stock it too. It's pleasant to drink, tasted fairly full-bodied, though I'm too inexperienced with beer to really make any comparisons =)

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    6. Thanx...I m going Owa beeru hunting soon...haha =)

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    7. Ulric: happy hunting! Though in the end, rest assured it's available at Daikanyama if it isn't anywhere else =)

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  2. That brand new menu promo is a rip-off from the poster for Elvis Presley's movie - Blue Hawaii.
    http://images.rakuten.com/PI/0/1000/221264315.jpg
    I probably would pick the Wafu Loco Moco to try.

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    1. Suituapui: no la, not rip-off, an honest homage, since this was a hawaiian-themed menu and many people would be familiar with that elvis hawaiian movie :D i thought the wafu loco moco would be the most popular item too, but apparently it's not No. 1, heh :D

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  3. Lovely decor here, Sean. I would definitely have to try the cucumber and salmon!!!

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    1. Linda: yep, a nice contemporary setting for a restaurant like this =) cucumber and salmon do go so well together :D

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  4. Gimme that Wafu Loco Moco! :D

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    1. Bangsar Babe: available for six more days until it's off the menu! :D

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  5. Cielo!!
    And nice..very well infused elements of both cultures! :)

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    1. TNG: ya, a pleasant surprise to see that cielo is available here too :D and yep, kristang meets japanese, and the results are delicious =)

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  6. Wahh....1st time hearing Japanese food serving cincaluk!

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    1. Melissa: it was a memorable introduction to kick off this meal :D

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  7. these are some interesting fusion ideas, need beer with em!

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    1. KY: ya, i wouldn't have thought of marrying temaki with ayam pongteh :D heh, we're in luck, plenty of beer and other booze here =)

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  8. This is one fusion that I will happily check out!

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    1. Missyblurkit: and it runs all the way through the end of september, so we have lotsa time! :D

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  9. WOW! u sure are speedy! I just heard this on the radio on BFM this morning! *bow bow* !

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    1. Ciki: time and temaki handrolls wait for no man! :D will listen to the bfm podcast afterwards =)

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  10. is the suntory beer on draught or bottle?

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    1. Ng: the suntory was the label for the glass, but we actually had a different beer, not the suntory. sorry, you'll have to call daikanyama to ask, i think =)

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  11. Is it safe to say that there's a East-meets-West cuisine?

    Gosh, I'm drooling at the keyboard now, staring at how tasty the Sake Bomb Maki looks.

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    1. Waverly: perhaps rather east meets east? Or at least northeast meets southeast, since both Japanese and Malaccan Portuguese should be considered eastern :D heh, that sake bomb maki does seem to be a popular order at this restaurant =)

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  12. First comment is that the fried egg atop that hambagu looks perfect. And the other fusion dishes sound so interesting!

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    1. Baby sumo: yeah, and I only found out today that the patty contains shiitake mushroom bits inside for the fusion twist and a splash of wafu sauce, heh =)

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