Thursday, October 17, 2013

Inaho @ The Curve & Bon Sushi @ Solaris Mont Kiara

Taking a look at two Japanese eateries, beginning with Inaho, the sister restaurant of Minori; it's a bright, cheerful addition to The Curve, with a hits-&-misses menu of everything from sashimi to skewered meat.

Good news first: Prices at Inaho are lower than Minori; not a surprise, since Inaho's in a mall, while Minori's at the Royale Bintang Damansara hotel. Thus, a substantial serving of sea urchin costs only RM35++ at Inaho.

Not-so-good news: There might be a drop-off in quality here; three slices of chutoro medium-fatty tuna clocks in at RM38++ ...

... while top-flight otoro is a remarkable RM55++ for three thick pieces, but both fall a bit short of what the best cuts can be. It's a trade-off that could nonetheless prove fair for some customers, sacrificing some of the pleasure to ease some of the pain for the wallet.

No qualms though about endorsing sushi that's terrifically topped with salmon flesh & roe (RM6++ per piece).

But we'd probably skip the could-be-fresher tsubugai whelk sushi (RM12++) ...

... & the surprisingly drained-of-flavor-&-juice anago sea eel sushi ...

... though the pretty-with-prawn sushi is alright. To nitpick further, the sushi rice here can seem somewhat dry & bland, forcing the toppings to struggle to compensate.

What's next is nice, thankfully: Grilled yellowtail cheek (RM32++), firmly moist.

Grilled scallops with mentaiko cod roe mayo & mushrooms (RM18++). Tasty snack.

Mixed feelings about the skewer selection: Can't go wrong with the chicken liver & the garlic, or the devilishly slick chicken skin & the deliciously crunchy soft bone (though the latter is served with meat on the bones, strangely) ...

... but the bovine entries of Aussie Wagyu beef short rib & ox tongue prove too chewy-tough. Then again, the beef skewer only costs RM12++, less than half of what we'd expect it to at several other outlets.

Sparkling sweet sake, perhaps not the ideal accompaniment for sashimi, sushi or skewers.

Sararitoshita Umeshu (try saying that five times fast).

Next stop, Bon Sushi at Solaris Mont Kiara. It's easy to forget Solaris Mont Kiara even exists, since everything happens at Solaris Dutamas these days, but once in awhile, it's worth checking back in at KL's first Solaris & checking out what's new here.

Bon Sushi seems like a promising place, but opening-day teething problems marred this visit; still, it has potential, plus the distinction of being a Japanese restaurant that's led by a Korean chef with years of experience in the craft of sushi-making.

A meal at Bon Sushi can be a strange cross-cultural experience; a tray of Korean-style complimentary 'banchan' small dishes might be served, but instead of kimchi & bean sprouts, what emerges can be traced mainly to the Land of The Rising Sun.

From eel to red clams & scallops, it's a solid variety, well complemented by pickles.

What's very wrong though: The sashimi platter of tuna & mackerel came out practically frozen.

The chef tried to warm it up, though in hindsight, there was no immediate way to salvage this.

He did seek to make amends with a complimentary bowl of hot udon, which tasted fine.

Chungha, a Korean substitute for sake, helped to relieve some of the tension.

Green tea works too, to wash away the rest of the stress.

Inaho,
G41A, Ground Floor, The Curve, Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya.
Tel: 03-7725-5530

Bon Sushi,
First Floor, SohoKL, Solaris Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur.

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23 comments:

  1. Sararitoshita Umeshu ....i couldn't even start properly!

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    1. Missyblurkit: heheh, i'm terrible at tongue-twisters, so i end up fumbling after four syllables! :D

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  2. I think the presentation is better at some of the other places you've been to but of course, it's the taste that matters. Looking nice but not tasting good, no point really.

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    1. Suituapui: the trick is striking the right balance, and yeah, emphasizing the taste ultimately. but it's the mediocre experiences that help us to appreciate the good ones even more, fortunately =)

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  3. Frozen sashimi? Tat's a mighty big no-no for me! Too bad about the inconsistent freshness of Inaho though...would have liked to pay them a visit...I think I will stick to Ichiro...hehe =)

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    1. Ulric: yeah, the suspicion is that they weren't ready to open and serve customers at bon sushi. bad timing for this visit, i guess. am assuming that customers who visit now won't be getting frozen sushi =) heh, yeah, i think it's safer to to rely on ichiro, though inaho would be OK if you're already at the curve =)

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  4. RM35++ for sea urchin is quite cheap! Too bad the rest of the food are so so.
    Frozen sashimi sounds so wrong, no thanks. :P

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    1. CK: true, it's one of the cheapest uni we'll find in the klang valley. it's not bad, but ya, it's not the best, heheh =) and ya, now i'm very frightened of frozen sashimi :D

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  5. Oh no.... the sashimi slices look so fresh! something that i would die for T.T

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    1. Ken: fresh sashimi takes my breath away too! Heheh :D

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  6. Chicken liver and garlic sounds good.

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    1. Linda: two of my favorite ingredients :D

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  7. U should have dump the frozen tuna into the hot udon :P
    *ahem* hahah!
    anago - too bad about that.. I love my anango really. Only other place I knw that serves it is Ichiro.
    As for bland an dry sushi rice - i experienced the same at Minori, and we ordered the omasake sashimi sushi at 150RM - the top of the top there is. So me thinks it's "their way" of preparing the sushi rice.. maybe. :P
    Our omasake sashimi were alright (which should be since its RM300++), certainly fresher than what i see here

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    1. Rebecca: heheh, yeah, cooked tuna does beat raw frozen tuna. sad, but true =) ya, i like anago too, and it's good that it's becoming increasingly popular in KL. you can find it at outlets like Coco.Tei and others, luckily. ooo, ya Minori's still a safer bet than Inaho, if we're OK with the pinch to our wallets :D

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  8. half frozen tuna? why not skewered it? hahaha

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    1. KY: heh, that would actually be a good idea :D

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  9. Frozen sashimi... ugh! Did you let them know? I hope they took it off the bill for you.

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    1. Baby Sumo: oh, the chef tried to warm it up and tried to compensate for it with complimentary udon and other stuff. but in hindsight, yeah, he should have taken it away or apologized and said that the tuna wasn't ready to be served...

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  10. I know there are people who will pay for good sea urchin. However, it is not my cup of tea.

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    1. Wilson: heh, yeah, i actually love sea urchin, and i wish it wasn't so exorbitantly priced at most places =)

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  11. Omg!
    What gorgeous food and atmosphere.
    Must go!

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    1. Cquek: hope you enjoy the experience =)

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  12. To the manager: [Note: I had contacted you twice through FB IM, but to date have not received any response. I am a public health and infectious disease specialist, and I am posting this message as a public health service to other patrons who may be deciding to eat at your restaurant. ]

    On Friday, December 19th five colleagues and I had dinner at Inaho at The Curve around 5pm. We ordered oysters and various sushi. The oysters were served at room temperature, rather than chilled. I wanted you to know that several of us got very sick after eating there. My symptoms, which included vomiting and diarrhea, began about 24 hours after the meal, as did my colleagues', according to them. My GI symptoms lasted about 4 days. There may very well have been other customers affected as well.

    Please review hygiene and food safety practices with your kitchen staff.

    Sincerely,
    Dr. Jonathan Epstein

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