Sunday, March 16, 2014

Torii @ Taman Tun Dr Ismail

KL's most buzz-worthy new Japanese restaurant so far this year has surfaced at Taman Tun, destined to become an after-work favourite for crowds seeking above-average fare served by a team that could scarcely be friendlier or more efficient.

Start getting acquainted here with the inventiveness of a kitchen crew helmed by Chef Nizam, who spent more than a decade polishing his trade at Ozeki Tokyo. For Torii, these culinary craftsmen have hatched a steamed duck egg custard crowned with foie gras, shrimp & salmon roe, making for a memorable chawanmushi (RM15 before taxes).

Shrimp tempura topped with sea urchin & plum sea salt (RM28), with the uni adding a creamy-sweet brininess that makes this recipe deliciously distinctive.

Torii's triumphant triumvirate: Temptingly warm, achingly luscious layers of unagi, omelette & foie gras (RM28). As good as Japanese dim sum might get.

Speaking of threes, there are trio of reasons for Torii's name: the first two refer to the word's literal meaning (it's a Japanese gate) & as an abbreviation for yakitori _ Torii excels in a sweeping selection of grilled skewered specialities, ranging from chicken liver coated with BBQ sauce & sansho pepper (RM5) ...

... to try-this-now garlic cloves irresistibly wrapped in crispy-fatty chicken skin with sea salt (RM5).

Wagyu sirloin (RM16), packed with commandingly savoury juiciness, alongside ox tongue with black pepper (RM15).

Beef tripe with tangy-thick salsa (RM6).

King crab leg (RM28); Torii will steadily roll out recipes on its no-pork menu. Amid these uncertain times, there are still some guarantees: Expect to hear more about Torii as folks flock here in the months ahead.

Even the complimentary edamame here deserves a shout-out, served warm & fresh with a salty crunch.

Torii has teamed up with Forty Licks Ice Cream to create exclusive flavours here, including a dark chocolate sorbet (RM10) that's terrifically textured & tantalisingly tasty.

Let's finish on what might be the best note for some customers: The third explanation for Torii's name is a nod to Japanese whisky icon Shinjiro Torii. This place is fanatical about its whisky.

Try the refreshing whisky cocktails: Yamazaki Umeshu (Yamazaki 12, soda, honey umeshu) ...

... & Hibiki Vanilla (Hibiki 12, soda, vanilla essence & orange bitters), RM32 each.


Torii Yakitori & Whisky Bar TTDI
18, Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 1, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. Same row as Vin's & Thursdvys
Open daily, 5pm through late. Tel: 03-7733-9309

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24 comments:

  1. I see quite a bit of foie gras here..... I LIKE! A place definitely worth visiting :)

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    1. Baby Sumo: you're right, foie is a favourite in torii's kitchen. there's also foie fried rice and other foie tidbits :D

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  2. The chawanmushi looks like something different but i would definitely love to try! foie gras and duck egg... interesting combination.

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    1. Ken: oh yeah, that's an uber-creamy chawanmushi indeed :)

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  3. I saw sea urchin and foie gras!! I want to try all these! :D

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    1. CK: this restaurant is worth visiting if you have time when you're back in KL in a few weeks :)

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  4. You get to see and experience some really amazing places, Sean!

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    1. Linda: i'm thankful! this was definitely an enjoyable dinner venue :)

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  5. Nice finger foods. No, thank you...I don't drink, not anymore. :(

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    1. Suituapui: heheh, you'll definitely be satisfied with the food alone, even without drinks :)

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  6. it's not a good choice to read ur blog with my empty stomach!!! mouth-watering everywhere!!!

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    1. 小乱: haha, read this after lunch or dinner, heheh :D

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  7. There are a few new dishes in there I'd love to try!

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    1. The Yum List: yeah, the menu's definitely irresistible! :)

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  8. Another place near my place! :)

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    1. Rebecca: probably less than a five-minute drive for you! :)

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  9. HOLY *&#%(*#@&@#&$ (insert expletives). My mind is blown. I want this, all of it,

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    1. Cquek: hope you get the chance the next time you're in KL! :)

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  10. Hi Sean, we went there yesterday and was totally disappointed with the quality of food - most of the dishes were overly seasoned - too salty for our tastebuds. And most of all, the service is understaffed. We finished our meal without our cocktails. Each time we chased, they said its coming. Finally the drinks came 30mins into the meal...And because we had another friend coming to join us, we decided to order a bottle of wine. Which took another 30 mins. The waiters were apologetic and even the bosses rolled up their sleeves to help serve. I suggest to future patrons to wait a while more while they sort out their teething problems.

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    1. Missyj: thanks very much for your thoughtful feedback ... am sorry to hear there were so many hiccups to your meal here, and i hope the restaurant took serious note of everything you pointed out and that it works harder to fix the problems.

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  11. Hello all, I was walking by Torii a few weeks back and was going to the coffee shop around the block. I saw a yellow bag in front of Torii and a closer look I saw it was a bag of poultry. This happened around noon and after having my coffee which was about 2 hours later, the bag was still in front of torii.. Who knows how long after I have left that it still sits there. Anyone wanna see pics, I have taken some

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  12. unagi, omelette & foie gras .. wow.. which flavour does one concentrate on!! LOL

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  13. I don't think they open daily as mentioned,
    Lucky for me to find out earlier, it almost ruin my first date.

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  14. Just ate here.. sorry to say, ridiculously tiny portions at exorbitant prices!

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