Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Saisai Japanese Restaurant @ Plaza Damas, Sri Hartamas

It's challenging to prove that Saisai exists; this new secret sanctuary for Japanese soul food - half a shop-lot in Plaza Damas - has no signboard, no English-language Facebook page, no Foursquare location so far. But Saisai may thrive through old-fashioned word-of-mouth, as fans of Japanese fare seek out what friendly founder Mika-san & chef Moritsuna Sakuma offer.

Come for a taste of tradition - oden in its truest, time-honoured form, a simmering stew in a pot of light, soy-laced dashi broth. 

Customers can choose exactly what they want in their bowl of oden - options include hard-boiled egg, daikon, konjac, fish cakes, tendon meat & cabbage rolls. Three components cost RM12, each additional piece is between RM4 & RM6, served with karashi mustard sauce. A wholesome, warming Japanese winter dish that works well for Malaysian rainy-evening comfort.

Honest cooking flows out of the kitchen: Rustic meal sets (RM24) comprise rice meant to be poured over with warm grated mountain yam, 'menchi-katsu' crispy-crumbed minced pork cutlets & a mild-flavoured, nourishing pork-&-veggie miso soup.

The spirit of home-style recipes is also imbued in the 'akashiyaki,' named for Japan's southern city of Akashi. Round dumplings made with an eggy batter, tinged with octopus tentacles - evocative of takoyaki, with a softer, somewhat fluffier texture. RM15 for a serving of seven pieces.

Heaps on the menu to ensure nobody leaves hungry - buttery-rich Japanese curry rice with beef & chicken (RM18), ika karaage (RM13), tonkotsu ramen (RM18) & sake-steamed clams (RM18). We'll likely hear more of Saisai in the months ahead.

Saisai Japanese Restaurant
F-0-9, Plaza Damas, Jalan Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. Mon-Sat, 12pm-215pm, 6pm-10pm

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22 comments:

  1. Oh my...those eggy round dumplings do look good! =)

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    1. Ulric: and they're quite filling ... i thought we could finish them, but we actually left one or two unfinished :)

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  2. Wow, so many different things here, Sean!

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    1. Linda: it's quite a sturdy variety indeed :D

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  3. Wish I could try those dumplings. The pork cutlets look good too. Nice, very nice - different from the usual run-off-the-mill Japanese places, you've been to one, you've been to all...the same old stuff.

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    1. Suituapui: there's definitely a lot of uncharted diversity in the full spectrum of japanese cooking! :D

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  4. Some heart warming fare here.

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    1. The Yum List: yeah, best to come on an empty stomach! :)

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  5. I like oden, we had once in Tokyo, during a cold rainy night, feel good!
    But old the Japanese chef was very fierce, not allow us to take his pic, lol.

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    1. CK: heheh, luckily the owner didn't prevent me from taking her photo here. but ya, on a cold rainy night in kl, you can head here for some feel-good oden too! i love oden too :D

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  6. Hmmmmm! Looks so good! All homely :)
    Btw.. RM15 for one dumpling?

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    1. Rebecca: yeah, everything does have a home-cooked feel :) ooops, sorry for not being clear; it's actually RM15 for the entire serving of seven dumplings ... so roughly RM2 per dumpling :D

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  7. Oden! Not that common here in Penang, would love to have a bite on that konyaku!

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    1. Ken: yeah, we don't see oden all that much in KL too ... gotta have konjac in our oden, heh :D

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  8. Have not had akashiyaki before...but takoyaki with octopus...that I love ;)

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    1. Contact.ewew: ooo, i'm actually not really a takoyaki fan ... i find it usually mushy and greasy at most places ... but it'd be nice to snack on outdoors in very cold weather :)

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  9. That looks really comforting!

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    1. Baby Sumo: it could make for a nice dinner after a long day at work :)

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  10. remind me of the short Japanese drama Shinya Shokudou that I watched recently :)

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    Replies
    1. Choi Yen: ooo, heheh, i hope that's a good thing! :D

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  11. Tried once on akashiyaki while i traveled to kobe last year, love the fish booth soup they served as the dipping sauce,even i am not a big fan for common takoyaki as i feel it was mushy as well, however that was really a good one! this eatery look authentic and much with 'Japan feel' , gonna pay a visit to it soon, hope they do serve the same hearty akashiyaki that i missed from my japan trip :)

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    1. MyLife: i hope you enjoy the akashiyaki here ... true, i'm no a fan of takoyaki too :)

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