Friday, July 31, 2015

Manmaru Robatayaki & Bar @ Atria Shopping Gallery

Our best bet for Japanese gastronomy at Damansara Jaya's revamped Atria Shopping Gallery is Manmaru, thanks to the inventive flair & inspiring artistry of Executive Chef Danny Leow, a passionate craftsman who's sharpened his skills at some of Kuala Lumpur's most respected Japanese establishments of the past 15 years, including Ozeki Tokyo, Yuzu & Sagano.

Manmaru gives its chef free rein to unleash his imagination through an extensive a la carte menu, omakase sets & frequent specials such as this platter that evokes a kaleidoscopic garden flowing with fresh produce from both underwater & on land. It's a visual stunner, beautiful enough to exhibit in a food show, but also a pleasure for the palate, with a centrepiece of sea urchin over silken soft fresh 'yuba' bean curd sheets, surrounded by eel & octopus tentacles mingling with edible flowers & edamame.

Sashimi is immaculately presented too, with Chef Danny sometimes attempting to surprise customers; the raw seafood often comes in bowls, but on other occasions, it may be spread out on a wooden boat that takes up much of the table length-wise. A serving of seven varieties clocks in at RM210 - fleshy cuts, sumptuous to the bite, with fresh shipments Tuesdays & Fridays.

For a unique treat, we love the Wagyu Roll (RM68), a hefty chunk of sushi rice that's not only draped with a luscious coat of chilled Wagyu beef on the outside but also stuffed with warmly tender cooked morsels of beef within. A triumph in every way - of taste, texture & even temperature - that warrants hall-of-fame accolades at Manmaru.

One of the aspects we admire about Manmaru's food is how the dynamics of its recipes are punchy but simultaneously & skilfully nuanced - traits well-represented by this salmon & ikura mille-feuille, made crisp with a boost of sakura ebi (RM45).

With 'robatayaki' as part of this restaurant's full name, it's worth also sampling the grilled skewers here - a protein-powered 'moriawase' selection (RM68) might feature everything from chicken wings, skin & gizzard to salmon, scallops & smoked duck.

Served with a flourish as well: Parchment-baked snapper layered with seaweed, cheese, beef bacon & herbs, fusing elements from the Land of the Rising Sun with border-skipping influences. Takes about 20 minutes to prepare - worth the wait (RM58).

Wrap up with savoury carb comfort: Go luxe with stir-fried udon deliciously laced with a little foie gras & a lot of seafood (RM38) or creamy-crispy seafood croquette (RM22) - or end with basic fried rice, expertly executed. And there's still more on the menu to try - unagi karaage (RM40), prawn balls with spicy mango puree (RM28) & stingray with Japanese curry (RM32).

The top temptation for dessert is the coconut ice cream (RM18) - compelling in form, this is the Klang Valley's most ravishing-looking coconut ice cream. It's a delight, with its delicate flavour bolstered by the topping of delectably chewy dried pumpkin.

Manmaru's bar is absolutely worth hitting too, with creative contemporary concoctions like the signature Smoked & Plum Galaxy (RM39; combining the fruity powers of plum & peach) & the Hokkaido Spice Bee (RM32; a witty beverage fuelled by honey whiskey). Many thanks to the Manmaru team for being fine hosts for this fab lunch.

Manmaru Robatayaki & Bar
G-26, Atria Shopping Gallery, Damansara Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tel: 03-7733-1038

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18 comments:

  1. The presentations are magical, Sean!

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    1. Linda: it's quite a wonderland of japanese cuisine here :)

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  2. Ya, love the use of the "gardener's bamboo basket", kinda messy but nice - there's method in the madness. This looks like a really nice Japanese place, not the regular run-of-the-mill ones, so boring, same old things - a rose by any other name.

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    1. Suituapui: there's a definite dose of distinctiveness at work (& play) here! :)

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  3. A friend just spoke to me about this restaurant recently. She's of similar opinion that the food is well worth traveling to Atria mall for.

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    1. The Yum List: i was pleasantly surprised myself :)

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  4. The first three dishes are visually stunning...I wonder if it looks like this just specially for you! *wink wink* Btw, what's the price of the first dish?

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    1. Contact.ewew: from what i've seen, the chef really does pour a lot of artistry into the food here :) oh, i didn't catch the price for the first dish, but anything with all that sea urchin in it should exceed RM60 :)

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  5. Ahh finally I might step into Atria again.. since there's something to look forward to now! :D

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca: yeah, i've only been in the new Atria twice so far :)

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  6. The food looks pretty. Another nice Japanese restaurant, awesome. :D

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    1. CK: ya, not a bad option if you want a creative take on japanese :)

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  7. looks like an artistry piece of food, so prettily presented!

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    1. Choi yen: ya, can really respect the work of the chef and his team here :)

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  8. Hey Sean,

    I'm so glad that you featured Manmaru in your blog as we were pretty much blown away by the food served in this restaurant. The presentation, the choice of ingredients and inventiveness of the chef and his crew are just top notch. Service was excellent too. Quite affordable as the dishes are quite hearty. Going back for round 2 soon!

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    1. Jimmy: glad to hear from you - and you're always a great benchmark for good food, so if this place gets your endorsement too, i think it's on the right track indeed! :D

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    2. That's a HUGE COMPLIMENT coming from you Sean! Truly appreciate those kind words and it is people like you who blogs about food passionately that drives us to make better food. Love reading your posts although I do go hungry at odds hours staring at the pictures LOL

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