Eel enthusiasts, be excited: This new venue serves unagi sourced from Japan's coastal city of Nishio, where eels have been farmed for over a century, conveying the flavours & textures of unagi at its most unadulterated. The eels are flown live into KL, with Hikari-Ya's chef Moroi Kunihiro slaughtering them in his kitchen & slicing them with his special eel knife of two decades.
Start your meal here with the rarely seen unagi shirayaki (RM95+), roasted without a sauce, mildly seasoned only with salt to maintain the focus on the fresh eel's delicately clean, pure flavour & naturally smooth, tender texture - it's a reminder of how unagi once tasted in KL's Japanese restaurants, before cheaper Chinese eel imports inundated the scene. Ask chef Moroi nicely & you might receive a bowl of kimosui (clear eel liver soup), potentially an acquired taste because of its pungent flavour.
Another highlight is the hitsumabushi (RM112), a more elaborate version of unadon - the centrepiece is a grilled eel fillet over warm rice that's meant to be portioned into four servings. Consume the first serving plain to savour the comfort-fare combo of eel & rice; then mix the second serving with spring onions, wasabi & sansho pepper for extra uplift. The third serving is poured over with a clear soup, ochazuke-style, for a heartwarming, home-made feel. The fourth serving? Eat it the way you like best.
If you must, you can eel-ude unagi - the menu features other intriguing temptations like the Kuroge Wagyu sashimi platter, showcasing fatty, buttery beef, with some slices raw & others gently seared (RM88). Even the complimentary starter (juicy eggplant with ginger & bonito flakes) & dessert (warabimochi) are pretty good - bookmark Hikari-Ya as a place with potential.
Hikari-Ya Japanese Cuisine
54, Jalan 27/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. Lunch & dinner, Tues-Sun. Tel: 03-6211-1409
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