Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hikari-Ya @ Desa Sri Hartamas

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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14 comments:

  1. Mr Mah loves unagi and anago, must go and try one day. :D

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    1. CK: i also love unagi and anago - the unagi here actually tastes more like anago in some ways :D

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  2. The rice in the hitsumabushi looks perfect. I've heard rice enthusiasts from Japan can even tell which region a grain has come from.

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    1. The Yum List: that definitely deserves respect - especially from those of us who can barely tell rice from its country of origin! ;)

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  3. That's one big piece of unagi, my girl's favourite. Here, you'd probably get a piece the size of two fingers.

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    1. Suituapui: yeah, it's a shame that unagi isn't more affordably available ....

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  4. I was frighten by the prices! >_<

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    Replies
    1. Choi Yen: the blame can partly go to our depreciating currency!

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  5. You had me at the first two words! ^o^ This place looks like a much better place to spend my hard-earned money than that Kobe place...haiz! :'( Must bookmark this place ;)

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    1. Contact.ewew: it makes me wistful for the times back in 2004-2006, when we could find good-quality unagi at Japanese buffets in KL. Now good unagi is really an extravagance ... and more so in a place like this where the eel is brought in fresh, not frozen :)

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  6. Replies
    1. Azmi: glad to hear you're a fan of him ;)

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  7. eel-ude unagi - oh cheeky Sean! :D

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    1. Rebecca: hehe, i can never resist a pun ;)

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