Sunday, September 30, 2018

Takebayashi, The Ritz-Carlton Residences

Shepherded by cheerful chef Tatsuo Takebayashi and his determinedly diligent team, this bright, bustling space is one the city centre's best new venues for Japanese fare, whether you prefer cherished classics or contemporary creations.

For lunch, the restaurant offers hearty sets that'll satiate the hunger, from irreproachably fresh ensembles of sushi and sashimi (RM50) to our personal favourite, the unagi donburi, showcasing a surprisingly substantial serving of quality eel (RM50), to charcoal-grilled beef short ribs, juicy and full-bodied in flavour (RM55). Each set is completed with shrimp-laced chawanmushi, a salad of Cameron Highland vegetables, pickles, miso soup, and either fruits or steamed Japanese rice. 

For sharing, sushi rolls are also available - the house special maki comes lusciously stuffed with five types of fish and seafood selected by the kitchen, representing the afternoon's freshest catch, wrapped in crunchy radish (RM40).

Dinner is dominated by a more playfully inventive a la carte repertoire. Chef Tatsuo has been working professionally since the early 1980s, starting out in Osaka before moving to locations such as Matsuhisa Beverly Hills; indeed, he had been with the Nobu group for two decades before opening Takebayashi, earning senior roles across Tokyo, Montenegro and Kuala Lumpur.

That Nobu flair is channelled in delicately delectable dishes like a vibrant ceviche of seafood and fruits (RM35), yellowtail enlivened with jalapeno-infused jelly (RM55), chilled Momotaro tomato with umami-rich jelly (RM20), succulent popcorn shrimp with spicy mayo sauce (RM45) and grilled wagyu beef tongue that's a triumph of texture and taste (RM50).

Takebayashi's own wine is available at RM45 per glass (or RM250 a bottle) - easy-drinking varietals that'll go down smoothly. And speaking of wine glasses, that's how some of the sake here might be served too.

Takebayashi
Concourse Area, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur. 
Open Monday-Friday, 12pm-230pm, 630pm-1030pm; Saturday, 630pm-11pm. Tel: +603-21813365

This feature first appeared on eatdrinkkl.com

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Health Seeders, Sri Petaling

Sprouting up in Sri Petaling, Health Seeders is both a natural-food cafe and wholesome grocery shop - the former is all about nutritious meals like five-grain rice fried with pumpkin, eggs and carrot (RM13.90) and chicken breast seasoned with turmeric (RM16.90), washed down with red date soy milk (RM5.90) and purple sweet potato millet milk (RM6.90); the latter offers everything from Adventist Bakery sprouted bread to organic coconut oil and chia-and-oats cookies, with gluten-free, single-estate Southeast Asian chocolate bars by Benns as the guiltiest indulgence here.

Health Seeders,
3, Jln Radin Bagus 5, Sri Petaling, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-9pm. Tel:  03-9054-5598

This feature first appeared on eatdrinkkl.com

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Saturday, September 29, 2018

Dill, Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland's first restaurant to earn a Michelin star promises local produce served with contemporary Nordic flair - think lumpfish on rye; rutabaga with radish and kohlrabi; celeriac with wild herbs and sea truffles; sunchokes with skyr; reindeer with egg and crowberries; and lemon sole with potatoes and grass.