April 30, 2012

Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant: An Extensive Menu of Classic and Modern Japanese Cuisine!

Serving modern Japanese dishes at affordable price and casual ambience!

The much blogged about Watami had me curious. One day after a movie at One Utama, starving to boot, we found ourselves looking at Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant while strolling around the shopping mall. As it was still early for dinner, there was no queue and we were quickly shown to a booth for two.

Watami was designed spaciously throughout the restaurant. Cherry wood mixed with grey, beige and red splashed across the whole restaurant and servers were also uniformed to blend into the whole ambience. Lighting was dim but sufficiently comfortable for a cozy dine in.

Menu is filled with lots of choices of dishes from sashimi, sushi, appetizers and salads to hot food like hot plate grilled items, bbq skewers, fusion pizzas, sukiyakis, ramen and udons and even Japanese pancake called okonomiyaki. Lunch and dinners set meals are available as per the promotion time. Even the list for drinks (alchohol available!) and desserts are quite mind-boggling!

Orders logged in the food arrived sufficiently on time despite the restaurant was almost full. Partner is a fried rice fanatic so we ordered a Ishiyaki Garlic Rice (RM19.90). Served in a hot stone bowl that was still sizzling as it arrived, a glorious array of scallops, prawns, crab meat and flying fish roes crowned the rice.

When the bowl is still hot, pour in the sauce provided into the rice and stir the whole bowl to mix up all the delectable ingredients. The aroma is very enticing once the sauce hits the hot stone bowl.

I purposely leave bits of the rice to crisp up at the bottom of the bowl for those delectable crispy brown bits of rice!

The rice looked better than it tasted. It was average in taste simply because there was no oomph in the overall flavors. Yes, there is a bit of garlic flavor and a bit of seafood flavor but it did not leave a lasting impression for me. That said, the seafood was fresh and cooked nicely while portion is decent for its price.

Tokujo Irodori Sushi (RM20.90) is a trio delight of Salmon, Eel and Tuna sitting on a sushi roll. Lightly glazed with a sweet soy sauce, each fish is dressed with a different touch of mayonnaise, flying fish roes, egg omelet and spring onion.

This one was delicious enough and each fish provides a scrumptious flavor on its own together with the sushi roll. There is another version of this with salmon, scallop and shrimp!

Kushi Moriawase (RM16.90) was my favorite that night. An assorted array of grilled chicken and beef had a lovely deep caramelized aroma when the plate arrived. Five skewers of shiny glazed meats was a sight for the eyes.

On the plate, there was a skewer each of Chicken Wing (Teba), Chicken Gristle (Nankotsu), Beef and Eringi Mushroom (Gyuniku Eringi), Chicken Thigh (Tori Momo) and Roasted Beef & Spring Onion (Aonegi Gyuniku). I simply love the beef rolls as both were juicy and very sumptuous in flavors and textures. The various parts of chicken skewers also fared delicious. I have read several reviews that this was not that great but the one I had that night was the opposite of what I read as the flavors were really robust and very aromatic with a moist and tender texture. A classic Japanese street food fare executed to near perfection in my opinion!

I am a big fan of Japanese Okonomiyaki so ordering Hiroshima Okonomiyaki (RM16.90) was a must! The thick pancake was served on a hot plate topped with the brown okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise and bonito flakes dancing to the heat of the plate.

Filled with cabbage, onion, carrot, there is also prawns, scallop and beef. A lovely mixed of flavors exuding sweet and savory flavors from the vegetables, seafood and beef. The sauce also complimented the sweetness while the bonito flakes added a savory element to the dish. There is also another version with rice cakes (mochi) and cheese which I wouldn’t mind trying.

Miso Soup (RM3.90) is a must for me to finish off any Japanese meal for that soothing comfort feeling.

Overall, the food at Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant was good but I wasn’t impressed with that wow factor. Maybe I had too high expectation from reading other reviews or I had ordered dishes that were not their signatures. Service on the other hand was excellent as our food arrived fast and wait staff was attentive and friendly. Price is also decent as the portion and quality served was great value. That said, I would still return since there is so much more in the menu that sounds utterly delectable. Total bill for two is RM86.35 (with 10% service charge).

Watami Malaysia @ 1 Utama
1st Floor, Rainforest, 1 Utama Shopping Centre,
1 Lebuh Bandar Utama,
47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
T: +603-7727 1399

Watami Malaysia @ Pavilion KL
C4.04.00, Level 4, Pavilion KL Shopping Mall,
168, Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
T: +603-2141 6671


  1. Never know this place existed. Not cheap as well..hmmm...;P

    1. There is a good deal for set lunch and dinner! Price is decent because the quality is pretty good.. ;)

  2. Next time must try the butter hotate!

    1. alrighty! I ll give this place another round since there is so much more on the menu that is pretty enticing.. =)

  3. Your photos are spectacular! You could make a sandwich look like high cuisine.

  4. Seem like I'm the only one never been to Watami :..(

    PS: Great set of photo, love it!

  5. All the food looks so good when appeared in your blog! Btw...I agreed that their menu really alot of choices.

  6. I quite like the bibimbap here. Watami Pavilion is just right across my office =)