July 7, 2012

Café Takahashi, Tokyo Street Pavilion KL: A New Genre of Contemporary Japanese Cuisine

It’s a Kaleidoscope of Modern Japanese Cuisine in the Heart of the City!

A year since it opened its doors in the acclaimed Tokyo Street in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Café Takahashi has been churning out contemporary Japanese dishes to cater to today’s adventurous foodies. Choosing to head onto a modern gourmet route, Café Takahashi features a whole list of modern East meets West dishes, combining classic Japanese, Italian and Western cuisines.

Easily recognizable along the Tokyo Street, the bistro café garnered diners’ attention with a huge window display of Sampuru and anime robot figurines. The Sampuru or fake Japanese food display is certainly tempting enough as I noticed passersby cannot help but to check out the offerings at Café Takahashi. The whole café is dressed in light beech wood theme with booths and tables placed between wooden section panels for privacy.  Comfortable and echoing a modern Japanese theme, even the wait staff is dressed in Japanese themed outfits.

Menu is sectioned into 16 levels of various dishes, drinks and desserts. A quick glance at it shouted pizza, pasta, gratin, burger, starter, entrée and more besides drinks and desserts. Even the drinks sections are an eyeful with fruit juice, smoothies, milk shakes, coffees, teas and sodas! Let’s leave desserts till the end… J

I particularly adored the smoothies which features a refreshing blend of fruits through flavors of Citron Honey Tea Smoothie and Dragon Fruit Smoothies. Other drinks from other foodies were Banana Avocado Smoothies, Chocolate Milano, Oreo Banana Milk Shakes, Black Tea and Mojitos.

No raw sushi or sashimi here, instead, tuck into signature starters of Taka Moriawase, Lychee Bacon, Hotate Mentai, Salmon Mentaiyaki and Potato Salad.

Taka Moriawase showcased a platter of four Japanese cold appetizers of Grilled Seasonal Baby Octopus, Chuka Wakame, Chuka Hotate and Kara Pickles. Standard pickled delicacies with Chuka Hotate being my favorite!

Never thought I would enjoy Lychee Bacon but I did! Something to ponder as the salty beef bacon balanced well against the sweet juicy lychee while a side of green chili sauce provided a much lethal kick to the appetizer.

Hotate Mentai and Salmon Mentaiyaki looked a bit alarming in bright orange but we found out that it was due to the marinated Pollack fish roes called Mentaiko. Scallops were a good size and juicily sweet but the Mentaiko sauce was over salty. I gathered a small dollop would be sufficient due to its saltiness. I literally tasted a lots of creamy and slightly crunchy fish roes. Generous but I personally think the sauce should be reduced or thin out to avoid drowning the lovely scallops and salmon!

One must order the Potato Salad! Ultra creamy mashed potato is studded with crunchy bits of raw onions, cucumbers and carrots. This is quite perfected to my taste.

Pasta took center stage that night! My favorites were three out of five choices. Overall pasta was cooked al dente and dressed with a decent amount of ingredients.

Unagi and Egg with Wafu Udon sounded strange but combination seemed to work pretty well. Everyone agreed this was a surprisingly delightful noodle dish which tasted better than it sounds. Flavors were sweet with savory while thick slices of eels were juicy and creamy pairing up with thick udon.

My top favorite was Kamo Konsei Al’Olio, Smoked Duck with Wafu Pasta! Smoky duck breast slices were simply delectable and irresistible while the spicy pasta fried with mushrooms, chilies and garlic was scrumptious. I liked the strong flavors of the pasta and the duck which seemed to complement each another beautifully. There is a prawn version with the same pasta too. Definitely drool worthy!!

Spicy Prawn Carbonara is another favorite with a spicy version of the cream sauce accompanied by prawns and a lovely egg yolk. Break the yolk to coat the pasta and turn it extra silky smooth. Lusciously creamy and spicy, I enjoyed this version very much. Other versions included Bacon and Egg Carbonara, Kinoko Carbonara and Oyster Carbonara.

My third favorite was Chicken Teriyaki with Wafu Pasta. Tender sweet grilled chicken teriyaki accompanied fried pasta with mushrooms. Classic Japanese favorite, the chicken teriyaki was executed nicely with the earthy flavored pasta that makes this dish a favorite in my books.

Seafood Kimuchi Soup was filled with a spicy kimchi broth of seafood and noodles. A little sour, a little spicy and a little savory, this one was average in flavors. High points go to the amount of mussel, scallop, squid and prawns!

Pizza is another forte of Café Takahashi. Do not expect the norm as pizzas in this café tends to go beyond the regular classics!

Smoked Duck with Thin Crust has my favorite smoked duck in the pizza together with pineapples, bell peppers, cheese and sweet chili sauce. Sumptuously laden with the salty duck, the flavors echoed a jazzed up classic rendition of Hawaiian. Duck lovers would be really pleased at this creation.

Takahashi Pizza with Hand Tossed Dough is just not for me since I am not a fan of bananas. Pairing up the bananas and egg omelet with lots of cheese was a bit weird for me as I could not decide whether this is a savory or dessert pizza. Others had no complaint and savored this happily.

Café Takahashi also serves assorted rice pilaf with some of Japanese treats. I was equally pleased with Spicy Chicken Katsu Pilaf. A big piece of panko coated chicken was crispy and juicy, cut into pieces and sauced up with mayo and Tonkatsu sauce. Vying for attention equally was the fluffy spicy rice pilaf crowned with seaweed. Nothing extraordinary but definitely drool worthy delicious!!

Another chook that always provides great satisfaction when cooked right! Tori Karaage served with potato and vegetables on a sizzling hot plate. Crunchy chook at its best!

Ebi Surprise was certainly my least expected dish to appear here. Nevertheless, big prawns coated in a lovely sweet sambal sauce were delicious. Fluffy garlic rice on the side coupled with the juicy prawns and vegetables on sizzling plate is a must for crustacean lovers. Not too spicy but rather sweet and tantalizing.

Expect Japanese inspired fusion burgers at Takahashi. We sampled Teriyaki Beef Burger and Unagi Burger filled with Japanese favorites of teriyaki and grilled eel. Beef teriyaki patty was delicious in flavors but a bit too soft in textures. Thick piece of Unagi went well with Japanese pickles and kabayaki sauce, showing off that there is no limit to creating a gorgeous burger!

A creamy saucy filled with earthy mushrooms is served along puff pastries in Mushroom Ragout. Very rich and luscious, hence it is recommended for sharing!

After all the burp-a-licious dishes, we happily dived into dessert time! Even if you are too full for mains, do drop by for desserts at Café Takahashi. There is a list of divine desserts for sweet-tooth fans… J

Starting off the list with a divine Chocolate Mousse, this one is made for Sin! Lusciously rich of decadent chocolate, all three layers of it, the silky smooth mousse melts in my mouth and my heart…

Cappuccino Cheese begged to all cheese and coffee lovers. A classic combination, the cheese mousse was creamy and tainted with a good hint of coffee.

Another modest dessert of parfaits with Macha Azuki Parfait and Fruit Parfait! Show stopper was the luscious vanilla and green tea ice creams that were addictively satisfying. Lots of textures going on with crunchy corn flakes, fruits, wafer and marshmallows, making the parfaits a light and refreshing dessert!

Ending the contemporary feast with Macha Tiramisu, an indulgence of light mascarpone cheese flavored with earthy green tea and jazzed up with sponge lady fingers and strawberries. Nuances of pastel green makes this beautiful on the eyes…

Café Takahashi is filled with lots of hits and a few misses. Pastas and Japanese classics are superb while desserts are even better! The café does a nice rendition of contemporary Japanese cuisine through its fusion dishes and dishes here has a fun element incorporated through its fun and brave combinations of East meets West ingredients.

Level 6, Tokyo Street
No 6.24.1B Pavilion KL Shopping Mall,
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 2163 6454
Fax: 03 2143 9454


  1. waaaaa~~~~miss all d foodie again~~~~love everything except d salty topping of scallop n salmon....munching biscuit now...huhu....wat a contrast!=P

  2. I love all things mentaiko, wonder if they have mentaiko pasta here?

  3. 16 levels of food? that's really lots of varieties. i spot matcha tiramisu :D how mouth-watering it is!

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  4. Gosh.. that's a lot of food. Taka Moriawasen looks like something I will order =)

  5. Pass by this place several times. But fail to visit. Afraid that the food are not nice. Perhaps I should try it someday. Which would u recommend?? ;)