An Indulgence of a Kaiseki Style Menu
For 6 years since it opened its doors, Ishin Japanese Dining has been creating a name for itself for serving some of the best Japanese cuisine in our metropolitan city. Located in Old Klang Road, the fine dining Japanese restaurant is housed in a bungalow that can be quite discreet if one is not looking out for it.
Ishin continues to be a force to be reckoned with among Japanese diners as well as local diners. Many flock to this elegant dining scene for their luscious list of tempting Japanese dishes filled with lavish as well as premium ingredients. Helmed by Chef William So currently, Ishin offers a solid list of ala carte dishes as well as lunch sets and the classic Kaiseki style menu.
The dining scene in the restaurant is elegant with minimal décor dressed in lots of shades of wood. Paintings of Japanese Sakura gave the ambiance a beautiful charm. An unusual circular sushi bar is the center of attention in the room. Glowing in golden halo, the bar is a place to be where diners can catch sushi chefs in actions and enjoy some sake from their sake list.
There is also private dining areas on the higher level with tatami room as well as more sectioned rooms.
I have personally had Ishin’s ala carte menu before and enjoyed the amazing meal tremendously. Back at Ishin, it was to savor their Kaiseki style menu that is now available upon request. Though one need not make any reservations, it is still recommended for the best possible dishes from Chef William.
Kaiseki (懐石?) or kaiseki-ryōri (懐石料理?) is a traditional Japanese menu that consists of several courses of selected food served to diners on a tray individually. It is literally an art form today where Japanese chefs focuses on serving a balance Kaiseki menu of taste, texture, presentation and colors of food. Using and focusing on the freshest seasonal ingredients are a must in any Kaiseki menu. Another important element is the presentation so even the plates used are carefully selected to enhance the food.
Our Kaiseki menu kicked off with the Saizuke or Appetizer course of Nama Mie Kaki With Tabasco, Ankimo Ponzu and Ume Shu On Snow served on a long platter.
In full glory on its own, the Nama Mie Kaki served on ice is just unbelievable gorgeous in flavours. Hailed from the pristine waters of Mie Prefecture in Japan, the Mie oyster is utterly sweet and creamy with salty briny finish. A gentle squeeze of lemon added the final perfection for this piece of exquisite molluscs. I wanted more of this oyster…
Ankimo Ponzu may not be for everyone but it is certainly a favorite of mine. The foie gras of the sea, Ankimo is monkfish liver. Steamed and served in classic Ponzu sauce with chili-tinted grated daikon and scallion, I really enjoyed the luscious rich notes of the liver. The citrusy sauce cleverly balance the richness of the liver and gave it a vibrant boost of flavours.
Ume Shu on Snow features the popular Umeshu wine with plum served in a pretty square glass to act as a palate cleanser as well as to sweeten the course after two savory appetizers.
The next course is Futamono, a soup course of Double Boiled Blue Fin Soup. The Japanese uses every part of the fish and this dish was created using the gelatinous fin part of the much sought-after Bluefin tuna. The collagen like fin is double boiled over low heat in dashi stock till it becomes a firm gelatinous texture. More ingredients such as charred leek, mushroom and yuzu peel is added for flavours. The soup has a thick consistency to harmonize with the gelatinous pieces of fin. It is quite a unique dish as I have never tasted this part of the tuna before.
One of my favorite course of Kaiseki is the Mukōzuke or Sashimi course. Our plate of Akazai Ebi and Itoyori Tai with Caviar was beautiful at sight. Itoyori Tai or Threadfin Bream is paired with Akazai Ebi or Langoustine with black caviar for a contrast of flavours and textures. The fish has a firm but tender texture with a gentle sweet note while the langoustine is simply divine with its superb sweet note of the sea. I also enjoyed the texture of the langoustine as a sashimi as it has a firm and almost crunchy and gelatinous texture all rolled into one. Black caviar added a salty briny note to balance the sweetness from both fish and langoustine. Divine….
Our next course is Tempura of Amaebi Kakiage. The course is light and showed off how the Japanese popularized the crispy light batter of tempura that is now highly used all over the world. This one has a medley of matchstick vegetables with sweet shrimp in crispy tempura batter. Simple and rather nice for a change in the heavier courses earlier.
Tarabagani, Oyster Meat with Yuzu Sauce showcase more Japanese seafood of king crab with oyster in a yuzu sauce. Artfully presented, the lightly grilled king crab has a delicious sweet and subtle smoky note. The oyster is lightly battered and fried. The lemony citrus sauce enhance both crab and oyster nicely.
Kagoshima Beef was out-of-this-world!! With a marbling grade of A5, these pieces of beef hailed all the way from the Kagoshima Prefecture in Japan. It is superbly well marble evenly and is pretty in pink. Served raw with a side of hot stone, diners are recommended to just lightly grill this premium meat for a few seconds on each side only.
Such luscious umami notes and the beef literally melts-in-the-mouth… the Kagoshima Beef is one indulgence to be experience if you still have not had it before. There is a sauce made with chili bean, miso, garlic and more that is savory and lightly spicy served on the side. It gave the beef a different aspect of flavours. I still prefer to enjoy the beef with just salt and pepper. This one demands a hefty price tag of RM250 per 100gm.
Our savory last course was 3 Layers Toro Sushi. The least delicate dish of the Kaiseki menu but certainly full of flavours. Chef William’s creation of sliced seared Otoro or Fatty Tuna covering a roll filled with minced Otoro and Uni on sushi rice and crowned with salmon roes proved to be a mouthful. Nevertheless, it has such a great flavour combination of the fatty tuna and sea urchin with briny Shujiko salmon roes. The house cured salmon roes stood out with its gorgeous salty and rich briny notes. It has a unique popping texture that burst in the mouth wondrously. Superb roes but it also covered the natural sweetness of the Uni… not that I am complaining.
Our Kaiseki menu ended with another famed Japanese fruit of Musk Melon. A little too ripe but still enjoyable as the melon is very sweet and enjoyable.
Our Kaiseki style menu for the evening is priced at RM200 per set without the Kagoshima Beef. The Kagoshima Beef is available for RM250 per 100gm. Prices are on the heavier side but do remember that these are premium ingredients air-flown directly from Tsukiji Market, Tokyo, Japan. Ishin Japanese Dining has proved its worth in the Japanese dining scene that they still have what it takes to serve up a majestic fine dining Japanese experience. For more affordable dishes, there are lunch sets or ala carte dishes available daily as well.
For reservation, please call +603-7980 8228.
ISHIN JAPANESE DINING
202 Persiaran Klang,
Batu 3 3/4,
Off Jalan Klang Lama,
58000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603 7980 8228
Lunch 12pm-3pmDinner 6pm-1am