13 May 2017:This Malaysian outpost of a popular Tokyo based restaurant traditional Japanese restaurant is perfect for those looking for fuss-free authentic far from the Land of the Rising Sun. Tucked away on the ground floor of the Plaza Damas commercial centre, Yoshinari is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. The restaurant is cosy with a warm, tranquil ambience and a large open-kitchen concept which takes centre stage. The 2016 MIGF menu is based on the kappou ryori style of serving, which emphasises fresh ingredients prepared simply to enhance the natural flavours. The idea is balance in the taste, textures and combinations of courses. With their eight-course set meal, the restaurant wants to give locals the chance to sample real Japanese cuisine cooked by chefs specially flown in from Japan. Traditional Japanese decorations The evening’s diners were self-professed lovers of Japanese food, but many agreed that a menu like this was very different from what they were used to. Among the guests that night, there were Insas Berhad Executive Deputy Chairman Dato’ Sri Thong Kok Khee, Celcom Chief Executive Officer Michael Kuehner, Sunway Group Director of Special Projects Aaron Soo and Alorie Hospitality Founder and CEO Jean Marc Lafosse. Jeffrey Perera, Rocio Beltran, James Beltran, Margaret Lee and Jean Marc LafosseDatin Su Wai Fun, Dato’ Garry Chua, Dato’ Sri Thong Kok Khee, Datin Sri Kwee See, Aaron Soo and Ms Zi Soon Poh Lin, Sooria Perera, Michael Kuehner, Chef Yanagida Tetsuya, Jeffrey Perera, Dr. Beh Chor Khim, Jean Marc Lafosse, Margaret Lee and Irma de BoerMs Zi, Abraham Ch’ng and Dr. Beh Chor KhimDato’ Steve Day and Chef Yanagida Tetsuya introduce the restaurant before dinner Dinner got off to a great start with some Wagyu beef canapes and white wine. Cold Funaguchi sake was later served as guests set down to enjoy the night’s special menu. Tempted? These are the canapes of Wagyu beefQuaint sake glasses The seasonal appetiser of autumn salmon and egg tofu was unlike any other egg custard most guests had had before. The tofu had been infused with salmon dashi to give it a different, less silky and more creamy texture. It washed down nicely with the cold sake. Autumn Salmon and Egg Tofu The small appetiser platter of smoked salmon and creamy cheese, jellied chicken, wagyu beef ham, avocado with seaweed and marinated Japanese radish roll was arguably most guests’ favourite dish of the night. Dato’ Garry Chua, Jeffrey Perera and Jean Marc Lafosse raved about its exquisite presentation and the many different layers of flavours savoured throughout. James Beltran remarked that they were virtues in small portions and in this little platter of mini treats that fact was never more true. Smoked Salmon and Creamy Cheese, Jellied Chicken, Wagyu Beef Ham, Avocado with Seaweed and Marinated Japanese Radish Roll The next course to leave the kitchen was preceded by the aroma of hot milk-based soup. The edamame tofu had an interesting jelly-like texture with a subtle salty flavour that blended nicely with the creamy soybean broth. Edamame Tofu with Soybean Milk Soup Of course no real Japanese meal is complete without some form of sashimi and next to be carried to eager diners was the sashimi platter of medium fatty tuna, salmon and kohada (gizzard shad). Japanese food connoisseur Dr. Beh Chor Khim informed the other guests that traditional sashimi is prepared using the ikejime method to paralyse the fish quickly, maximising the freshness and taste of the fillet. Chef Takeshi methodically plating each dishSashimi of Medium Fatty Tuna/Salmon/Kohada (Gizzard Shad) The oyster and mushroom confit with yuzu miso sauce was the next dish to tease diner’s taste buds. Once again, it provided a top-notch combination of flavours where the umami of the oyster proved a perfect match for the lightly grilled mushrooms. Oyster and Mushroom Confit with Yuzu Miso Sauce Next up was the grouper hotpot with vegetables. Simple and comforting, this dish’s winning factor was the melt-in-your-mouth texture of the fish and the lightly seasoned broth. Mmm… something smells amazing!Simmered Grouper with Vegetables Next up was the boiled eggplant noodle which was one of Dato’ Garry Chua’s favourites, mainly for its great, cool texture, which made it taste almost exactly like real noodles. Boiled Eggplant Lastly, the final course of sushi with miso soup was served, rounding up the meal nicely with the carefully cut fresh slices of tuna and salmon. Sushi with Miso Soup Aaron Soo was the first to commend the chefs after the meal, thanking Chef Takeshi in Japanese. Dr. Beh followed up with his own words of approbation, stating that having lived in Japan for 11 years, this restaurant was easily on par with the top establishments there. Aaron Soo praises the mealGuests thank Chef Takeshi, promising to return Many of the other guests agreed with the quality of the food, and asserted that if it wasn’t for the newly re-branded Gastronomy Festival, they would probably not have discovered this wonderful epicurean gem. Diners are eager to return! Sample real Japanese cuisine with the Full Festival Menu at Yoshinari, which costs RM150 nett per person without wine. You can view the menu here and find out about Chef Takeshi Komoto by clicking here.
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