When it comes to Japanese food, sushi immediately comes to mind and the craving follows after. The same scenario happened to us 2 weeks ago but we were incredibly lucky to have our friends at Kurata invite us to the soft opening of their new Japanese fine dining restaurant that satisfy our cravings. Needless to say, it was a pleasant dining experience as we were able to indulge in some of the best Japanese food prepared by Doi, Fujiwara and Saito; the Japanese chefs of Kurata.
Just like its sister restaurant “Sakai’s Curry & Bar”, the name of the fine dining restaurant referred to the name of the owner of the restaurant aka the restaurant’s general manager, Cassandra Lynn Kurata. During our food tasting session, both Kurata and the brand manager, Afzal Zainuddin can be seen walking around the restaurant to ensure that customers are satisfied with the food.
For starters, there is an array of appetizers and side dishes for us to choose from, including Kyoto Style Tomato Pasta, Edamame, Scallop Wasabi, and so on. A major plus point goes to the food’s presentation as they were simply too beautiful to be eaten. The presentation of the food also made us curious about how the food would taste like. However, you certainly shouldn’t expect that all the appetizers would taste as good as how it looks because we have mixed reviews about the dishes.
What we mean is that some of dishes may not be the kind of food you would want to try, especially the sesame tofu with sea urchin. Most of us love the sweetness of the fresh sea urchin but some find it hard to swallow because of its smooth texture. If we were to choose our favourite, then it has to be the Striped Jack and Scallop Carpaccio with Grapefruit. The grapefruit may taste a little sour but it’s a perfect combination with the scallop and the Striped Jack fish. Anything with scallop in it should taste fine 😉
The seafood shabu-shabu is just what we needed after the appetisers. Snow crab, red-king crab, and angel shrimp; what more can you ask for? This awesome seafood shabu-shabu that will keep you warm on a rainy night? As the soup was specially prepared for us, we didn’t get to dip any thinly sliced meat into the hot soup. Perhaps it is best to leave it to the chefs to ensure that the soup isn’t too salty to retain the sweetness of the seafood.
The result would’ve been different if we tasted the seafood shabu-shabu after the next dish, the Wagyu Beef Sukiyaki. It was such a fantastic dish that the soup might end up a tad plain if we ate the sukiyaki first. Simmered in a sweet soy sauce broth, the Wagyu Beed Sukiyaki is prepared with vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, and shirataki (konyaku noodles). In a slurp, the thinly-sliced wagyu beef left a lingering sweet taste in our mouth. One slice of it was definitely not enough.
The wagyu beef goodness didn’t just end there as the main course also includes another dish with Wagyu beef – the Australian Wagyu Steak. If you think that by wagyu means it’s going to take a while for you to chew, think again. The steak requires very little effort for you to chew on it as it almost felt like the meat melts the moment you put it into your mouth. The wagyu beef steak also comes with sweet potatoes and lettuce, which was a surprisingly perfect combination with the steak.
Kurata was still in the midst of finalising the menu but we’ve gotten the chance to try one of their signature dishes, which is the sablefish saturated by rice wine. The dish might not look attractive, but the taste is something that one will never forget. One bite definitely wasn’t enough to stop us from nibbling on the fish.
We can thank the Japanese for allowing us to encourage the kids to eat more vegetables through one of their favourite dishes, Tempura. From sweet potatoes to cucumbers to eggplants, a chunk of vegetables were dipped in a light batter and briefly deep fried in the hot oil. Some seafood were also deep fried in the hot oil but the most common type of seafood tempura is the shrimp tempura. Because they used canola oil or sesame oil to deep fry the food, the tempura is actually less oily than other deep-friend food we’ve had in other Japanese restaurants.
The food tasting session then continues with our favoruite – the assorted sushi. Kurata first served us the assorted sushi that consists of Salmon Roe, Shima-Aji, and Maguro. Don’t say we didn’t warn you but the wasabi was sneakily hidden under the raw fish meat in the sushi. So it is best to check what’s hidden in your sushi before you get a taste of it.
The food was surprisingly filling despite being served in smaller portions. However, there is always a room for desserts and we wrapped up the feast with a piece of cheese cake. As compared to the usual cheese cake we’ve had in other restaurants, Kurata’s cheese cake was served with a scoop of yuzu ice cream which is quite a refreshing twist.
However, the yuzu ice cream and the cheese cakes aren’t a match made in heaven because some of us didn’t think that it matched with the cake. The brown sugar cinnamon crust, however, is our favourite part of the cheese cake.
It’s a shame that the restaurant has not finalised the menu during our food tasting session but we would definitely go back. The serving crew and the kitchen crew have definitely worked relentlessly to make sure that we are satisfied with the food. Yasunori Doi, the executive chef of the Kurata, also came out from the kitchen to personally thank us for coming to the soft opening of the restaurant.
We hope that Kurata will continue to work towards perfection to bring patrons a gastronomic ride of the finest Japanese cuisine.
- Location: B1 Restaurant Lot, Lower Lobby of Park Royal Hotel, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
- Opening hours: Daily, 6pm – 11pm
- Tel: 03-2110 0226
For more information, visit Kurata’s official Facebook page.