Old Klang Road is known to have good food, especially Chinese-styled food. So when we were invited for a Japanese dinner there, I was a little more than skeptical. But since the evening’s review was organised by the lovely Su-Yin (of Delectables fame), it was hard not to say “yes” to her. I’m glad I went for the review session as the evening turned out incredible. We were served a Kaiseki-styled dinner.
It’s funny how much one can learn from a comic book. I’ve recently been introduced to Oishinbo by BFF, a popular manga series which focuses on the wonders of Japanese cuisine. I’ve learned that kaiseki ?? or kaiseki ry?ri ???? is a traditional multi-course dinner. This term also refers to the collection of skills and techniques that allow the preparation of such meals, and is akin to a Western haute cuisine – often in the form of a specially prepared dégustation.
Today, kaiseki is considered a type of art form that balances taste, texture, appearance and colours of food. To achieve this, chefs only use fresh seasonal ingredients which are aimed at enhancing the flavours of each dish. Local ingredients are often sourced as well. The finished dishes are carefully curated on special ceramic or porcelain plates that are carefully selected to enhance both the appearance and the seasonal theme of the meal. The dishes will also be garnished with either real plants and flowers or edible garnishing that resembles natural plants.
With that ‘comical’ understanding, the meal at Ishin was made even more special as I was able to experience the wonders of its taste and texture as much as its seasonal inspiration of each dish.
And now after that visual feast, I’m sure you’re wondering how much an elaborated meal like this will cost. Surprise, surprise, the dinner didn’t cost more that RM150++ per pax excluding the chawan mushi and sushi rolls platter. That’s very affordable in my books for a decadent meal as such. If you’re ever in the mood to not think what’s for dinner and just be served with the season’s best produce, head over here and tell the chef what your budget is. They’re sure to cater something special for you.
While the dinner at Ishin was a splendid affair, I’ve heard from a few friends and bloggers that the quality of food can be rather inconsistent, especially when it comes to the more expensive items on the menu. I understand that the place is still considerably new (opened end-2009), but I think it will be their downfall if they do not have the consistency bit in check. I hope they can get this rectify soon. For now, I’ll advise you to head there early for dinner if you want to taste the freshest pick of seafood. I also hear that their bento lunch sets are very affordable and delicious too. Give this place a chance and I’m sure you’ll be surprise too.
Chef Q and team, thank you for having us and Su thanks for organizing this delightful gathering.
Ishin Japanese Restaurant
Off Jalan Kelang Lama
58000 Kuala Lumpur
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