I’m not the biggest fan of the word ‘ZEN’. I think the word is almost always misrepresented and used way too often in this yoga-fied world we live in. However, a trip to Fukuya has left me feeling, ermm how shall I put it, rather Zen (crinch!).
Suggested by a friend on an impromptu night out, we found ourselves heading off towards Jalan Delima in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. This often neglected street lies just a block away from its more ‘happening’ and congested sister road, Jalan Imbi. If you’re coming from Jalan Tun Razak heading towards Jalan Bukit Bintang, just turn left into the junction right after the Iranian embassy. That’s Jalan Delima.
This small and quaint looking street brings back old memories of a long forgotten Kuala Lumpur. Old one-storey bungalow lined up on both side of the street, with their huge garden compound stretching out towards the street. The only thing fencing these private properties were the huge Angsana trees, which only adds to the grandeur of this place. And like the properties itselves, these Angsana trees stood proudly withstanding the test of time and development.
Standing out amongst the towering Angsana trees is the gateway into FUKUYA, with a stretched white wall and Bamboo marking its territory. Upon pulling onto its driveway, you would think you’ve arrived at a 5-star island resort somewhere as the way in was hidden behind draped clothes hanging from a bamboo frame, to review a straight path lit by tiki-lamps separating the lawn in half. We followed the usher, who was dressed in traditional Japanese outfit complete with clogs, into the main entrance. Behind the huge wooden doors, the restaurant had a nice cozy interior. Minimal finishing and a mixed of clean white walls together with teak roofs, conjuring memories of a typical Japanese resorts in Ubud, Bali.
The same can be said about the food. Clean, no frills, subtle in deco and also in taste. Making this place one of the most authentic Japanese restaurants in Kuala Lumpur. A huge surprise considering that Japanese restaurants here are dime a dozen, but when it comes to real Japanese taste, not even major hotels can boast authenticity. Even the wasabi here was freshly grind and not made from powder as most places does. And the used of seasonal imports from Japan in their special menus also helps give this establishment an edge above the rest. Heard their special home-made sakura (cherry blossom) ice cream was the best thing ever, we were tempted to try some. But as luck as it, it was out of season.
The highlights of the dinner were:
a. Gingko Nut Cold Tofu: a very cool and interesting dish
b. Beef Tetaki: Not many places does this, but this one ain’t bad. Would have been better if the beef weren’t so cooked. What was interesting though, they used chopped garlic instead of fresh onions
c. Baked Scallop Rice: a very fragrant dish and is one of the best dishes here. It’s not in the menu, so ask the waiter for it.
d. Grilled Enoki Mushroom: Nothing’s better than simply cooking mushroom over open fire, top with some enoki flakes and drizzled with some fresh lemon for that zest. Yum
e. Grilled Horse Mackerel: Freshness is key in this dish, and the fish felt it was just fished out of the ocean and grilled straight away. It even looks like the fish was jumping up and down over open fire (morbid, I know). The skin was crispy and the flesh was just succulent and melted in our mouth.
f. Grillled Eggplant with Miso Paste: As I was reading the menu, I was just commenting how Japanese restaurants here do not do this dish, and suddenly the dish just happened to appear on Fukuya’s menu. And what a blessing it was. I jumped on the opportunity and it didn’t disappoint at all.
We ordered the usual Sashimi and other stuffs, which was all great as well. The price here may be a little hefty, but my take is that this place is worth every dollar and sen paid into it.
Oh yeah, this place has a couple of private rooms facing the lawn each for a private dining session too if you’re interested! And I reckoned it’s a nice place for a small event too! Who knows, I might be hosting one there soon.