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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

SASAGAWA Authentic Japanese Restaurant @ Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel Jalan Sultan Ismail Kuala Lumpur

Winning The Hearts of Diners 
Chef Hitoshi Sasagawa
 Takes Diners On An Adventure Of Taste With Kaiseki Cuisine

Main Entrance To SASAGAWA Japanese Fine Dining Restaurant

Fine dining, next to doing nothing, is probably one of the best things in the world to do to chill out. I make no apologies for this statement. And one of the nicest things about living in Kuala Lumpur is that you can never run out of places to dine at. If you love venturing out to upscale dining destinations and have not tried the "Kaiseki Cuisine" at SASAGAWA Authentic Japanese Restaurant that is being offered at on Level 2 of Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel, this is the time to do so.

SASAGAWA Japanese Restaurant is a venue that has been drawing gourmets since opening in June 2015 this year. Sasagawa aims to provide full-scale authentic Japanese cuisine as how it is traditionally served in Japan. Targeting high-end consumers who will appreciate simple and healthy Japanese food, just like how the Japanese do it. 

Executive Chef Hitoshi Sasagawa Hard At Work

Chef Hitoshi Sasagawa put emphasis on serving only the freshest of the fresh, offering his diners quality premium Japanese cuisine. Sasagawa imports and replenishes their fresh stock of Japanese fishes and vegetables directly from first-rate fish markets from Tsukiji Market Tokyo in Japan.

In ensuring the authenticity in their cuisine in using natural flavouring derived from the fresh ingredients only, their seafood items are carefully selected and air-flown in four times a week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Introducing Chef Hitoshi Sasagawa, a pleasant, youthful and good-looking chef who is trained under the Iron Chef "Tadamichi Ota". Armed with his 19 years of culinary training, skills and knowledge of Japanese cuisines, he shall take diners on an adventure of taste right here in Sasagawa Japanese Restaurant.

Elegant Decor & Calming Ambiance

With a wide selection of a la carte dishes curate by Sasagawa's Executive Chef and his team will showcase the purity of Japanese cuisine using the freshest seasonal ingredients and focusing on bringing out the actual taste of ingredients.

Their menu offers 4 selections of Lunch Bento including Chef's Special Bento, Tempura Bento, Sushi Bento and Teppan Bento Set too. Dinner patrons can choose from their 3 selections of Dinner Set Course, namely Yuki, Hana and Tsuki besides the a la carte dishes of Sashimi, Sushi, Pot Stew and Steak among others. To view their full menu, click here.

To bring out the best of Sasagawa's contemporary Japanese dishes, we were treated to "Kaiseki Cuisine" or better known as "Kaiseki Ryori". A traditional Japanese multi-course haute cuisine; is a style of cooking that began as tea ceremony accompanied that has evolved into the highest form of Japanese cuisine that celebrates the natural ingredients of each season. As kaiseki is focused on eating what is in season at that moment and from what is grown where you are at that time. 

At the heart of this philosophy is the fact that ingredients are always at their tastiest, most vibrant, most flavorful, most aromatic and most nutritious when they are in season, Kaiseki menus typically consist of between 7 to 14 courses. Today, Kaiseki is only served in specialized restaurants in Japan or can be enjoyed by staying at a ryokan (Japanese-style inn).

For this food-tasting session, my family and I were very honoured to be able to indulge in a luxurious dining experience at Sasagawa with their HANA Course Menu priced at RM 350. A "Kaiseki" meal typically consists of Aperitif, Appetiser, Sashimi, Simmered Dish, Main Dish, Deep Fried Dish, Rice with soup and Dessert.   

Appetiser
Fruit Tomato, Fish Cutlet, Egg Tofu
( From Top to Bottom )

Japanese appetisers are a selection of  artistic and beautifully prepared, bite-sized appetisers to start the meal. Often served on a long dish known as hassun named after its typical length of eight sun ie at 24cm
  
Kicking off the night, was an appetiser of egg tofu topped with salmon egg, golden powder, radish and some wasabi. 

Nanbanduke Fish Cutlet served with Kikka flower and loofah marinated with vinegar. 

Beautifully served on a plate of ice, the seasonal fruit tomato from Kochi Prefecture, Japan are perfect and juicy sweet in taste.  

Main courses followed suit with "Kaiseki" courses are categorised by cooking method, with each dish representing one of the methods. No all dishes maybe present, as chefs sometimes may include or omit dishes depending on the season depending on each chef's individual style.

Ocean Fresh Platter 
 Omakase Sashimi (Otsukuri)

Sashimi is thinly sliced, raw fish, usually served on a bed of shredded daikon (Japanese radish) and accompanied by premium soya sauce together with small amount of wasabi. Sometimes, sashimi is served with the starters too.

An Omakase Sashimi Set of Chef Sasagawa's daily recommendation with 4 selection of freshly air-flown fish for the day. A combination of Maguro (Tuna), Chutoro (Tuna belly), Shimaaji (Striped Jack) and Salmon Aburi (Braized Salmon). 
   
Slices of high-quality sashimi are accompanied by Botan Ebi (Sweet Shrimp), by a number of fancy trimmings like a scatter of bright flowers, a wedge of lime and a dab of fresh wasabi to make it even more visually impressive.

Highlights of the Omakase Meal

Grilled Dish (Yakimono)
Kuroge Wagyu Steak

Yakimono dishes are usually either grilled fish or meat. Grilled fish maybe a local freshwater variety or seafood depending on the region. Grilled meat often features local wagyu which is the Japanese prime beef.

Our grilled dish or Yakimono features prime Japanese Kuroge Wagyu steak served with Japanese seasonal vegetable. With its pink centre and browned sides offering a contrast in textures, the dish, a combination of meat and vegetable, came across as juicy, tender and delicious.

Pot Stew (Nimono)

Nimono is a dish made by boiling, simmering or stewing vegetable and meat or seafood, often in a mixture of soya sauce, sweet cooking sake and sugar.

Our Nimono for the day was Chef's creation of Japanese style onion soup stock with braised Pike Conger, Seabass, octopus  together with Kujo green onion, Mizuna, rolled Chinese cabbage, Maitake mushroom and lime.
    
Flavourful Japanese style Onion Soup 

A Pot of Goodness with Fresh Seafood & Vegetables

Steamed Dish (Mushimono)
Special Chawanmushi

One of the most common steamed dish is chawanmushi, a savory egg custard flavoured with fish stock, that contains small morsels of mushrooms, chicken, ginko nuts and seafood. Served in a teacup shaped lid dish and eaten with a small spoon.

Chef's selection for steamed dish is the special chawanmushi (egg custard) with Goma (Sesame) Tofu. The silky smooth egg custard was topped with thinly sliced winter melon, wolfberry and some Goma (Sesame) cream. 
  
Deep Fried Dish (Agemono)
Tempura

The fried dish is common tempura (seafood and vegetables deep fired in a light flour batter. Serving alongside with a light dipping sauce or salt seasoning. Usually served towards the end of the meal.

Our deep fried dish of Agemono was a special creation by Chef Sasagawa. Cha Soba sushi served with stock sauce mixed glazed daikon radish, topping with white onion and wasabi.

Our Agemono served in a pretty bowl

Shokuji (Rice)

The Shokuji Set consists of rice, miso soup and pickles (tsukemono) and it is always served right before dessert.

Shokuji (Rice) cooked in small kettle topped with salmon, salmon egg and Shiso leaf. 

The starchy rice dish which was quite filling cooked together with salmon slice, burdock and salmon egg. The Shiso leaf leaves a pungent taste to the rice and some may not enjoy eating this.
        
Happy me posing with a bowl of Shokuji 

Desserts

Desserts such as local or seasonal fresh fruits, sorbet or other light dessert make up the final course. Sasagawa serves 4 choices of ice cream from tangy Yuzu Sorbet, Macha Ice Cream, Black Sesame Ice cream and last but not least, the Yukimi Daifuku. 

Yukimi Daifuku (Mochi Ice Cream) 

A crowd favourite, everyone just loves the Yukimi Daifuku (Mochi Ice Cream). The vanilla ice cream was wrapped in a thin coating of sticky mochi which makes it so tasty to eat.    

Memorable Dining Experience calls for a shot with Chef Hitoshi Sasagawa & my lovely daughter, Carmen Hong (Photographer for the Day)  

Pictures Credits to Carmen Hong

Overall, it was an impressive showcase of Chef Sasagawa's Kaiseki cuisine; a beautifully artistic and multi sensory dining experience. Leaving me with tasty memories of such exquisite dining experience, which I will use as inspiration for my next set of gastronomic adventures.

Dining at Sasagawa, you will learn to appreciate the fine art of dining with emphasis on food presentation and the use of crockery as part of the dish and its overall appeal. Beautiful designed and painted crockery are use for different courses, with great  focus on enticing our palates, our multi sensory appreciation of a certain dish through visual, sound, texture, temperature and aroma.


SASAGAWA Authentic Japanese Restaurant
Level 2 Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03 - 2602 3288

Website: sasagawakl.asia
FaceBook: www.facebook.com/sasagawajapanesecuisine
                 : www.facebook.com/sasagawa.asia     

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