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Wednesday 30 September 2015

PLOY Japanese Thai Fusion Restaurant @WORK Clearwater Damansara Heights Kuala Lumpur

Fusion In Balance
At PLOY Japanese Thai 
Fusion Restaurant 

Dining at PLOY at WORK Clearwater Damansara Heights recently was a strange affair - it was the first time I have ever dined on modern Japanese Thai cuisine cooked by a top Indian Head Chef. With a Michelin star chef from the USA to their team, this is part of PLOY's 'grand scheme' to introduce modern Asian cuisine to its discerning clientèle.

Malaysia Tatler Award For 2015
~ As One Of The Malaysia's Best Restaurants For Its Exceptional Cuisine & Service~

Japanese-Thai restaurant PLOY in Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur pride themselves in serving refreshingly delectable fusion cuisine through innovative and creative technique. Through these years, PLOY had perfected their menu getting fusion in balance nicely to their blend of Japanese and Thai fusion dining.

Tucked within the affluent neighbourhood of Damansara Heights, PLOY is an upscale casual, sleek and modern restaurant with stylish interior to match its interesting and eclectic mix of dishes. With an entire menu built from scratch with over 60 offerings, they have influences that span from 4 continents with over 35 new and original sauces. PLOY's recommendation to its diners are always to order a variety of dishes as the meal portions are all meant for sharing, within the table Asian style.

Relaxing Atmosphere at The Terrace

PLOY Private Room

PLOY also caters for parties and private events with its spacious and comfortable; seating up to 120 people. A perfect venue for corporate dinner or sophisticated cocktail party 

I was invited to review PLOY's new additions as they unveiled a new menu to its diners that is inventive and clever.  

The perfect snacks for when the munchies strike. Meal portion are meant for sharing.

Sliced Cucumber
RM 8.50

The Sliced Cucumber with Sesame Oil & Umami Powder was a great appetizer to start with and prepare us for the next dish. Light and refreshing, you will enjoy munching on the cold slices of zuchini perfectly matched with the fragrant concoction of sesame oil and savoury umami flavouring.  

Thai Spice & Miso-Butter Fresh Corn Wedges
RM 10.50

Next up was the Grilled Corn Wedges smothered in 2 flavours which was the Thai Spice and Miso-Butter. Both were equally good, I could not choose which one was the better tasting one. Well, as PLOY's meal are for sharing, I suggest you guys share among yourselves to have a taste of both.

Chicken Curry Pop Corn
RM 8.50

These are pop corn flavoured with chicken seasoning and best complement with your draught beer.

Sambal Miso Edamame 
RM 10.50
Sambal Miso Edamame is another of their appetising small bites from PLOY. Mixing the Japanese famous beans ~ Edamame with sambal paste makes it  a very interesting dish to try. The edamame was first steamed before being grilled to dry them out and tossed with house made sambal paste before serving. Recommended to eat them with hands by licking off the sauce before popping the crunchy beans into your mouth!

One for you, one for me, one for you, two for me. No matter how you share, sharing is fun!

Tender Honey Pepper Wings
RM 14

Star of the Review, Tender Honey Pepper Wings was one of the best dish I tasted at PLOY, in fact I have to confess that it was my favourite among the 20-odd dishes I tried that day. Head chef Guna explained that the wings were marinated by soaking in a housemade broth for a day for the flavour to seeped into the meat. I was told the best marination process takes one day, for the meat to absorb all the flavours of the herbs and spice to make it tasty.

Tossed in their tasty honey-based soya sauce and topped with fragrant sesame seeds, chicken wings lovers are in for a real treat with super-delicous plus well-marinated flavoursome tender wings!  

Seared Wagyu 
RM 46

Impressive dish with superior quality makes it entrance to our dining table ~ Seared Wagyu. Lightly seared to perfection leaving a juicy and tender beefy-licious slices of wagyu served seasoned with orange Ponzu, chili miso and some chopped crispy garlic for extra flavour. 

Sliced Octopus
RM 24.50

No forgetting the seafood fans, PLOY's offering of Sliced Octopus with sliced cucumbers and smoked vinegar. Those who just cannot stomach raw-looking octopus may find this a weird dish. But for some, this chewy octopus slices dress in sweet-sourish sauce of shoyu, lemon, mirin and some sake is just as delectable with the rest of the meat dishes.

Spicy Cold Tofu Blocks 
RM 10.50

A very simple dish of fresh cold soft Japanese tofu served with Chef Guna's concoction of 'Thai XO sauce', ginger and some almonds for crunchy feel. Well, you must be wondering how can such a simple tofu dish be made tasty, its all lies in the chef's creativity in clever pairing of flavours and ingredients. 

Tofu Agedashi
RM 11.50

Tofu appears again - this time as as Tofu  Agedashi with Sweet & Spicy Broth.  Silken firm tofu coated with flour and dee-fired until crisp. Served in a hot broth of dashi, mirin, shoyu with special imported togarashi (Japanese word for red chilli pepper), topped with finely shredded scallion and turnip.

For the new menu, a parade of cooked meat dishes from Japanese Thai food chef Guna arrive next. The new decadent menu comprises the wagyu beef, seabass fish and Negihama sushi for our tasting menu this time.

Stir Fried Lemongrass Beef
RM 46

Slices of Wagyu beef nicely cooked pan-fried with Japanese Shishito Pepper, Thai herb oil and tamarind sauce. A crowd-pleasing dish - saying that, the beef was beautifully cooked with zesty Japanese Shishito Pepper. Highly recommended especially if you love red meat as much as everyone else at the dining table that demolished almost every slice on the bowl, leaving only a last piece for me!

Assam Steamed Seabass
RM 27.50 

The fish dishes arrived shortly, not one but 2 variations. My favourite was definitely the Assam Steamed Seabass with Thai Herb Oil and Tamarind Sauce. Fresh fillet sitting in a thick sauce made from herb oil, tamarind and fresh herbs such as garlic, lemon grass (serai) just to mention a few. A combination of sweet, salty and spicy, it was the perfect pairing to steaming white rice. Loved the perfect flavour, not too sweet or spicy neither too overpowering to eat on its own.

Flaming Red Fish Curry
RM 42

Another interesting dish was the Flaming Red Fish Curry with Eggplant, Zucchini and Chillies in Thai chilli paste sauce. Impressive display where our waiter heats up the Scotch whisky on the glass, pour a generous slug into the dish - set them alight - flambe them for a minute or so. 

Flaming of the Red Fish Curry In Action!

Voila, here's the end result of the flamed seabass in Thai chilli paste sauce. For this time. the dish was not flamed properly as it actually burned for less than 10 seconds. The whisky ended in the sauce being overpowering and was too strong for us to savour. 

Every gem is unique. Likewise, PLOY arrived at their sushi by infusing individual personalities to each one. Better than gems, you can actually bite into these.

Crispy Negihama Maki
RM 25.50

A simple offering of Sushi Crispy Negihama Maki with Hamachi, Onions, Scallions and Crispy Rice. So if you must have some sushi when dining here, check this out. For me, the sushi dish was just okay as it was outshined by the rest of the dishes we had there.

Each one a Ploy creation, this is where we let fresh flavours shine. Their meal portion are meant for sharing.

Tuna Ceviche 
RM 35

Tuna Ceviche served with lime, shallots and cube turnip on a coconut shell. It tasted well enough but could have been better if served really chilled. Simple dish, yet bursting with different texture and flavour.

Lemongrass Tuna Wraps
RM 27.50

Avocado, Green Chili Paste & Crispy Rice wrapped in Gossamer Thin Chinese Yam

Pasta and rice may be everyday staples, but these are designed to taste far from mundane. Don’t ‘pasta-out’ trying each one! PLOY's portion are meant for sharing!

Unagi Meshi
RM 49.50

Our rice dish was Unagi Meshi. Rich and flavourful, a medley of Japanese steamed rice mixed with sauteed fresh shiitake mushroom seasoned with charcoal essence (housemade sauce) and add-on of some pickled turnip for the sourish taste.

Topped with tasty smoked eel with teriyaki sauce, this combo made every spoonful bursting with fresh flavours. It was the perfect prelude to the raw tuna ceviche and wraps we tasted prior to this. Savoury from the tasty eel, sweet from sauteed mushroom and sourish came from the crunchy bites of pickled turnips, an enjoyable rice dish I had at PLOY.  

"FUN GUY" Spaghetti  
RM 31

There was this PLOY's pasta dish called "FUN GUY" Spaghetti. Quirky name for a dish, didn't know why as I forgot to ask Chef Guna about it. The al dente spaghetti sautéed with a blend of fragrant shiitake umami bits and olive oil along with heaps of oyster and button mushrooms that enveloped the pasta so well. Packed with mushroom flavours, a must-try if you are a mushroom lovers!

Chicken Tantanmen
RM 35

PLOY also offers noodles like their Chicken Tantanmen. Served with tan-tan men (lai meen) and a thick, hearty chicken broth, seasoned with spicy miso, sesame oil, tobanjan (Japanese hot bean paste) and served with minced chicken, bok choy and an egg. Everyone loved the rich and flavoursome chicken broth till the last drop!   

 Curry Udon
RM 31

The Curry Udon  on the other hand, featured udon in Japanese curry thick sauce with minced chicken, dashi, topped with chili oil, shredded black fungus and scallions.

PLOY don’t just have a sweet tooth. They have a mouthful of them. That’s why PLOY made desserts that will keep you coming back for more. And not forgetting, their meal portions are meant for sharing.

 Palate-Melting Creation
Cracked Coconut
RM 21

As for dessert, Chef Guna surprised us with something too beautiful to consume. We were presented with Cracked Coconut dessert, A chilled treat of coconut sorbet with white chocolate shells with mixed fruits. So artistically presented, almost too pretty to eat. 

Everyone digs in to taste the dessert, just like a little kid playing at the seaside; I was busy cracking to eat the chocolate (coconut) shell while my hubby was treating himself to spoonfuls of the coconut sorbet. My others two foodie friends, Ivy Kam was enjoying herself with the cute-looking seashells (handmade white chocolate) while Isaac Tan was scooping up the brown sand (sugar and crushed peanuts) to eat with the coconut sorbet.    

Japanese Cheese Cake
RM 11.50

If you still have room, there is the Japanese Cheese Cake. PLOY 's version turned out to be a cream cheese Japanese cotton cheese cake with raspberry sauce. Texturally was between custard and cream, providing a sweet ending to our meal at PLOY.

Posing on this Grand-looking Blue Chair

Overall, I had to say that the PLOY gets the balance just right with their fusion cuisine. For those who appreciate good food, would be impressed with new menu that is clever and inventive. Their team of chefs had brought in diverse flavours and ingredients together in a dish, which is not only interesting but also unique and, most of all, delicious.   

G-02 Ground Floor
Changkat Semantan
Damansara Heights
50490 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03 - 2095 0999

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Friday 25 September 2015

Shinjiro Izakaya Yakitori Japanese Restaurant @Tropicana City Mall Damansara Jaya Petaling Jaya

De Stress With Yakitori &
Have A Grilling Good Time 
SHINJIRO Izakaya Yakitori

Yakitori lovers rejoice as Shinjiro Izakaya Yakitori, a new-kid-from-the-block opens their first outlet at Tropicana City Mall in Petaling Jaya. All culinary creations are carefully crafted to cater to the discerning palates of local foodies with affordable pricing for the younger generation.

Describing itself as an Izakaya restaurant, Shinjiro has a menu bursting with alcoholic options. Whether your tipple of choice is beer, cocktails, sake (carafe) or whiskey (shot), the possibilities are endless. If you're not looking for any particular potent intoxicant like me, then an order of hot green tea would do fine.

There are two seating areas for diners to chill and dine, first choice being at the spacious brightly lighted area or another long bench with high chairs for a more private dining, suitable for big group family or friends dining where they can have the whole area for themselves away from the rest.

Spacious & Well Design 

The décor was bright, vibrant and colourful with Japanese designs and motif inspired with Hokusai design all over the restaurant. You can never miss this place as its stand out with its cheery and attractive colours of  bright matching colours of orange, white and red, practically so visible to the mall shoppers.

Shinjiro have a simple menu for their soups and salads, each with 2 selections to choose from; as not to complicate the rest of the menu with wide choices of its main offering of yakitori. For  starter, I sampled their 2 types of soups and salads as follows:

Salmon Avocado
RM 19.90

Fresh salmon with fresh rocket, asparagus, dried cranberry and feta cheese served a house made avocado olive dressing. Nice Japanese fusion salad to try, I think it's different from the usual garden salad especially with the use of asparagus and avocado as dressing.

Mixed Seaweed with Baby Shrimp
RM 15.90

Mixed fresh greens with romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes and a combination of 3 kind of seaweed giving this colourful salad a good taste with different textures. Addition of the crispy tiny shrimps bring a nice change to the otherwise bland salad taste. Served with balsamic citrus dressing making it a quite refreshing and enjoyable salad to try with it's savoury and sourish flavour. 

Shrimp Bisque Soup
RM 13.90

A very rich tasting pureed seafood soup made with cream and shrimp. A typical star of a bisque are usually made from shrimp or lobster, on which I prefer the latter. Its a vegetable based broth made from mixed of healthy greens of asparagus, celery, onion, tomatoes and tomato paste. Positively thick and aromatic and quite filling too. Even nicer if eaten with a toasted baguette too! 

Bincho Rice with Seaweed and Tofu Soup
RM 12.90

Bincho rice (grilled sticky rice) and tofu in seaweed soup with a mild and smoky flavour soup. May not be a crowd favourite unless you loved the fresh crunchy seaweed that comes with it. Some may find the 'burnt rice' a little out of the unusual, but nevertheless if you are adventurous eater, you can try out this traditional Japanese soup for yourself.

Under the helm of  Head Chef from Torii, the Izakaya-style Japanese delicacies features a plethora of up to 35 kinds of yakitori from poultry, beef, seafood and vegetables of every kind to whet your appetite. All skewers comes with chef recommended sauces, but diners can  choose their own from 7 selection of sauces, only if they have their own preferences.  

Shinjiro's open-kitchen concept lets diners an opportunity to watch how their tasty yakitori are being prepared. An open kitchen that spans side-way along the restaurant, so you can treat yourself to the live visual performance of chefs in motion everyday.   

Burning Ambers From The Charcoal Fire

Ever-Popular Chicken Wings in Skewer getting the char grilled and smoked effects in the open-kitchen.

We started off with selections from the poultry menu. Wings are the best but there are up to 12 kinds to pick from such as the thigh with leek, breast fillet, skin, nuggets, gizzard, liver, heart, back end (bishop nose) to quail eggs and duck breast.
Chicken Wings in Shio ( Sea salt & pepper) 
RM 6.90

The chicken wings were simple and unpretentious, great bites with flavourful and juicy from the inside, yet crispy on the outside with a mild smoked flavour. No marination needed, only sprinkles of sea salt during the grilling process coupled under the skillful hands of the chef. 

Squid Yakitori with Pesto 
RM 8.90

An excellent choice of seafood yakitori is the Squid Yakitori with Pesto. Shinjiro serves up a good portion of squid yakitori with nice and thick chunky slice rolled up and secured with skewer. Almost got us fooled looking like scallop, haha.... It's usually served with pesto sauce but diners can request for any other sauces to go with it.

Minced Beef Balls with Teriyaki Sauce
RM 6.90

Keeping beef lovers in mind, the menu offers a delectable 7 variety of beef skewers from sirlion, minced beef balls, fillet with enoki, fillet with asparagus to tripe, liver and even lungs.  

The Minced Beef Balls with Teriyaki Sauce is another triumphant warrior; Solid meatballs grilled to glorious perfection, worthy of two word "comfort food". It was succulent and tender, not dry at all and particularly tasty when paired with the teriyaki sauce. This is a MUST-TRY, damn good and highly recommended to eat here!

Sirloin with Shio ( Sea salt & pepper)
RM 8.90

Next, another good eat too with the Sirloin with Shio. True carnivore will find it heavenly when chewing on the medium done chunky pieces pure flavour of the sirloin in skewer. The only flavouring ever needed was just sea salt and pepper to bring out the natural taste of the red meat.

Fillet with Asparagus
RM 6.90

Fillet with Enoki
RM 6.90

These were probably one of the unpleasant-looking yakitori in the menu. With the awkward shape of having enoki wrapped in fillet, it doesn't taste as bad as it looked. Beef slices was tender and flavourful with shio and eaten with the enoki, nicely paired and pretty good too. 

Lungs Yakitori  with Salsa Sauce
RM 5.90

Well, I have to skipped this as I am never a fan of the lung, liver or tripe. My hubby did tried it and found the lung to be chewy with sourish salsa sauce complementing the gamey flavour of the lung. 

Sweet Potatoes 
RM 5.90

Besides yakitori, Shinjiro serves up a good portions of others dishes which they named small plates. These are especially good for sharing when dining together in groups and great bites to go with yakitori too.

Oven Baked Oysters 
RM 21.90 for 3 pcs

Shinjiro patrons should not miss out the Oven Baked Oysters. A delicious dish of baked oysters topped with ebiko and cheese. Fresh oyster was juicy and tender under the heap of cheddar cheese that melted over the crustacean while the ebiko was a nice addition and equally tasty adding depth to the overall dish.  

Reverse Seafood Roll With Baked Miso
RM 21.90

Seafood lovers must try the Chef's special creation. Something different you should try as seafood and cheese always goes hand in hand with each other. Reverse Seafood Roll With Baked Miso consists of shrimp, scallop and crab meat wrapped around the sushi rice, topped with cheese before baking it with miso. This beautiful dish is a little out of the ordinary but it was a sure hit with my dining friends that day.    

Mixed Tempura 
RM 18.90

Shinjiro's chef gave this classic tempura dish a new twist with the creative use of beancurd skin flakes to coat the shrimp, octopus and sweet potatoes. Good try, the end result was crispy tasting and less oily tempura dish. Drizzled with house made pistachio sesame sauce, complement the dish.  

Salmon Sashimi With Ebiko
RM 28.90

For those who must have rice when dining, can opt for this Salmon Sashimi With Ebiko. Basically it's similar to having salmon and ebiko sushi served in a bowl. Give it a good mix with the avocado wasabi sauce before savouring it. Real good-tasting with the generous ebiko bursting in every mouthful of this delectable sushi rice.

Shinjiro Fried Rice
RM 16.90

Shinjiro's signature fried rice is an appetising Japanese rice fried with baby shrimp, capsicum, scallion, garlic and crispy lotus topped with poached egg. A fitting alternative if you're not fon dof the first rice dish of Salmon Sashimi With Ebiko.

Pasta with Seared Salmon
RM 27.90

Pasta with Crispy Chicken
RM 26.90

RM 13.90

The Japanese mochi dessert makes a satisfying end to our grilled skewers delightful meal. Colourful strawberry, mango, black berry and kiwi flavoured mochi tasted good with the fresh fruit of similar types of the fruits serving as mochi ie strawberry, mango, black berry and kiwi too. 

Nutty Chocolate Fingers
RM 13.90

Shinjiro Izakaya Yakitori 
Japanese Restaurant
Lot G-06 Ground Floor
Tropicana City Mall
3 Jalan SS20/27
Damansara Jaya
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03 - 7732 2986

Website: www.shinjiro.my
FaceBook: www.facebook.com/shinjiromy

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