ISHIN Japanese Dining
True Classic Japanese Fine Dining At ISHIN
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 in fact, I'm pretty thrilled when invited to a food-tasting at ISHIN Japanese Dining recently.
Direct Imports From Japan
Being one of the finer establishments in Kuala Lumpur, ISHIN is a place where people come especially to eat genuine Japanese and Kaiseki style cuisines, using only the finest quality fresh ingredients air-flown direct from Tsujkiji Market, Tokyo in Japan.
Upon entering, you'll be met with classy and calming ambiance to prepare you for an exquisite Japanese fare and a gastronomic adventure savouring ISHIN's wide selection of tasty and authentic dishes.
If you like, choose to be seated at ISHIN's oval sushi counter which is one of Malaysian's biggest sushi counters that lets you soaked in and enjoyed the atmosphere of Izakaya-style Japanese dining, while giving diners an opportunity to witness how their tasty meals are being prepared by chefs. Besides that, you can treat yourself to the live visual performance of chefs in motion everyday!
Private Tatami Seating
ISHIN is the Japanese word that comes from the word Ishin-denshin (以心伝心), a Japanese idiom which denotes a form of interpersonal communication through unspoken mutual understanding and literally translates as "what the mind thinks, the heart transmits". (Source from Wikipedia HERE) Or maybe it just sounded like a nice word - I don't really know.
What I know is that the food here is pretty darn good, as attested by several of my food bloggers friends who dines here before me. A dinner here is like a little journey through Head Chef Willaim So's febrile and creative mind - even though, William-san is a shy, unassuming, passionate man.
Salmon Skin Salad
Dinner started with a clean and fresh Salmon Skin Salad of what appears to be salmon skin grilled and roasted in a salamander stove serves with a chock-full of salad mixed greens such as romaine, butter lettuce, lolla rosa, alfalfa among others over with Wasabi dressing. The cast iron stove does wonders to the salmon as it does a great job making the oil-free wafer-thin salmon skin super crisp and light to taste!
Crispy Wafer-Thin Salmon Skin
Nama Otoro 生大トロ
The first course arrived in style - beautifully presented in a mini replica of an igloo. The Sashimi In Ice Igloo is ISHIN daily special sashimi, Japanese high grade Tuna Belly Sashimi, also known as Nama Otoro.
Next is Japanese Hokkigai Sashimi (Surf Clam), one of the many types of shellfish eaten as sashimi. Imported live weighing 600gram to 700grams, Chef William serve it raw on an ice platter, but sometimes, it's more commonly lightly boiled which turns the tip red to firm up the meat.
Closer Shot Of Freshness Of Surf Clam
Normally, I stay away from raw shellfish, even in Japanese restaurants, but this time, I really enjoyed the fresh live hokkigai for the meaty texture and sweet flavour dipped in soya sauce. According to Head Chef William, it is authentic Japanese sashimi. "This is how it should look like and we serve nothing but the freshest and finest ingredients from Japan," he said.
Third course continued with chef's pick of the seasonal fish - Kinmedai Sashimi. One of the favourite summer fish for sashimi is Kinmedai, literally means a golden eye tai or sea bream. Unique texture, not too soft or too crunchy, just tender and not fishy at all.
Loved the presentation before me, with a petal of butterfly pea blue flower, some seaweed, wedge of lime and a dab of freshly grated wasabi.
RM 488 (100gm)
RM 488 (100gm)
Most Prized Beef In Japan
The best dish of the evening is an extravagantly ISHIN's Stone Grilled Matsuzaka Beef. The Japan Certified A5 Matsuzaka Beef is considered the finest beef in Japan, the beef itself is famed for it’s soft texture, rich, and for it’s evenly marbled, high-ratio fat content.
Matsuzaka Beef is some of the most expensive cuts and considered to be the best kind of beef in Japan, known for its rich meaty flavour, beautiful marbling patterns with frosty appearance and sweet fat. The prized beef sells for around RM 488 per 100 grams, approximately 6 pieces only, making it some of the world's most expensive beef.
This is the stuff I had been expecting from a restaurant that prides itself in serving highest quality standard direct from Japan - a minimalistic, aromatically meaty dish grilled on a chunky fired-up volcanic tile. Served medium raw with its pink centre and browned sides offering contrast in textures, the amazing dish, tasted delicately robust and juicy with a meaty umami impression on the tongue, that almost instantly melts in the mouth.
Unforgettable Piece Of Matsuzaka Beef
If you are worried about the high level of cholesterol in red meat, fret not! Fat in Japanese beef is primarily monounsaturated, which is known to lower ‘bad’ cholesterol! Monounsaturated fats also have a very low melting point, making the beef literally melt in your mouth. That's why a top quality steak of A5 grade Wagyu can cost US$500 or more in Tokyo's fine dining scene.
Beef appears again - this time, we are served with Gyuniku Tataki, Seared Beef with citrus sauce. Australian Sirloin beef grilled to medium done, sliced and served accompanied with grated radish/ fresh chillies, minced garlic and chopped scallions.
Feast With Your Eyes On This Lovely Caterpillar Roll
Feast With Your Eyes On This Lovely Caterpillar Roll
The picture pretty, Caterpillar Roll is my personal favourite. A must-try, this is special roll comprising of Softshell crab wrapped in avocado roll, drizzled over with flavourful sweet-based Anago sauce (sea eel sauce) and finishing touch of tobiko as a garnish for the pretty impressive roll.
If you love mango and sushi roll, order the Malaysia Roll - Grilled Eel wrapped with Chukanan mango and sushi rice with mayo dressing.
If you are not a fan of mango, the Phoenix Roll, which is fried King prawn wrapped with avocado appeals to many.
Hokkaido King Crab with Duck Liver Teppanyaki Style
An interesting dish of Hokkaido King Crab with Duck Liver Teppanyaki Style followed - basically serving of two premium ingredients namely foie gras and King crab. Duck liver imported from France is lightly teppan pan fried served with meaty crab over butter, soy sauce and fried garlic for the extra flavour.
Chicken Katsu Curry Rice
Baked Chawanmushi With Scallop & Caviar
If you have room for a hearty dish, order the Baked Chawanmushi With Scallop & Caviar, a top class chawanmushi, baked at 180 Celsius on a ceramic Japanese pot and garnished with premium scallops with Avurga caviar (herring roe), decorated again with the pretty butterfly pea flower petal.
Dessert followed next - it's one of the most interesting and famous, talk-about Raindrop Cake. A New York City-based chef Darren Wong took on the mizu shingen mochi, renamed it Raindrop Cake and it's become one of the most talked-about food trends of the year since it debuted at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, NY. The new food trend made a splash in New York and has been called "The Next Cronut."
Imported Direct From Japan
Well, you need not travel to New York to taste the Raindrop Cake as ISHIN brings in these original traditional Mizu Shingen Mochi from Japan on a weekly basis, just to please your palate.
So, what's it made of? The intriguing Japanese cult dessert made from mineral water, Japanese agar powder, a gelatin comes from seaweed, which gives the cake its Jello-like appearance. Since the cake itself has almost no taste, it's served along side with roasted soybean flour ( Kinako ) and a brown sugary syrup called Kuromitsu.
How does it taste? It’s a light, delicate and refreshing raindrop made for your mouth. Served with kuromitsu and kinako, this light sweet is so enjoyable. It's translucent, calorie-free, and basically tasteless. Tastes like eating a giant raindrop, very mild, with delicate texture that melts in your mouth. I especially like the strong sweet kick of kuromitsu and roasted nutty flavour from the kinako.
Chef William-San came by after dinner for a friendly little chat. A very warm and friendly chef, one can sense that he's a gentlemen who is pretty serious about his food. He explained that due to the delicate texture of the dessert, each cake has to be individually packed in a way that protects it from movement and temperature.
Well, we are the lucky lot to get a sneak peak of the Mizu Shingen Mochi, prior to serving. Air flown direct from Japan, specially packed in a unique rubber sac packaging. Chef uses a sharp needle to poke to it open and pop! out comes the little cute crystal shiny water mochi!
Watch the video below as we poke open the water mochi. It's fun, exciting and altogether dazzling to look at. Enjoy!
Watch how we poke it open to get the water mochi in this fun video!
Overall, I truly enjoyed my dining at ISHIN. It was a memorable experience for food blogger like me - my first time tasting Matsuzaka Beef, the most expensive beef in the world in this part of the world. I also love the part where Chef William lets us have a try poking the Mizu Shingen Mochi.
If you are looking for a real cool place to dine or impress your guests, ISHIN Japanese Dining is the place to be for an intimate and memorable gastronomic experience featuring delectable medleys of textures, flavours and styles. BON APPETITE !
Ishin Japanese Dining
No. 202, Persiaran Klang,
Batu 3 3/4,
Off Jalan Kelang Lama,
58000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 - 7980 8228
12noon - 3pm
6pm - 1am