May 11, 2013

Umaiya (Umai-Ya) @ KLCC

My first time stepping into Umai-Ya was for a reunion dinner amongst a few of my Australian schoolmates - that was two years ago. Read the backtracked review Here.


It wasn't exactly a planned visit to Umai-Ya this time round. Matter of fact is, the lunch queue of the restaurant of choice was simply intolerable and would probably whoop up half of my lunch time. My friend suggested that we hopped next door instead and voilĂ konichiwa Umai-Ya.

Umai-Ya has a seating capacity of about 75 at one time and for those opting for a more authentic dining experience, there are tatami seating areas right at the front of the restaurant - can't be too picky during peak hours nonetheless.

Umai-Ya offers a cool 200 choices of traditional Japanese cuisine and fusion dishes - one would only be spoilt for choices.

Sushi masters are constantly whipping up new rolls of sushi, slicing up fresh slabs of salmons and sashimi and not forgetting the occasional toss of cocktail shaker up in the air, all happening right behind the designated sushi bar.  

The menu was extensive and it took us a while to choose our set meals and some side dishes to share, plus ocha.

When the dishes arrived all at once, we struggled to find room for everything. Constantly manoeuvring bowls and plates around the table to make room for my so-called food-shots, things got a little handful for a moment there.

Tori Cheese Fried. Rm18.90.

This reminded me of a cute caricature of an egg - at first look of course. Deep fried to a golden brown, stuffed with cheese then garnished with ebiko. Perhaps it was my fault for devouring it only towards the end of the meal - I was instead greeted with a slightly tough and rubbery cold tori. Consume while it's still warm!

Gyu Tan Teppayaki. Rm24.90.

Have you ever tried beef tongue before? Well, this is definitely a first for me and I was exceptionally eager to sample this. These raw slices of  meat needs about a minute of heating before it crumples into a grey-colour, juicy slice of cooked meat. Texture wise, it was slightly tougher than the typical slice of BBQ beef and tasted very much like innards.

Umaya Gozen. Rm31.90.

My tempura was fine, it wasn't drenched in oil nor was it too dry - just fine. The bowl of warm curry and potatoes, to be eaten with rice, was a flavoursome combination. It was savoury with a tinge of sweetness and not at all spicy - I would love to have a bowl of this especially during rainy nights. That said, nothing beats the curry katsu don I had in Hokkaido Ichiba.

The miso soup was left untouched after a mere spoonful, it was just too salty.

Chicken Teri Sashimi Set. Rm38.90.

I had a taste of my friend's sashimi - not being able to tell whether it was served fresh or otherwise, I shall not comment further. Apart from that, the grilled teriyaki chicken was an absolute delish - marinated well done.

Macha Ice Cream. Rm7.00.

A friend once told me: The best way to judge a Japanese restaurant is by its Unagi (boneless or otherwise) and its macha, or commonly known as green tea ice cream (authentic and smooth or otherwise). So, no unagi this time but got machaaaaaa.

I'm sitting on the fence for this one. The macha was smooth and glide straight down my throat on a spoonful. Artificially enhanced or not I don't know, but it did remind me of my all time favourite macha from Isetan. This is the shiznit - I meant the one below.
Shoga Sorbet. Rm7.00.

I didn't enjoy this at all - the taste of ginger was too overwhelming and definitely an acquired taste.

Overall Rating: 6/10. Many have asked, if I were to pick between the two Japanese restaurants in KLCC, which would I go for -  I would without a doubt say, Yuzu (the other one).

Umai-Ya is located at:
Suria Klcc Jalan Ampang, Parkson Suria KLCC, 50088 Kuala Lumpur
03-2161 3939


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