Dec 2, 2014

Watami @ 1 Utama PJ

On that Thursday evening, I walked into Watami, feeling familiar though not in entirety at the same time. I figured one of the reasons I've not been visiting Watami as often as I should, was plainly because of its price. I think most people can agree with that.

That said, Watami is not your typical Sushi Zanmai, so think along the lines of Rakuzen and Umai-Ya. Prices here are typically 20% higher than your standard Japanese meal, justified by the more premium menu choices.

Looking back at my archives, my last visit was sometime back in early-2013, when the restaurant was still pork free. You can read about my previous visit Here. So how did my meal fair two years down the road?


Watami is a Japanese casual restaurant that is modern, stylish yet not too upmarket, with an ambiance that felt fantastic for dinner dates and cozy for the younger crowd - particularly evident while I was there - but of course, fit for families as well.

In Watami's modern dining menu, expect to see some signature creations, including a fusion-take in some of their dishes. But today, I will be talking about Watami's latest menu addition - gozen, or the Japanese set menu. 

There's 12 gozen in total, however I will not be showcasing all of them here. As much as I'm eager to sample all of it here, I have limited tummy space. Hence what you'll see below, are some of Watami's signature dishes and best sellers. There will be some pork; some beef; some sushi and sashimi as well. 

Each set comes with miso soup, chawamushi, steamed tofu with bonito flakes, sashimi platter (most of it does), seasoned cucumber and a slice of fruit. Starting with some appetizers.

Wafu Pizza. Rm19.90.

One of my top picks - thin crust pizza topped with pork and teriyaki chicken, glazed with teriyaki mayonnaise. If there's one appetizer I would order next time I'm here, it would be this.

Butabara Kushi. Rm4.90 (per stick).

The thing that I liked most about this was the sparse but crisp pork skin. The pork belly had a nice buttery texture and hints of Chinese flavor in it, however I though that it could be tad salty for some.  

Bariuma Teba Karaage. Rm9.90.


Crispy chicken wing seasoned with Shichimi curry salt.

Wafu Toban Beef Steak & Salmon Sashimi Gozen. Rm42.

Grill your own meat! This thing about beef steak - it could be exceedingly chewy and flat-salty, or it could be juicy and nicely seasoned once grilled. This was obviously the latter and also one of the favorites of my meal.

Gyuniku Sukiyaki Nabe Gozen. Rm39.

It's Sukiyaki sauce - not soup, that was sweet and hearty at the same time, like comfort food really. Dip the raw beef slices into raw egg before dunking it into the boiling Sukiyaki sauce.  

Ebi Tonkotsu Ramen Gozen. Rm39.

The shrimp and pork bone soup came jam-packed with rich prawn essence, as rich as the Chinese prawn mee soup, definitely not your typical muted ramen broth. Also came with a dumpling - a massive gyoza.

Curry Udon & Fire Oyster Sushi Gozen. Rm39.

A stone bowl of udon doused in curry powder and served with deep fried oyster sushi roll. I couldn't stomach much of the fat udon as I was quite stuffed by the time I got to this, but be prepared - it could get real spicy.

Roast Katsu & Irodori Sushi Gozen. Rm42.

Thick slices of sashimi delicately draped over a lump of rolled sushi rice, and a massive serving of deep fried pork cutlet. This could get a little dry, so remember to dip it in the sweet-sour sesame sauce at the side.

Okinawa Fu Kakuni & Salmon Sashimi Gozen. Rm39.

Also part of the gozen menu, the Okinawa pork stew - one of Watami's must try dishes. Tender pork meat squished between a layer of fat and a perfectly done tamago. If you're fussy with fats, this stew may not be for you.

Creme Brulee. Rm11.90.

Not the typical dessert you'd expect at a Japanese restaurant. My favorite part would have to be the glistening and crunchy caramelized crust on top. I can just keep on going with the crust, really. 

Matcha Pudding. Rm9.90.

The green tea pudding didn't have that creamy texture I was hoping for, rather a jelly-like texture, with just a hint of green tea flavor to boost. If you'd like a dessert which is not too overwhelmingly sweet, this would be it.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10. The gozen sets are of great quality and quantity. It was huge and I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to stomach-in more dessert towards the end. My top picks would have to be the beef steak gozen, the sukiyaki gozen as well as the pork cutlet gozen. I also noticed that, with the introduction of pork in their menu, the quality of food has improved, drastically or not, I'm not sure, but my meal was definitely better compared to the last time. The tab works out, but for me, prices still lean towards the higher side.

Watami is located at:
Address: Lot F355/356/357, 1st Floor, Rainforest, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, 47800 Petaling Jaya.
Phone: +603-7727 1399 / 016-9206071
Opening Hours: 10am-10pm Daily.

There is also an outlet in Pavilion KL and Paradigm Mall PJ.


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