Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fukuya @ One Bangsar

.....and from the house of joy, we move to the house of happiness, also known as Fukuya in Japanese.

Thanks to the closure of a few main roads in Bukit Bintang on a Saturday last month (for whatever reason that I couldn't recall), my celebrity friend (a Japanese cuisine connoisseur too) suggested that we head to Fukuya instead. Sure, why not?

The Kaiseki Lunch set, at RM52++ seemed like a good deal with 8 promising dishes to make this simply, a celebration of life afternoon an enjoyable one. And of course, a celebration with a celebrity often enough involves stories of politics, relationships and achievements. And every praise that I crowned on this humble friend's head was dusted off with a simple, "eh, please lar" or "aiyoh, sharedub la". Perhaps that's the secret to success.

A for appetiser, A for presentation, A for taste. A glass of bundled Japanese kale, lightly dressed in black vinegar and topped with bonito flakes. It was sweet, sour and savoury. An explosion of natural flavours. The lightly grilled shishamo that came with the kale was fresh with a crispy outer layer (skin). There was also a baked clam with shreds of carrot and daikon, topped with melted cheese.

Staying true to the principle of Japanese cuisine, the clam soup was every sip oozing with the natural sweetness and saltiness from the clams. And perhaps, soya sauce. The shreds of negi or Japanese leek provided crunch and slight sharpness to the soup, which is something I enjoy as a topping for my ramen.

The sashimi set, with its myriad of colours, was visually appetising. The selection of fresh seafood for the sashimi included salmon belly, tuna, squid and a mackerel-like fish. There were also some black roe on the ika which I thought lacked the smoky flavour often exhibited by caviar.

It was also around this time that an oracular icon decided to grace the celebration with an inimitable brand of eloquence and humour, despite having a hangover from a yesterday night's party. Ah, how I envy them celebrity lifestyles.

Next, grilled salmon. I could sense the wonderful aroma of the caramelized glaze before it appeared in front of me. Slightly charred, the fish was moist and flaky. The sweetness of the glaze (which I believe was a combination of honey and/or miso) was beautiful. Slices of preserved daikon provided a touch of savouriness and of course, crunch. Simply simple, it was surprisingly memorable.

A nabe dish, the braised beef reminded me of those Chinese-style claypot dishes. Well, the sauce was definitely different as (being Japanese) it was sweeter with a tinge of salt. The meat was soft and the bits of fat attached to it how we often describe it...melted in the mouth with the slightest of resistance. And there was my favourite source of fibre, negi, to absorb all the sweet juices from the nabe. Give me a bowl of rice and I'll call this dinner.

I cannot remember the last time I had somen. Perhaps when I was still with Ohana-chan in Osaka. It's my favourite! Long, smooth, sensuous, slurp. And like a beautiful, porcelain-faced Japanese girl who doesnt need any make up, just a simple combination of a shoyu soup base and a sprinkling of chopped scallion was all it took to enhance the scrumptiousness of the somen.

And what is kaiseki without a tempura dish. The batter was crunchy while the stems of the green were soft and sweet. Not forgetting a portion of a soft shell crab. A dip which consisted of mashed daikon, lemon juice and soya sauce added extra flavour to the tempura.

Simple enough, the dessert consisted of slices of strawberry, orange and lavender ice cream. Yes, mon amis, lavender ice cream. A something that will make anyone (celebrities included) happy; visually, psychologically and scientifically. Sweetness was optimal and it was indeed, well-scented with lavender. And how creative of the chef to construct the words Fukuya (in kanji) using green tea powder. Interesting.

A fantastic lunch with good ambiance, impeccable service and celebrity friends. A celebration of life indeed. What else could I ask for on a Saturday afternoon? All thanks to my celebrity friends. Oh, I forgot to thank the organizers of the whatever event that caused the road closure.

One Bangsar, 63B Jalan Ara
Bangsar Baru
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : (+603) 2282 1111

Other reviews:
A Whiff Of Lemongrass

Shed tear not, my Ohana-chan.
For no other flower can take your place.


Kenny Mah said...

I think credit has to be given to you and a couple of other Japanese-centric (or if one is less kind, Japanese-obsessed) food bloggers. Even after a hundred and one reviews on Nippon-eats, us your faithful readers are still not bored and gorging on every precious morsel...

Which, of course, isn't exactly the Japanese way. But if you would pardon our barbarianism in our blog-dining style, we'll happily continue to consume whatever you dish up for us... :)

Precious Pea said...

Did President of JFKA officially granted you a permanent membership? If no, let me do it on her behalf! Welcome welcome!!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Chis bedebah. Celebrity indeed. Ptooi.

Nic bin KHKL, I confer upon you, O worthy one, the title Technical Director and Singapore Representative of the JFKA. Congratulations on being the sole male member. (No need to cut off lower body parts to comply with JFKA requirements)

Joe is so gonna kill me. :-)

We are gonna have so much fun, girlfriend!! :-D

Xiu Long Bao said...

President LL,

No need to cut off lower body part but he must at least wear a skirt or buy us 9 course dinner, japanese of course.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

XLB, that is a fair request. Can you ensure that he purchases a skirt, preferably short, but not too short as we don't want too much to be revealed? Yes, the 9-course meal sounds excellent. I'm free May, June and July. I hope all JFKA members will free up their schedules too.

Precious Pea said...

No need to cut off bottom but one request...shave la..wanna see the clean look of pak cik nic, maybe can rename as Abang Nic oledi.

Xiu Long Bao said...

President LL:
Request noted. Maybe I can loan him my brown minis. Not too long not too short. 2nd request also noted. Btw, he will be darn free after his exam.

Precious pea:
err..where do u want him to shave ah?

fatboybakes said...

i guess oracular is preferable to avuncular...
as usual, an inspiring post, albeit a month late. and why is lyrical lemongrass liberally sprinkling chis bedebah on all her comments, the way kylie kwong drizzles soya sauce on all her dishes?

that salmon looks vaguely familiar.

team bsg said...

oh o ! hope we are not interrupting on some secret Ninzzzzalina trysts of a raw fishy order here ...

the ninzaria sobaki tsunami now aftersyoking some Malaysian Idols and nearly neighborhoods are not appearing to be disappearing any time soon now isit ?
..goodness gracious us

Keropok Man said...

Ah.. the presentation is sure good!

i love the green tea calligraphy! now i know what fukuya means! Fu Jia. ;-)

Last time I was in Bangsar must be in 1999!

ai wei said...

one word, WOW! this is impressive!

congratulation to you, become one of the JFKAs.

good luck to you in ur exam. i have finished my final and now waiting nervously for the result.

mimi said...

i like the lavender ice-cream.... new to me :)

New Kid on the Blog said...

Hi, first time here. Your blog is great with nice pic and content. Keep it up.

Alexander said...

This first photo is really interesting. Great craftsmanship and creativity.

Alex's World! -

Nic (KHKL) said...

* again, sorry guys/gals/members for the late paper 2moro..wish me luck! :) *

kenny, wah, thanks bro! i enjoyed writing this one cos the food was good! oh, come may and i hope to blog more about other kind of food already..hehe...

oh, Japanese way of eating is refined...but wait til you see/hear them slurping those gigantic bowls of ramen...drum n bass?? haha!

precious pea, OMG! thank you, thank you! it's such a great honour! like winning my first grammy award! :D :D :D

and phew! for a moment i thought i would have to end my manhood already..haha! i tot u saw me clean shaven at My Elephant last year?? aiyer, i just grew back my goatee lar..hehe...

Lyrical Lemongrass, with my name changed to that, i guess i will still have to cut something lar, hor? hehehe...but again, thank you, thank you President of JFKA!

No, Joe's gonna kill ME! (luckily he's in BKK now)...hehe

Skirt? Can I choose to shave clean instead??? i mean, facial hair...hehehe

Xiu Long Bao, wah! having the time of your life condemning me hor?? so, this is where you seek revenge on all those facts (that you falsely considered condemnations) that i was telling you lar??? hehehe...

your brown minis??? i dun like that argry karler...OMG, i betta shuddup cos still got exam 2moro..i scare of karma... :D

fatboybakes, definitely oracular! definitely an icon! lol on that kylie joke! ya lor, why so much CBs in comments one? i'm still a kid afterall, hor? oh, and actually, the korek spelling is cis bedebah...

recognise the salmon? i can definitely remember the aroma!

team bsg, o wise team! thank you for your reminder...and rest assure that this ninzaria will definitely not be disappearing any time soon for he has learnt that invisible skill from the temple up in the mountain long time ago.

when ninzzzzalinas attack, he'll be ready...with chopsticks and wasabi too!

keropok man, yeah, i agree! that's the first thing that struck me when they brought out the first dish!

yupe, Fu Jia! and it took me a few licks to know it was green tea..hehehe...

aiyoh, u must visit bangsar now lar! changed so much already! nice!

ai wei, yeah, for RM52++, i thought it was a good deal!

thanks! i certainly did not expect that cos the list was super long. *now scared being attacked*!

thanks, thanks! and i'm sure you'll do well...and celebrate yr success at fukuya! :D

mimi, oh, yeah, i thought it was rather special too! even the Japanese food expert loved it! green tea, black sesame and now, lavender! nice!

new kid on the blog, hi there! thanks for stopping by! thanks for the compliment! i enjoy blogging but sometimes can get a bit shiok sendiri lar! haha...yes, i will gambatte! :D

alexander, yes, from the presentation of the first dish, i knew i was in for a visually appetising meal...and fukuya certainly did not disappoint! fantastic!

Big Boys Oven said...

looks good n great pictures

CUMI & CIKI said...

the shishamo luks lk some twisted embryo.. (gulp)! having said that I love the shishamo.. and the rainbowed sashimi wants to find its way into my stomach, oh yes it does! lol

ling239 said...

ur sashimi is glowing too !! hahahaaa.... ^O^

sc said...

aiyo dude, your post on fukuya makes mine looks so pathetic lor..*shies away*

~Christine~Leng said...

An official member of the JFKA already? So many Jap food post lately pakcik! ;P
This is killin' me! ;P

Sugar Bean said...

I wonder if this Fukuya is the same the the Fukuya in Jalan Delima? The presentation of the dishes actually look alike. We haven't been to this restaurant, we shall visit this someday! Looks nice.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

this is UNFAIR!..what did u feed the JFKA wor...

yes..lemongrass..u are goin to be made to lemongrass juice wahahahah!

remind me never to blog about japanese food d lar...kekeke..ur level of photography hit the roof..

fatboybakes said...

kenny mah, aiya, dont feel bad la, going to meet those two at fuckuya with their gigantic equipment, and the animal planet kinda intensity with which they were shooting their prey, was kinda intimidating. if bloggers used that as the golden standard, nuffnang and adsense will go broke la.

Jason said...

See, that's the prices to pay when you hang out with celebrities! :p

Nic (KHKL) said...

big boys oven, thanks! oh, i'm still thinking about the "fu yue" and sesame seed oil dipping..haha! will try to make something out of it :)

cumi & ciki, twisted embryo? haha! looks like we've got another x-file fan in da house! yippee! and yupe, the sashimi was nice...i wish i could replace the sotong with another piece of maguro! lol!

ling239, omg, you remembered my comment! so sweet of you! :) give this place a try and i'm sure you'll like it! the ambiance is very relaxing too!

sc, no lar...aiyo, dun shy away lar...*tempting you with another plate of that sashimi*... :) you post was good lar! i was just lucky to get mr. sunshine's help for the pics since i was there for lunch :)

christine, haha! that was surprising to me as well! and i'm deeply honoured to be the first (hopefully not last) male member...yah, the pakcik had too much Japanese food's time for BLR! :)

sugar bean, i heard that both are the same...albeit the slight difference in pricing...oh, do give this place a try...i thought the kaiseki lunch set was quite a good deal! :)

joe, cool down, cold down...*passing you the fan*..haha! it was a pleasant surprise to me as well! must thank my ohana-chan for the inspiration!

eh, dun be liddat lar...keep posting japanese food! but i think i will need to take a break and eat something close to the heart d...(hokkien mee!)...haha! and thanks for the compliment on the pics! mr. sunshine definitely helped!

fatboybakes, tsk, tsk, kesian this poor, innocent house of happiness. lol!

hmmm, animal planet is preferable to those porn channels' intensity (not that i have access to any, lol). lots of similarities though despite the very much different narration styles and music.

i absolutely agree! such a diversed community we have here! golden standard? CB! but still, thanks for the compliment, man!

jason, i'm still recovering from the flashes! haha! but still worthwhile cos these guys are really a nice, humble bunch with a great sense of humour...aiyah, forgot to ask for autograph! hehe...

Simon Seow said...

Quite value wor, 58++ for kaiseki set lunch.

Simon Seow said...

wtf, to be JFKA member got so many conditions wan ah. I play an aunty before in my form 2 musical play. Can that be consider?

KampungboyCitygal said...

everything looks so..insignificant..full a?

Bernsy said...

congratz mate on being the Sing rep for the JKFA.. hahaha

J2Kfm said...

such pretty photos of japanese food ... drools ... you study in S'pore ah? or working?

Kenny Mah said...

FBB: Yes, well, I'll take your word for it. I've not have up-close-and-personal contact with Makcik Lemongrass and Pakcik Nic's "gigantic equipment" (as you put it). I'm sure they, uhm, intimidate. :P

Joe: Can I pwease have some of that lemongwass juice? Pwetty pwease? Lol.

wmw said...

When I saw Precious P's comment, I laughed out too. Same as XLB, shaved??? LOL!

Nic (KHKL) said...

simon, hehe, i think i finally got a clue on this...we need to have as many japanese food posts as possible to be recruited...and i am not cutting any parts of me! haha!

kampungboycitygal, oh, glad you brought that was quite filling actually! especially after the claypot dish! hmm, wouln't mind a bowl of rice, though..hehe

bernsy, thanks bro! a rather surprising piece of news for me as well! haha! and again, i am not cutting any parts of myself! hahaha!

j2kfm, thanks for the compliment! oh, i've been working in singapore for a few years now...and i'm also studying part-time...stressful life, really..sigh

kenny, ya, about that...when are we gonna have a makan session ar? now that i'm done with the darn exams (well, for a month, at least)...haha!

ewwww...what lemongrass morbid lar u all! haha!

wmw, omg! dun think i have shaved anything below my chin lar..haha! i'm sure precious pea meant facial hair lar, hor? *fingers crossed!* lol!