A worthy, value-for-money Japanese set lunch. The last time I was impressed by such a deal was back in 2008, when Lyrical Lemongrass, FatBoyBakes and I met for an eight-course kaiseki lunch at Fukuya, Bangsar One. I did find out later that Fukuharu also belongs to the owner(s) of Fukuya. That explains the similar minimalist interior, warm hospitality and affordable, homey Japanese food.
If not for FBB's dive wife (she's an admirable runner too), who'd highly recommended the set lunch, I wouldn't have travelled the distance to come to the TERRACE, given how horrendous the traffic can be like along Jalan Ampang. But more importantly, I wanted to catch up with her and share my recent running experiences.
After a run earlier in the morning, I was certain that one set lunch (Japanese, especially) wouldn't be enough for me. But I was assured that the portions here are huge. The dishes rolled out one after another, starting with the salad, chawan mushi, choice of main dish (I chose the saba shioyaki, or grilled mackerel sprinkled with salt) and a bowl of hot soba (one can choose rice instead). The selection was J-typical but the ingredients remained fresh. Especially at only RM38+, there was nothing left to complain about, really. But of course, the stomach was only half filled, at best. But that's not their fault.
Somewhere between deploring the erratic slopes along the Putrajaya Night Marathon route and planning for the insane Western State 100 Mile Endurance Run (it will not materialise, believe me), we were served the mini kaiseki appetizer platter, which I'd absolutely forgotten. It was surprisingly a plateful. And of relatively good quality too. Among others, the salmon sashimi slices (and cubes - with a wafu-style dressing and served in a shot glass) were considerably fresh, the riceball-coated deep-fried prawn came à la minute crispy and there was even a cut of well-seasoned roast duck. Now that's what I call worthy.
Our fervent discussion on running went on for some time (covering Asics/Saucony shoes versus the world, introversion of runners, strategic locations to hide hydration bottles while running, etc), paused only for dessert (part of the set). It was a simple, flavourful scoop of vanilla ice cream, interestingly drizzled with black sesame sauce.
Fukuharu brought back good memories of Fukuya at Bangsar One. Both restaurants offer unbeatable set lunches in a relaxed setting. Personally, I think that this is a better option for a weekend gathering of few friends than to splurge on a chic restaurant where just the appetizer of colourful foams and a deconstructed iced lemon tea cost more this set lunch.
TERRACE at Hock Choon
241-B, Lorong Nibong off Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia