Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Watami At 1 Utama

Watami is the quintessential "Casual Restaurant", and according to their website, they have even trademarked the term "Casual Restaurant" in Japan to be synonymous with their brand.  Wow, I didn't know that was even possible.

In Malaysia, they have a few outlets, namely in Pavilion, Paradigm Mall and 1 Utama.  The outlet in 1U where we dined is on the first floor next to the Starbucks in the New Wing.  I state this here because I was clearly given the wrong information by organizer Ah Bok, who told me it was on the SECOND floor.  Fortunately, with age, I have mellowed, and it no longer hurts the ego to ASK for directions.

The place looks inviting enough, pretty standard kind of Japanese quick dining decor, with the cubicle salons, a nice bar, and private dining areas.  The menu is shockingly extensive, and if you do not know what to order, you'll have a field day deciding on the myriad choices.

To start, Tokujo Irodori Sushi Moriawase, RM25.  I love the way the smooth raw fish dance on my tongue and tickle my palate, whilst being plated so beautifully.

A hot pot of Asari Ishinabe Soup, ..Oooh Lala, lovely fresh clams all opened up to reveal their succulent flesh, in a pot of steamy hot and salty soup.  RM19.90

My favourite for the night, and have actually brought the kids back to sample this.  Gyuniku Sukiyaki Nabe, RM28.  Tender pieces of beef in that soy stock, with the option of additional ramen or udon for those who need their carbo fix, athough   RM9.90 per set of plain noodles seems on the steep side.

The cooked pot of Sukiyaki

Everyone loves Ramen,.... there's even a sitcom to this effect.  I found the stock to be inordinately salty, but according to the guys there, Japanese usually don't drink the soup for the ramen, so it's meant to be salty.  Hmmm, not sure about that.  But I did like the texture of the noodles.  Nagasaki Chanpon Fu ramen, RM26.90.  Actually it's even STATED on the menu that it might be a bit salty as they follow a traditional Japanese recipe.

Hiroshima Fu Okonomiyaki - RM19.90, with pork and shrimp.  An okonomiyaki is like a big err...omelette meets pizza kinda thing.  Not my favourite dish, personally, as I found it a bit too stodgy, and too many flavours to confuse the palate.

Rice ball skewers with miso paste, RM 9.90.  As I was kinda like the latest to arrive, I didn't manage to try this particular dish.

The creme brulee was actually not bad, but then again, since the Japanese are such experts at chawan mushi, you'd think a sweet version of it wouldn't be too mean a feat.

Their house pouring Watami sake, at RM47.90 for a ...300ml bottle, if I'm not mistaken.  Well, it was enough for all of us to get a try.  Love the cute lil blue bottle.
A variety of virgin mocktails, like Passion Fruit Green Tea, Kiwi mojitos and mango mojitos. 

Overall, I'd say the place is reasonable value for money.  I went back again with my brood of kids, who loved the Sukiyaki, and the bill came up to just under RM200 for the 6 of us, eating mainly noodles and two portions of Sukiyaki.

Outlets are at:

Watami Malaysia @ Pavilion KL
C4.04.00, Level 4, Pavilion KL Shopping Mall,
168, Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
T: +603-2141 6671

Watami Malaysia @ 1 Utama
1st Floor, Rainforest, 1 Utama Shopping Centre,
1 Lebuh Bandar Utama,
47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
T: +603-7727 1399

Watami Malaysia @ Paradigm Mall
Lot 07, Level 1, Paradigm Mall,
1, Jalan SS7/ 26A, Kelana Jaya,
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
T: +603-7886 9661


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