I don't usually like to take Japanese food in KL. Very simple reasons why that's the case: (1) KL does Malay and traditional Cantonese-Chinese food very well so that's what Inormally eat when I'm there; (2) I go to Japan (especially Tokyo) *a lot* and where else can one get better Japanese food than in the country of origin; and (3) Japanese food in KL sucks big time - I'd yet to come across *any* Japanese restaurant in KL where you can actually see Japanese persons or families dining in there.
Anyway, a couple of KL friends decided that, to break away from our "usual" makan trips to Ye Olde KL Dining Spots like Sek Yuen, Yut Kee, Meng Kee et al, why don't they bring me to this "nice Japanese place in a little bungalow" on Old Klang Road? Now, that got my curiousity piqued - after all, I'd always associated Old Klang Road with old-school Cantonese-Chinese dining in rickety road-side, open-air seafood restaurants, "bak kut teh" eateries, or just simple (but very nice-tasting) hawker foods.
Isshin, at first glance, did look rather incongruous - the old bungalow house "used to be a laundromat", quipped one of my friends. Okaaay.
Once inside, it did look very nice - modern, brightly-lit semi-circular sushi counter, plus a scattering of tables. Menus came in the form of individual IPads for the guests, which was great to leaf thru and provided nice pop-up photosof the dishes.
Some of what we had:
- Amuse geule was a fusiony, wonky tuna in mayo, topped with lumpfish caviar. I didn't quite like it as the tastes did not gel together;
- the Japanese-style potato salad which we ordered off the menu was nicely presented with a generous scattering of salad leaves with soy-vinegar dressing. Looked nice, though the potato salad itself was below-par: gluey (over-boiled potatoes) and did not contain any crunchy cucumber or scallion bits to offset the richness of the potato-mayo combination;
- Unagi (grilled eel)-topped sushi was lovely, though they ran out of avocado and substituted that with cucumber. Good, nevertheless.
- Baked scallops topped with creamy-cheese. Now this was really nice. Very good quality scallops with rich, creamy roe. The Japanese mayonaisse-flavored cheese topping was perfect - don't miss this dish if you ever visit Isshin;
- Next, each of us opted for one of the restaurant's dinner sets. I chose the sashimi-tempura combination set, which came with ultra-thick, generous cuts of tuna, salmon, mackerel, etc. Very fresh, very good. Pity about the inferior quality of soysauce and fake wasabi used at Isshin.
The tempura prawns and vegetables were adequate.
Really nice place. The food's adequately "authentic", by KL's standards. I can see why it's popular - mainly local Chinese clientele.
Isshin Japanese Dining
202, Persian Klang Batu 3 3/4
Off Jalan Kelang Lama
58000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 7980 8228