Ozeki, is no longer a foreign name for most food enthusiasts. As the dinner crowd starts to pour in, the aroma of Japanese dishes fill the air. Very soon we were settled on our seats, and with rumbling stomachs, we look forward to a beautiful evening.
An array of different fish cuts greets one at the entrance of this established Japanese restaurant. One step down, lies the the oysters fished out from the vast ocean.
Drawing inspirations from the Kanto Prefecture (i.e. Tokyo), head chef Hitoshi Kimijima came over to Kuala Lumpur to share his passion of Japanese food to the locals here. The rest, they say, is history. Having rooted here in Kuala Lumpur for more than 15 years, Ozeki has won numerous awards and have whipped up おいしい (delicious) food to both locals and Japanese expats alike.
Ozeki 10 Kinds Appetizer [RM 80.00]
A serving meant for 3-4 in this case, but easily customized to the customers’ preference to suit the size of the party. The variety of appetizers are seasonal as well.
For that night, we were particularly served :
- Kimpira Gobou – Pan fried burdock root
- Maguro Kakuni – Blue fin tuna fish simmered in soya sauce
- Koebi Karaage – Deep fried small shrimp edible from head to tail
- Maitake Ohitashi – Flower mushroom seasoned in mustard sauce
- Potato Salad & Kyuri Mayo – Japanese style mashed potato and cucumber slices with mayo
- Edamame – Boiled green soya bean with salt
- Pirikara Konyaku – Simmered spicy Japanese yam pudding
- Nasu Sumibiyaki – Charcoal grilled eggplant with bonito flakes
- Iidako Garlic Sautee – Pan fried baby octopus with garlic onion soya sauce
- Nankatsu Karaage – Deep fried spicy chicken soft bone
Using fresh ingredients, this is a good way to start the meal. Also helps ease the wait for the other dishes.
Sashimi Moriawase [RM 220.00 – Ozeki]
Apparently imported directly from Japan, the sashimi here is one of the freshest possible as well. Several levels are available for selection (named after the 4 levels of sumo wrestling champions). Combining the regular Malaysian favorites like Salmon, yellow tail, red tuna, etc, with other more interesting ones like sea urchin, the Ozeki selection makes for a well-balanced platter. The sashimi here indeed does rank among the better ones available in Malaysia. gNOme 1’s favorite was the sea urchin, which melts in your mouth and has a nice oily, yet creamy taste. gNOMe 2’s choice was the salmon.
Sushi Matsu [RM 180.00]
12 kinds of nigiri sushi and 6 pieces of rolled sushi. Yay to すし (sushi)! Similar to the sashimi, this was an excellent selection as well, with the unagi being noteworthy for its freshness and excellent flavors.
Salmon Shiokamayaki [seasonal]
Ovenbaked salt roasted salmon block, baked within a huge lump of salt. Just like salted baked chicken, the flaky salmon meat absorbs the salts it is roasted with. However the meat was a little too dry and flaky for our liking.
Mini Tomato Garlic Miso Sautee [RM 18.00]
Cherry tomatoes in brilliant teriyaki sauce. This makes for some delightful finger food. The gNOMes really enjoyed it. Literally sweet and simple.
Escargot Garlic Butter Yaki [RM 28.00]
Oven baked France escargot with chef’s special butter sauce & Japanese seaweed flakes. The butter sauce was nicely fragrant and an interesting french flavor to the whole mix.
Buri Kama Ikura Meshi [RM 80.00]
A hot pot of specially steamed rice with yellow tail soft bone fish head. One pot is able to feed 2-3 hungry diners. This was indeed a very tasty one. Using the highest technology in food processing and waste management, only fish heads are imported from a fish processing facility in Japan. The fish heads are softened using a state-of-the-art food processor. The fish is then flown to Malaysia and cooked in a pot with the rice. The result is a yummy pot of rice full of fish essence and goodness.
Kaki Shungiku Salad [RM 35.00]
An interesting bowl of salad here at Ozeki – Chrysanthemum leaves, white turnip, persimmon, smoked duck dressed with Yuzu and coriander paste.
Foie Gras Teriyaki [RM 48.00]
This was actually the stand out dish among all the dishes served that day. Foie Gras served with chef’s special 2-fold teriyaki sauce. This secret sauce which he made famous for 16 years balances out the fatty foie gras so well that it did not feel overwhelming.
Lobster Gratin [RM 180.00]
Oven-baked Boston lobster with a special homemade gratin sauce. Lobsters are taken live from the tank here at the restaurant to ensure maximum freshness.
Kimuchi Chige Nabe [RM 120.00]
What’s interesting is that Ozeki serves Korean style spicy bean paste soup in hot pot here in a Japanese restaurant. This dish is Chef Kimi’s own take on Kimchi hotpot soup. To his surprise, this soup is actually popular amongst his Korean customers.
Wagyu Saikoro Steak [RM 58.00]
Using Japanese beef from Kobe, these beef dices were served medium rare. Unlike Malaysian beef, these guys were absolutely tender. Although it didn’t melt in the mouth, it was quite close to it. Fitting quality for its price
Spicy Premium Roll [RM 36.00]
A roll made with premium big scallops with a twist of spiciness that comes from cili padi and chili powder. It wasn’t too spicy for the gNOMes though it was tasty.
Smoke Oyster [RM 48.00]
Flown all the way from Spain, fresh oysters are smoked. A favorite amongst the Japanese customers.
Volcano Roll [RM 42.00]
Being one of the pioneers of Japanese food, one’s recipes will tend to be copied over a period spanning a decade. An original recipe of Chef Kimi, this he claims is the first in Malaysia of its kind. Oven-baked California roll topped with creamy seafood sauce gratin.
Ankimo Tai Roll Mizuna Salad [seasonal]
An exquisite dish consisting of monkfish liver with snapper, topped with Kyoto’s mizuna salad leaf with Yuzu dressing. An acquired taste, indeed.
Hotate Steak [seasonal]
They don’t call this steak for nothing! Air flown all the way fro Hokkaido, this piece of scallop is humongous!
Verdict : One of the pioneers of Malaysian Japanese food, this place is indeed one of the best at what it does. Want to impress your homesick Japanese customers with their own cuisine? This is the place, because in addition to serving up the classic favorites, Chef Kimi isn’t afraid to add his own twist, drawing on his vast experience in Italian and French cuisine to great effect.
Our picks for the night – Sashimi Moriawase, Sushi Matsu, Mini Tomato Garlic Miso Sautee, Buri Kama Ikura Meshi, Foie Gras Teriyaki. 🙂
How to get there :
Address : Menara TA One, Ground Floor, 22, Jalan P.Ramlee, 50250 Kuala Lumpur
Contact Number : +603 2166 4263
Opening Hours : DAILY. 1200 hours till 1430 hours. 1830 hours till 2300 hours.