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FU-RIN JAPANESE RESTAURANT,
Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie,
1 Jalan Usahawan U1/8, Seksyen U1 Shah Alam.
Tel: 03-7802 5245
Business hours: Noon-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm.

Fresh and new fusion food a showcase of bold flavours.

FANS of Japanese cuisine are pretty spoilt for choice these days, with most major malls containing at least one, if not more, Japanese restaurants.

Fu-Rin's interior.

Fu-Rin’s interior.

That said, sometimes going off the usual mall circuit to a place like Fu-Rin Japanese Restaurant at Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur in Glenmarie Shah Alam can lead to a gastronomic adventure. Headed by chef Mike Yip, the restaurant boasts a series of new dishes.

Topped with preserved flying fish roe (tobiko), these Ebi Tango Furai (deep fried prawn meatballs) are a good starter for those dining at Fu-Rin.

Topped with preserved flying fish roe (tobiko), these Ebi Tango Furai (deep fried prawn meatballs) are a good starter for those dining at Fu-Rin.

“The dishes are fusion, but mainly feature the Kansai-style cuisine, which is bolder in taste than the more refined Kanto,” said Yip, who spent five years in Japan from 1993 to 1998 to earn his chops in the cuisine-style.

For starters, guests can try out the Ebi Dango Furai (deep-fried prawn meatball – RM28). Served with wasabi-flavoured mayonnaise, the meatballs are topped with flying fish.

The sting of the wasabi just tinging the mayonnaise to wake one up, complements the meatballs in this sweetish-meaty appetiser.

Tiger prawns.

Tiger prawns.

Another starter to consider is the Pan Furai Wafu Teriyaki (pan-fried chicken – RM28), which has been steeped in garlic, parsley and other seasonings before being thrown on the pan.

The execution is simple, but the chicken fillets exude a nice, gentle aroma of garlic and herbs which intensifies as you pop it in the mouth.

Although there were sauce accompaniments, it was preferable to eat the chicken dish plain to get the garlic seasoning’s full effect.

The raw ingredients for the Hiyashi Natto Inaniwa, a cold noodle dish to counter the hot Malaysian weather, with flat white noodles, dried seaweed, scallions and fermented soybeans sitting in a dashi broth.

The raw ingredients for the Hiyashi Natto Inaniwa, a cold noodle dish to counter the hot Malaysian weather, with flat white noodles, dried seaweed, scallions and fermented soybeans sitting in a dashi broth.

Given the hot Malaysian weather, some cold Japanese noodle dishes would be in order, and Fu-Rin does not disappoint, with the Hiyashi Natto Inaniwa (cold Japanese flat white noodles served with fermented beans – RM38).

Spring onions in a broth of dashi sauce give some savour to the noodles while fermented beans add some bite and a mild flavour. Some may find this a little challenging given the fermented soybeans’ slimy texture at first.

One thing Fu-Rin patrons should not miss out on is the Kuruma Ebi Chizu Yaki (tiger prawn grilled with cheese – RM32 (top (pic) ), where the prawn’s flesh remained tender after seasoning under a heap of cheddar cheese melted over the crustacean.

Leading us off the heavy food trail for a bit, Yip has also prepared Sashimi Carpaccio Aburi (RM48), which can be a little misleading since aburi means partially-grilled, versus what one would understand of carpaccio as a raw dish.

The tuna slices, lightly seared with a blowtorch, are further enhanced in taste by toppings of wasabi, sliced mango, garlic chips and sliced radish.

The toppings give each fish slice a mix of flavours ranging from tingly and sour, to the garlic chips savouriness.

Fu-Rin's Chef Michael Yip, showing off fish freshly flown in from Japan. He's holding a flying fish.

Fu-Rin’s Chef Michael Yip, showing off fish freshly flown in from Japan. He’s holding a flying fish.

Some diners might find the Jumbo Ebi Sushi (King Tiger prawn sushi – RM58) and Fu-Rin Creamer Maki (assorted seafood roll – RM48) a little on the heavy side.

The latter as its name suggests, consists of various seafood, but mainly softshell crab in a maki roll, filled with cheese and onions to add bite and taste to the palate.

But one thing diners should probably not miss is the Wasabi Beef (RM70), served rare and chewy on a bed of vegetables with loads of chopped scallions for garnish, is another fine dish for sharing with fellow diners.

Matcha (green tea) ice-cream with a side of sweet azuki beans may seem a little trite, but there is no denying they are a satisfactory end to a heavy and flavourful meal.

This is the writer’s own observations and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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