Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant,
Level 4, Connection, Pavilion,
Tel: 03-2141 6671
Business hours: 11.00am onwards daily,
1 Utama Shopping Centre outlet
at 1st Floor, Rainforest,
1 Lebuh Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya.
Tel: 03-7727 1399
WATAMI Japanese Casual Restaurant aims to tantalise the taste buds of Malaysians with its variety in Japanese food.
The wood and earthy colours provide a contemporary and cosy dining ambience at the restaurant that has more than 100 items on the menu.
Set meals for two and four people start from RM40++ per person and guests can choose from any of the five set menus available.
Each set comprises seven to 11 side dishes and main courses, including desserts and beverages.
Teishoku lunch sets, served with complimentary salad and drinks, are also available from RM17.90++ per set.
Party rooms can be booked at no extra charge as well.
During a recent visit, we started with the Watami Salad (RM19.90), a tasty combination of crisp greens with red onions, corn, cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets, shredded cucumber, shrimp, teriyaki chicken, nori (seaweed), flying fish roe, and fried wanton tossed with tuna mayo and sesame cream dressing.
We were also served Big Drinks (RM12.90), which are infused with passion fruit paste and green tea. Some are infused with yuzu marmalade and calamansi to add a zesty lemon and orange twist. With the popularity of Taiwanese bubble milk teas, Watami also serves milk tea with black tapioca and teas with black pearls.
For those who would like to try sake, there is the Watami Sake and Shochu. These drinks are bottled by Suntory Japan specially for the Watami Group of Japan. Prices are between RM40 and RM160.
According to Watami operations director Amritpal Singh, customers who enjoy cooking their own food can opt for Gomoku Kamameshi, Chicken Katsu Tamagotoji and Sukiyaki.
Gomoku Kamameshi (RM21.90), which takes 20 minutes to cook, is a traditional steel pot rice dish cooked with bonito, carrot, shimeji mushrooms, tofu pouches, root vegetables and topped with salmon, shrimp, scallops, chicken and flying fish roe in broth.
Chicken Katsu Tamagotoji (RM19.90), features chicken cutlets with scrambled egg sauce.
Japanese restaurant regulars will be familiar with Sukiyaki (RM26.90), a Japanese-style hotpot with slices of beef, nage negi (Japanese onions), tofu, enoki mushrooms, carrots, garland chrysanthemum leaves and cabbage in sukiyaki broth.
Hotate Butter Yaki (RM14.90), a Watami signature dish of oven-baked scallops and shimeji mushrooms on sizzling hot plate, topped with butter, was also served during the tasting. According to Amritpal, this is a favourite among customers.
Those who enjoy sushi can try the Anago Tempura Maki (RM18.90).
Next, we were served the thin-crust Wafu Pizza (RM17.90), topped with teriyaki chicken, mayonnaise and nage negi.
We were also served Tompeiya-ki (RM17.90), a specialty dish from Osaka made with beef, shredded cabbage, tempura flakes, spring onions and stuffed into a cheese-filled Japanese omelette. It is drizzled in a flavourful combination of mayonnaise, okonomiyaki sauce and mustard.
For dessert, we were served Matcha Tiramisu (RM9.90).
The Watami Group was established in 1984 and developed the Ishokuya (i: scene, shoku: meal, ya: restaurant) concept in 1992.
The name Watami is derived from the founder’s name Watanabe Miki. At the same time, “Wa” means harmony and “tami” means people, hence Watami means “gather people to dine in harmony.”
There are 700 Watami restaurants in Japan and 50 across the Asia Pacific region. Soon, they will be branching out to the Philippines and Korea.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.