Eastin Hotel Petaling Jaya
13, Jalan 16/11
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
For reservations: 03-7665 1111

Chef Ricky Hui adds his own saucy touch to classic Japanese delights at Eastin Hotel’s Eyuzu Japanese Cuisine restaurant in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

With three decades of experience under his belt, Chef Ricky Hui of Eastin Hotel’s Eyuzu Japanese Cuisine restaurant is something of an Asian “saucier”, the sauce-making expert of European acclaim.

65C947946D9C4CE6982EB316D3A574F4Dine stylishly in Eyuzu.

We found Hui to be quite a wizard with sauces after he got us hooked on his distinctive prawn paste sauce. Mildly pungent and briny, his sauce really enhanced the chunks of lightly battered Soft Shell Crab Tempura (RM35++) that we had at Eyuzu recently.

“It’s made from boiled prawn heads,” was all Hui would divulge.

You could say all our attempts at prying more information out of him hit a brick wall. However, the chef was more forthcoming when the topic shifted to his culinary career.

“I became a kitchen apprentice when I was 17,” Hui said. “My interest in Japanese cuisine was fanned by my own on-the-job experience. I have learned the ropes from different master chefs in the past 30 years. I’ve also worked on board a cruise liner and in several five-star hotels prior to joining Eastin.”

Although some diners are wary of consuming Japanese food following the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Chef Hui said one thing to bear in mind was: just because the food is Japanese doesn’t mean the ingredients are.

The hotel’s purchasing team casts its net far and wide when sourcing for fish, seafood and other ingredients for Eyuzu.

“Our red snapper and shima aji (white trevally) are imported from New Zealand, tako (octopus) from Canada and tuna from Taiwan for our sashimi. We also insist that suppliers pay equal attention to handling and storage of these supplies to ensure freshness and quality when the items are delivered to us,” Chef Hui said.

The proof of the pudding is always in the eating. Luckily, the raw fish slices turned out to be the very epitome of freshness. There was no unpleasant aftertaste, no iffy-ness. But if you intend to indulge your penchant for sashimi here, then be prepared to fork out between RM168++ and RM198++ for a platter of assorted fish.

77353670382F49DA97DBD41C0B511322Addictive: Soft Shell Crab Tempura with prawn paste sauce and grilled eel.– Photos by Ching Yee Sing

A more viable, but no less scrumptious, alternative would be the Norwegian Salmon Trout and Avocado Maki Sushi (RM38++). We thought the vinegared rice was the perfect tangy canvas to capture the brilliant hues and delicate nuances of the oily fish and butter-soft avocado.

Although the Gratinated Oyster Motoyaki (RM17++) isn’t authentically Japanese, it is still an indulgent offering that few people can resist. I daresay that just the mere sight of a whole plump, oversized Canadian oyster smothered in a bubbling layer of melted cheese and cream is enough to leave one on cloud nine. And yes, the taste is sublime.

After all the rich food, you might want to try the King Fish Head with Shimeji Mushroom in Clear Soup (RM23++). We relished every spoonful of the light, rustic broth and enjoyed extracting the morsels of sweet fish meat hidden away in the boney crevices.

Even the simple dish of Grilled Eel with Sweet Soya Sauce (RM40++) deserved special mention. While some Japanese eateries skimp on the sticky, caramelised sauce for this delicacy, Eyuzu is pretty liberal. The pieces of grilled eel on my plate were slickly coated with sweet shoyu sauce. This made the delectable rectangles glisten like fine, albeit perfectly edible, lacquerware.

The chef’s saucy wizardry came to the fore again in the Teppanyaki Grilled Eringi Mushroom, Asparagus and Chicken Roll with Garlic-Butter Sauce. Both the meaty king oyster mushroom and tender chicken meat benefited greatly from the rich, aromatic and slightly unctuous sauce. Yes, the sauce made an already yummy dish all the more delicious.

With the exception of the Banana Tsutsumi Age (deep-fried banana in filo pastry and sweet plum sauce, RM14++), the dessert options here consists of the tried and tested. Though you couldn’t fault the honey-sweet Australian Rock Melon (seasonal price) nor Green Tea Ice Cream (RM11++), it’d still be nice to find something unique to round off one’s meal.

Dining at Eyuzu need not be an expensive affair. One way to get a bit of everything is to go for a multiple-course menu featuring tasting portions of the items mentioned above. You pay just RM85++ per person.

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