(no pork served)
I came to know about Kin Shui Tei after reading FBB's blog. I have a natural aversion to PJ. It is a nightmare for me to navigate around, because the residents are housed in similar looking houses and a perfunctory playground in the middle of a few houses. The similarity is confusing and scares me. I have only started staying in KL since July 2007 and it took me this long to grasp my way around and to learn the acronyms of the numerous highways which serve a rather redundant purpose of hastening my arrival to another bigger jam.
Thanks to SatNav, I have ventured infrequently to PJ, and am able to drive to IKEA without any incidences like hammering my GPS unit into smithereens. Or tearing out my hair in frustration. As usual, I opted to start out early in order to arrive at Tropicana Golf Resort to avoid being a pain in the neck to the rest of my dining companions.
The journey there was incident free, except for 2 wrong turns along the way. Big bungalows dot the road that lead to the Clubhouse of the Golf Resort. A few were tastefully designed, but some were a vulgar display of wealth. It felt like a competition in the schoolyard and trying to shock your friends with who can say the most obscene word and hence gain the scout's badge for being the most foul mouthed.
Maybe a different set of aesthetic principles apply to those who can afford to squander a few million Ringgits to built palatial homes. Who am I to judge anyway? But this was not the PJ I imagined to be and made a mental note to try to venture to the suburbia more often.
The menu at Kin Shui Tei is extensive. Very ambitious and a little too comprehensive for comfort. I am usually very wary of restaurants that have a very extensive menu. Some form of sacrifice usually has to be made in order to produce an extensive menu. The interior of the Restaurant is fairly pleasant, with a view of a small Japanese inspired garden with a small fountain.
The restaurant is large, with a common dining area that is sensibly partitioned for privacy. There are some private tatami rooms available too. They are well stocked with Sake and some wines. The Captains of the restaurant were fairly knowledgeable and service was prompt and efficient.
Our lunch started off with some Deep Fried Gingko. The slightly bitter sweet tasting nuts were a bit on the hard side and came lightly salted. It is very hard to go wrong with this simple dish. The next to arrive was the clear and simple Dobin Mushi, which is basically Dashi Soup, with some seafood and mushrooms thrown inside for flavour. The soup was served inside a little Dobin Pot and with a squeeze lime, the union was perfect bliss.
Absolute Japanese Cuisine Purist should stop reading at this juncture. The Jumbo Salmon Skin Maki was pleasant enough and came with a dollop of bean paste on top. The Salmon Skin was flavourful and crunchy. The Golden Roll Maki was filled with Unagi and the outer layer wrapped in Mango and Black Tobiko Roe. Both Makis were palatable enough and not offensive, but struck a rather discordant note in terms of purity of taste.
Like wise with the Carpaccios. The Kanpachi fillets were raw and fresh, while the succulent Wagyu was lightly seared. It was served with Avocados, Mayonnaise and some oil browned garlic. A tad overwhelming, but should please for lovers of comfort food.
The oysters were fresh and succulent, and came deep fried with garlic. However, the Uni Tofu was too watery and did not do justice the creaminess of Urchin Roe.
One dish that was unanimously unfavourable was the Hotategai Shuto Cream. It was an overdone, mushy, unidentifiable mess smothered in cream.
I think we just ordered the wrong dishes here, and went overboard with the noveaux, "fusion" dishes. The ingredients were obviously fresh and well prepared in it's own way. It would be a charming place to meet and mull over business, the food is beautifully presented and is probably pleasantly palatable enough for everybody and not too obtrusive.
I know I am not my usual verbose and effusive self. I would certainly give this place another go, but will stick to the Classics instead. Lunch for 4 was approximately RM400 after taxes.
Kin Shui Tei
Jalan Kelab Tropicana,
47410 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: 03-78042079 / 03-78804437 ext 315
Thai Horchiak @ Taman Muda Ampang
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