Angry looking lobster in the tank at Benkay. Fresh lobster Teppanyaki is available from their a la carte menu.
My quest for a good restaurant that serves good Japanese Food say me trotting off to Benkay. The abnormal proliferation of Japanese Restaurants in KL like a good Catholic that does not believe in family planning has led to a deplorable condition where there is an over abundance of restaurants with very little quality. Some of the Japanese Restaurants are owned by large chains that contribute to the blurring of boundaries between the restaurants, all of which serves to attempt some form of fusion food. Food that attempts to stroke too many senses at one go and ends up miserably on the road to gastronomic perdition. The menu is often frightfully overwrought with misconceived notions of what Fusion Japanese cuisine should be and churns out something quite similar to Gozilla running amok in New York, clueless and seething with rage, which is pretty close to what I feel too after a bad Japanese meal. And we have not even begun to talk about Kaiseki yet.
The interior of Benkay is functional and simple with lots of wood based furniture and bright windows. Unfortunately the Restaurant attracts a new breed of lunch crowd diners whose idea of a civil conversation involves shouting across the table and into their mobile phones. Be prepared for an auditory assault while dining here.
The simple and functional decor is reflected in their lunch menu, which is devoid of any pretensions as well. Their salad was restrained, just pieces of fresh vegetable and corn showered with Shoyu Vinaigrette. The California hand roll which came with my set was mercifully devoid of the horrid Kewpie Mayonnaise that I often complain about. The Sunomono showed too much restraint with the vinegar and was generously sweet, a minor complaint that has nothing to do with the competency of the chef, but personal taste.
The Chawan Mushi was perfectly smooth and topped with Ginko besides the usual Mushroom. I ordered the Udon Set, and was served with beautifully textured Udon noodles in a Konbu based soup with the usual condiments of kakiage, wakame and scallions. There is something about warm and perfected done broth and a good dining companion that acts as a calming panacea for distracted souls. The Udon worked it's magic during lunch.
My Dining companion had the Sliced Beef and Vegetable hot pot set, which was also similar, but came without the Hand Rolled Sushi which was substituted with rice.
Actually. Mondays are not a good day to visit Japanese Restaurants in KL. Fishes are replenished on Tuesdays and Fridays. We cautiously avoided the Sashimi Fish Nigiris and fell back on to Tako and Ebi Sushi which just confirmed our suspicion. The freshness was slightly off, just squirmingly so, but not to the point of being offensive.
Their choices for dessert is somewhat limited. We had both the Green Tea and Black Sesame ice cream which seems to be the basic yet boring staple for Japanese Restaurant Desserts in KL.
No massacres, no mayo and no cheese. Not dazzling, but just good old plain Japanese Food which some people might term comfort food. It doesn't come cheap. Lunch for 2, i.e. 2 sets plus 4 pieces of sushi, desserts and green tea came up to RM110 per pax.
I know that this is a food blog, but sometimes I just can't help myself. I was just thinking about my recent tirade against Thomas Lee's op ed piece, and had thought about the question whether if Morality can exist without God. I am still sticking to my guns.
Sorry for the short post, as I am feeling tired after a long day walking. I am still on Holidays and will be back on the 4th. Ta's!
Benkay Japanese Restaurant
165 Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur