Monday, January 20, 2020

YummY! - A Wagyu Beef Experience @ Shin Nihon (新日本焼肉党)

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                                                     YummY!                                                       Jotaro's Food Review     

Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - January 2019.
There's this place in Sri Hartamas that serves one of the best Wagyu beef in the Kuala Lumpur. No, I correct myself, it serves one of THE BETTER Japanese Wagyu beef in the Klang Valley!
Eating here is like a little adventure and also an educational affair of learning more about the eating of Japanese Wagyu.

The waiting staff were very attentive and the captains very knowledgeable in making recommendations to suit one's palate. Just tell them what you like; but if you are unsure let the menu lead you in a "Omakase Style" of eating; we will come to this style later.
Let's start off with a green mountain of Kale Salad, it was strip cut with a slice of tomato topping it, and a few fawning ones around the base. The kale is very fresh and the creamy sour salad flowed down like lava from a volcano.

Together with the salad, we started off with the Premium Wagyu Aburi Nigiri (Premium Wagyu Beef Nigiri), it's a sliced Wagyu blanketing the rice. This simple sushi was a starter, a teaser made with seared marbled beef to whet our appetite for more Wagyu to come. The slice of beef  though small gave hint of the tastiness of what is to come. It got me impatient, haha! Oops.... better calm down, the atmosphere here is quiet and Zen-like. OM....

Next came the Garlic Fried Rice, served in a stone bowl and like all the rice dishes here its made from Uonuma Koshihikari Rice that comes from Niigata (or simply called Niigata Rice),  the No. 1 rice producing area of Japan. Coming from the fertile soil of the Echigo PlainsKoshihikari Rice is sworn by many to be the best in Japan and is famous for its taste.
The rice fried from this rice has live up to its name, short stumpy with individual grains sticking out, it was savory and with a delicate sweetness all its own. The slight crispiness and light bitterness of the garlic added to the overall flavour. Yes, it's a bit early in the meal to be taking rice and it would have been better to go for the Wagyu beef first; but we were hungry and just had small nips of this, just enough to ease our appetite for greater things to come.

The Negi Jo Tan (Special Salted Beef Tongue) came in the long black platter, their red colour contrasting and sticking out from the black. The dish came with a small bowl of onions and scallions.

The tongue were just salted on one side and came with half of the serving showing the salted (redder side) still having evidence of sprinkling of salt. Tongue has been one of my favourite beef cut, it being tastier; and "Jo" Wagyu tongue meant that it's a special which added another notch up to my level to my liking.

We also had Negi Tan Shio (salted beef tongue with green onion), seen above on the right-most plate. It came with wetter seasoning and a light sprinkle of sesame. Both these cuts were lightly grilled over the charcoal.

Just nicely grilled tongue with some scallion on top and a squeeze of lemon equates to ..... YummY!

Before the main Wagyu course came, we had this Gyu Cream Korokke.

It's a croquette with a creamy mix of minced beef and vegetables inside.

The Gyu Hitsumabushi (grilled sliced Wagyu beef & minced beef rice) came with the rice in a covered brown, wooden bowl, and the Dashi Soup in a black teapot. Okay, okay, this is the first time I am eating Hitsumabushi, so let's figure out how to eat it.

No worries though, one won't be totally lost. With the dish comes a simple 4-step  instructions on how to eat it - I did mention that eating here was a learning experience, didn't I 😊?

We open up the cover of the wooden pot to reveal the treasure that lies within - slices of medium-rare Wagyu on on side and brownish minced beef on the other side. Both sitting like a carpet on top of and almost fully concealing the rice below.

Scoop some of the beef and rice into one's own bowl to savour a combo of both meat with the rice. The Niigata Rice has lived up to it's name, the slight sweetness in it's core came out to enhanced the dish.

And now, the piece de resistance, what we came all the way for, and one that should not be missed when dining at Shin Nihon!
This is the Omakase Premium Japanese Wagyu! "Omakase Style" means Chef's Selection; it's for people who are dining here for the first time (i.e. green horns like me) OR for people who wants a range of good cuts to share among friends. The Omakase here is selected daily by the head chef from air-flown in Wagyu - either from Japan or from Australia. The ones from Japan are more pricey; since we're here for the first time, we of course went for the best and ordered 400 grams of Japanese Wagyu.

These cuts are really a beauty to look at and to feast with the eyes first. Their different graininess looked so attractive.

The Omakase comes in four cuts and to help patrons identify the cuts, each of them are identified with a tab showing the name in both English and Japanese with a diagrammatic cow indicating which part of the cow the cut is from. As you grill and savour the meat, do note which cut you are like so that in future you could just select that particular cut.
We had ordered 400 grams of premium Japanese Wagyu; and for today the chef had selected (from left to right) the Chateaubriand, the Uwamisuji (Lean Top Blade), the Sato Momo (Outside Round) and the Kata Rosu (Chuck Eye Roll).
The Chateaubriand  a thick steak taken from the beef short loin, either a porterhouse or a T-bone.
The Uwamisuji (Lean Top Blade) is not an easy meat to handle, it's a top-blade cut that has lots of tendon/sinew and the chef have to expertly cut slices to avoid these sinews. But it ends with a rewarding meat that is so savoury by itself without the need for any seasoning, which makes it great for grilling.
Round cuts come from the the "round", the rear leg of the cow which means it's lean cut and it is moderately tough. The Sato Momo (Outside Round) comes from the top part of the Round cuts, nearer the rump and is thus not so tough. This cut is for those who like lean meat.
The Kata Rosu (Chuck Eye Rollcomes from the shoulder area which is known for their rich, beefy flavor and natural tenderness. With more fat to enhance grilling aroma and flavorfulness, this is my favourite cut.

For those who are keen on what they are eating, the menu comes with a diagrammatic cow show where the different cuts are from.

To balance off our meal, we ordered a set of vegetables for grilling; these included bell Capsicum, onions, mushrooms, carrots, corn, pumpkin, etc.

Each of us were provide with an eating plate and a sauce plate.

And no worries here too, as the menu has another photo showing what each of the sauce or garnish is suitable for.

Our meat are soon on the grill with the charcoal burning below. Surprisingly charcoal fire is hotter than a gas fire and they usually don’t flare up like open flame gas grills. An the charcoal leave a nice smoky flavour too.
The meat were easy to cook, and they cook fast too depending on how "rare" one wants the meat to be. I like my meat rare and less than half-a-minute grilling before flipping over to cook the other side is just good enough for me.

The veggies goes onto the grille to and surprisingly take longer to cook than the meat, especially the pumpkin.

As the meat cooks, the aroma wafted over making us eager to sink our teeth in and our palate impatient to savour the taste.
This is Wagyu at it's best!

Below are Shin Nihon's Menu, for a link to their on-line and up-to-date menu click here. If you can't wait, just scroll down and whet you appetite:

Shin Nihon's Omakase Wagyu Steak Menu.

Shin Nihon's Steak & Slice Beef Menu.

Shin Nihon's Salted Beef Tongue And Offal Menu.

Shin Nihon's Beef Shushi & Raw Beef Menu.

Shin Nihon's  Kimchi & Namul Menu.

Shin Nihon's Salad & Vegetables Menu.

Shin Nihon's Ala Carte Menu.

Shin Nihon's Fried Dishes, Premium Wagyu Beef, & Wagyu Rice Set Menu.

Shin Nihon's Niigata Rice Menu.

Shin Nihon's Noodles, Soup, & Dessert Menu.

Shin Nihon's Beer & Hard Liquor Menu.

Shin Nihon's Sake Menu.

SHIN NIHON (新日本焼肉党)
26, Jalan 24/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Phone: +603-2856-7350 / 012-373-9554
Mondays to Fridays: 5:30pm-1:00am
Saturdays & Sundays: 12:0pm-2:30pm     |     5:30pm-1:00am
GPS & Direction Map : 3.16281, 101.65076
(Click here for Google Street View)
Note: there's now worries about parking in this busy locality; the restauant provides reliable free valet parking.

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