It’s springtime in Japan now and it’s the season of sakura and hanami in the Land of the Rising Sun. If you are in Japan during this season, you’d be blown away by the glorious sights of sakura blooms in parks and gardens. But if you can’t be there, no worries. If you can’t get to the sakura, let the sakura come to you! That is exactly what is happening at Genji now.
Sakura blossoms air-flown all the way from Japan!
Spring is when new life sprouts from Mother Nature and some of the special items specially flown in during this period are seasonal fresh ingredients like sea bream, shellfish and the unique rape blossoms. The delicate little yellow blooms of the rape blossoms have a light spongey texture and leave a hint of bitter after-taste, which I find very interesting and inimitably tasty.
Fresh crisp Rape Blossoms
Chef Richard Teoh used the rape blossoms in 3 of his sakura dishes. Blanched stems of the blossoms were used in the Maguro Nano Hana Nutta Ae pairing them with chunks of succulent red tuna with miso sauce.
Maguro Nano Hana Nutta Ae (RM39)
Rape blossoms were also used creatively in Chef Richard’s teppanyaki and tempura dishes. In the Wagyu Beef Nano Hana Maki, thinly-sliced beef were rolled with the stems of the rape flowers. The sweet juiciness of the premium beef paired well and masked the light bitter tang of the rape blossoms.
Wagyu Beef Nano Hana Maki (RM120)
The lightness of the tempura batter helped to retain the freshness of the flower buds and I loved how fresh they tasted. The Nano Hana Tempura is a must-order for all tempura lovers!
Nano Hana Tempura (RM45)
Sea breams and clams are at their best during spring and these are freshly flown in from Japan. Leveraging on the fresh harvest, Chef Richard showcased them in the Tai Usuzukuri where thin slices of sea bream fillets are arranged prettily on a plate and a dash of ponzu sauce is all that’s needed to savour the sweet marine flavour of the fish.
Tai Usuzukuri (RM130)
I absolutely adored the simple preparation of Hamaguri Jiru with plump clams bobbing in the heart-warming miso soup. The fresh clams imparted their distinctive sweet flavour to the piping-hot broth and every spoonful was a delight to the palate.
Hamaguri Jiru (RM28)
Spring is also the time to sprout new ideas and Chef Richard has created several new dishes to the menu. You may say sashimi is still just sashimi – fresh raw fish. However, with spring in the air, seasonal species are readily available, like kanpachi, tai, hokkigai and these made up a spectacular platter. Sashimi platters are served according to desired portion size, so pricing is flexible.
Sashimi Moriawase Tokujyo (RM380) – the premium set has everything that will make sashimi lovers salivate!
How about some Unagi Chawan Mushi? Thick fat slabs of roasted unagi sitting on top of wobbly smooth egg custard – that’s something really worth digging in and savoured slowly!
Unagi Chawan Mushi (RM28)
Did you say you love unagi? Well, check out Chef Richard’s creative Unagi Avocado Ura Maki, a reversed roll with thick pieces of grilled eel topped with avocado and shaped beautifully into a dragon!
Unagi Avocado Ura Maki (RM72)
Besides meaty teppanyaki, do try the Kue To Enoki Teppanyaki which is grilled garouper with enoki mushrooms topped with yakiniku sauce. It’s a hearty portion and if so desired, have some plain rice to go with this – it’s bound to satisfy.
Kue To ENoki Teppanyaki (RM85)
Don’t leave out the desserts…
Goma Ice Cream & Japanese Pudding
The Sakura Spring Blossoms Food Fest is available till end March 2017 while the new dishes are already on the menu. Go celebrate!
GENJI JAPANESE RESTAURANT
Hilton Petaling Jaya
2 Jalan Barat
46200 Petaling Jaya
Those tuna belly, yums!