Generally, I am not a fan of buffets. I prefer sit-down meals where I can order quality portions of food which are served freshly-cooked and piping hot from the kitchen and not having to go choose my dishes from endless lines of food served on buffet tables. More often than not, those dishes have been cooked for some time already and usually kept warm with burners.
Having said that, I do make exceptions for a few Japanese restaurants that offer buffets. These must be restaurants that offer authentic Japanese dishes and not those restaurants that offer every other type of cuisine (ranging from Indian to Chinese to Western) under their “umbrella” of Japanese buffets – you know those restaurants, don’t you?
I have heard good stuff about Hanare @ The Intermark, about how they get their fresh seafood from none other but the Tsukiji market in Tokyo and how they only serve freshly-shucked oysters, never frozen ones. The other plus point about Hanare is that it’s a very cosy restaurant with lots of warm emphasis on their wooden beams, panels and flooring. I like it that it’s not teeming with boisterous diners although the restaurant was pretty well-occupied on the Sunday that we were there.
At RM148++ per person with free flow of sake and beer, this very decent offer is valid until end of March 2013. After that, they may revert back to their regular pricing of RM198++ per pax (with sake & beer) and RM148++ without alcohol (only soft drinks and green tea).
As we recently had a craving for sashimi and in particular, for toro, we found ourselves seated happily in Hanare. We love the luscious and super fresh sashimi carved out with great care by Chef Akira. From the sashimi counter, take your pick of seasonal seafood ranging from oysters, maguro, salmon, kanpachi, amaebi, mongo ika and chu-toro (and not the prized o-toro) … all at unlimited amounts except for the chu-toro which is limited to 3 pieces per guest.
My fill of chu-toro
Appetizers prettily plated in delicate saucers and bowls are laid out for your picking at the sakizuke and salada counter.
At the sushi counter, a wide variety of maki and temaki are freshly made and rolled – just give your order to the friendly chef or pick some up from the plate.
There’s no long queue at the Tempura stall and you can easily get your fill of tempura vegetables and prawns!
Zaru soba and zaru udon are laid out at the menrui table and next to that is the nimono counter where stewed dishes like oden and yasai nimono are offered, all piping hot. The yakimono selection is pretty good, with my favourite fat shishamo, salmon and chicken bites.
Noodles & Oden
I guess our favourite counter is the teppanyaki counter and many other diners share this sentiment too. How can anyone resist fresh plump scallops, tiger prawns, and Australian wagyu? I lost count of the no. of times we went to Chef Eddy Chong with our plates and plates of selected raw seafood and wagyu!
Take your pick – unlimited servings!
Vegetables and Garlic Fried Rice
My 4th plate of Wagyu & Prawns
Juicy, tender Wagyu teppanyaki-style
For the prawns, Chef Eddy cooked them in 2 styles: one covered with a soft cheesy layer while the other is just simple plain teppanyaki-style. I much preferred the latter style as that’s the best way to taste the sweet succulence of the prawns.
Cheesy prawns and scallops
Tiger Prawns, teppanyaki-style
To-die-for Goma Icecream
For desserts, we had nothing but their ice-creams! (although a couple of other Japanese desserts were available) We stuck to the ice-creams simply because they’re some of the best we have tasted. My absolute favourite is their goma (black sesame) ice-cream, full of rich nutty sroma, thick and creamy. I had 3 big scoops of this! LL’s favourite was the matcha ice-cream while DL loved the vanilla… they’re all so good!
If you are like me, someone who doesn’t really go for buffets but is a fan of authentic Japanese fare, then this is one brunch which should not be missed, more so if you are a sake lover – go before their current promotion ends after 31 March 2013.
182 Jalan Tun Razak
Facebook Page here
Open 11.30am to 2.30pm; 6.00pm – 10.30pm