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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ishin Japanese Restaurant @ Old Klang Road

It's been very long since we've eaten Japanese food, mainly because of our busy schedule. This day I suggested to try out the newly open Ishin Japanese Restaurant at Old Klang Road. It has been getting over thousand fans over the facebook in a few months, so off we go again. Hunting for some better japanese restaurant.

If you are heading towards OUG from Midvalley direction, it's just located on your left opposite the 3rd Mile Square. It's located in a bungalow just beside the main road. Once you reached there, there are surprising lots of staff to guide you where to park. I think they have more staff at the parking than the restaurant. I will share more of my experience below. Here is a shot of the restaurant from the Old Klang Road.

Parking is plenty and they do double parking around the restaurant as well. No jockey parking though, but they will request for you to remove your car if other diners are leaving. I think it's a disturbance in the middle of the dinner to remove your car, but it might well worth it if the food is good. Let's see.

Once we step into the restaurant, it's almost full house and the 1st question from the waitress is "Do you have a reservation?". No, we answer, and we are directed to the bar seat. Not exactly something I expect and fancy when having a dinner with my wife. No choice, so we move over because we have a movie to catch later on at Midvalley. As we are seated, I checked the area and noticed most of the diners are young family with kids. There are also more diners joining in that's ranging around 40-ish couple. All are wearing shorts and leisure home wear.

I suppose Ishin is family orientated restaurant. Maybe they don't wanted to but because of the location, they are attracting local close-by family for frequent visit. A little surprise though, to me, never have the chance to see that in other japanese restaurant. Good or bad? Let's see.

As I'm around the bar seat, a big plus point because I got my dSLR with me. I quickly snap some shots and here it goes. The set-up is a clean and stylish japanese restaurant, maybe because it's still new. However, the place are basically open area and there is not privacy when having your dinner. There are noise and it's not good.

We go through the menu and the price is not very cheap nor expensive. I thought a good sign and I asked the waitress to recommend what's good. There are no photos available and I don't memorise all japanese foods name, but the waitress is not helpful. In the end, I make my own choice. The waitress are attentive but that soon to change. Keep reading.

A basic set-up, we took the ocha and it's tasteful. From my experience, there are two basic things that determine a good japanese restaurant. It is the ocha & wasabi. If both is good, then you can expect everything else is perfect.

A close up with the appetizer, we didn't order this, but add-on from the house. Free stuff, so no complain. It's good, and tofu is good for health. Japanese eat lots of them and they live very long. So take it!

Alright, first to come is the Shashimi Moriawase platter priced at RM58.00. Served with four type of fish & fresh prawns. We never miss to order a shashimi platter, because that's the main highlight. However, it's disappointing that the fish is not very good. Prawn is very great, but not the fish. Don't mistaken me, the food is good, but I'm comparing it to the best japanese restaurant I've ever tried, and it doesn't give a deep impression. I personally think there are much better japanese restaurant out there. The wasabi is also not good. Try it out yourself and let me know.

But do order a plate of shahimi prawn if you are there, it's very good. I think one of the best around the town.

As we continue to savour our shashimi, the chef is preparing our next order. The soft shell crab maki.

Again, to my disappointment, it's not good again. The soft shell crab is not crispy, soft and tasteless. The vege that and japanese rice is also tasteless. The only thing that keep me in finishing it is because of the mayonnaise sauce & seaweed that give my tastebud something to chew on. There are four pieces of maki and it's priced at RM18.00, a price that I'm expecting good maki.

The next up is the Ishin Bento set priced at RM38.00. It is surprising big portion for that price but with the earlier disappointment, we didn't expect much from this. I will do a detailed review of each serving for you.

The saba fish, this is good. Have it with the wasabi, and it's heaven like with your tears rolling down! That's how I eat my japanese food =)

Tempura, again soft and tasteless. I think they pre-prepare it and keep for serving. Bad. The tempura sauce is also not good, tasteless as well.

A mini portion of the shashimi, basically the same with what we have earlier, just a smaller version. Because it's not served with ice, it got heat up and warm very soon. Eat it fast or it will get worse. I put it with my big shasimi ice bowl to keep it cold.

I think miso soup is another way to find out the quality of a japanese restaurant, so far I'm still right. The soup is not good, and same with the food. No comment.

Some brinjal appetizer, nothing to shout about. Just something to make you full.

Last is the chawanmushi. My wife loves it, and of course, she finished it. Nothing to shout about, but at least it's good and ok. No need to mention about the japanese rice, it's tasteless.

Before I reach out for the conclusion, let me clarify my review. This is not a bad restaurant, but just that I have high expectation for this kind of place. The price is not exactly cheap and I'm expecting good food. Comparing food quality to price ratio, this place does not work for me. It's better than fast food japanese outlet, but there are definitely much better restaurant choice in my post earlier, if you fancy some good japs.

Overall, the place is ok, fill with local diners in leisure wear. It's not a place for romantic dinner with your girlfriend or boyfriend, but kids maybe. For me, it's not up to my expectations, and I'm not going back unless there is some drastic changes to the quality or pricing. Another complain is that in the middle of our dining, the place is packed with people waiting at the door steps. The waitress are very busy and they are not attending to us. However, there are at least 5-6 staff outside directing cars, I'm thinking, WTH.

The whole dinner cost us RM132.00, not exactly expensive but not cheap for that kind of quality. The Ocha is good, but priced at RM3.00 each! Most expensive Ocha, but I don't complain on price if the quality is good. I'm more than willing to pay for it, but not the other food. Maybe it's just me that fancy good dinner and willing to pay a good price for it, do comment if you think otherwise. I'm all open. Cheers!

Ishin Japanese Restaurant
202 Persiaran Kelang Off 3-3/4
Jalan Kelang Lama
58000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 7980 8228
Location Coordiante: N3 06.171 E101 40.662


TNS said...

i like the parking, can eat in peace

KVINLIM said...

that's true also, lots of ppl helping you to take care of your car. but thought no ppl interested with our "kind" of cars =P

Anonymous said...

just came back from Ishin ...
surprisingly it was quite empty for a saturday nite ...

opted for the sushi bar so that i can observe the hygiene and skills levels of the sushi chef ... it is usually a good indicator of the owner commitment to quality ..

bar looks ok .. not impressive ..

1st warning sign ... absence of higher end tuna like chutoro and otoro ... so ordered salmon belly and hamachi instead

but was told that hamachi is not available .. was recommended kampachi instead ...chef indicated that it was the same fish .. hmmmmm ???

anyway ordered as recommended

2nd warning sign ... despite being served on ice ... the slices were not cold ...

commented that to chef ... looked surprised but did not offer to replace

3rd warning sign ... wakamme salad came ... same situation ... warm and cucumbers certainly looked aired (dryish due to left in open air for too long)

from seafood bento set though i must say the cooked food was good, the fried rice, the grilled salmon. and prawns were all tasty and presented well ...

and the teapot soup was not bad .. it took a long time for it to come though .. but worth the wait

Overall experience was indifferent, i felt the layout and the use of iPAd as a menu to be refreshing,

the kitchen for grilled and teppanyaki food is good but

the sushi bar and cold dished totally lacking in pedigree ... it seems to me they were trying to sell common items expensive with emphasis on presentation ..

in fact, i have seen more enthusiastic sushi counter assistant in Sushi King

will i return ... like the many who thronged this place when it first open ... not likely for the price ..:):)

KVINLIM said...

nice review, basically their quality seems like never improve, similar experience to my earlier visit. the place is empty most probably because of the worries on radiation issue, surprise that you still go for japanese foods at this peak time. i avoided all together, just in case. and that might be the cause of limited supply on their fish during that time. I'm not going back though, prefer to spend the money on some better food i reviewed earlier ...

Anonymous said...


i was actually at Rakuzen 2 days before this and the place was packed !! .. so much for fear of radiation in the fish ..:):) i kinda leave the detection to our fisheries import officials ... especially now with the heightened awareness on the "fukushima" effect .. i am certain the guys will catch on this a lot faster than us ...

i cant really put my finger to what is wrong especially when the prepared food from the kitchen were quite ok ... though i thought the cheese flavored oysters were quite tacky from the photos ...

my initial reaction when i encounter situations where differing qualities are evident is

a) cash flow issues with suppliers
b) change in head chefs or key cooks
c) lack of understanding on fundamentals of food quality

all said, though from other reviews the establishment appears well funded and committed to quality

and with the popularity of Nihon Tei down the road, i would be certain that management would not have let their guard down ...

thanks again for sharing your views .. i look forward to your reviews on future hidden gems ..

KVINLIM said...

hehe, other country I'm confident, but Malaysia authority is slacking in my opinion. I better play safe and minimise intake of seafood now. My job teach me about radiation, so I'm taking precaution steps here.

too many food tried but no time to write everything down, pushing my old files out as soon as I can. Thanks for reading!

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