Zipangu – Shangri la Kuala Lumpur

I was dragged kicking and screaming that day because I just didn’t want to venture out to KL in the after work traffic jams. I don’t like traffic jams, and I think in a whole year I can probably count the number of times I am stuck in a jam and so far this day was the first for 2012. I have always timed my shopping sprees and visits and any outing away from our traffic jams, so I was not a happy chappy.

I was told to shut up many times when I went on complaining and even when we reached the Shangri la I was complaining of a head ache attack because of the “long journey” to KL.

So we entered… now I don’t ever recall the staff shouting out welcomes when I worked at the Shangri la. Yes I worked there many moons ago in Public Relations actually. I think Zipangu now is casual and very retro compared to what it was many years ago when it was called Nadaman. Still the old charm exists minus the girls in Kimonos.

So we were seated and for some reason I thought Dan said it would be a buffet dinner and in my mind ahhhh copious amounts of Sashimi. Then we sat down and I noticed it was not a buffet dinner but an a la carte one. Ohh my headache shot up again because I really didn’t have the mood to choose anything and so I just mentioned I’d have a salad of some sort. And then the menu was grabbed away from me. So I left it as it is. I couldn’t make out what he ordered because he spoke behind the menu.

So our food started to appear.

First was the Chawan Mushi and the Braised Cold Chicken.

The Chawan Mushi was light and rich and well had something on top I thoughtChawan Mushi was rather tacky from Shangri la point of view…. Julienned Crab stick!!! Now why? Couldn’t it have been just a tiny bit of crab meat? Just a tiny bit like the size of caviar on a cracker! But no, julienned crab stick. Thank goodness Dan ate the top bit and I finished the bits at the end so I did not have to eat the julienned crab stick. It is not like I don’t like crab stick but it’s just that you would expect to see it in some road side stall and not Zipangu. Taste wise the Chawan Mushi was excellent.

A rather bad photo of the soupNow the cold braised chicken, to me was a tad bit oily. Actually too oily and would have been better served hot. The chicken was a little touch due to over cooking or the fact that it was made much earlier and left to chill but it was certainly something you would eat hot. We picked at it and left it as the other things arrived. We had a mushroom soup with enoki mushrooms and a big chicken ball. Now that was another downer, because 5 star standard, this would rate a 2. It was rough and it was too big to eat daintily in Zipangu setting.

A Orgasmic ExperienceSo now staring us in the face was Foie Gras. I have not had Foie Gras for years and years because you just never get enough, so I don’t bother, but today in front of us was two plates of amply sized foie gras on a slow braised wintermelon I believe. To just cut the foie gras with the teaspoon and slink it into my mouth and while it does not melt in your mouth but the mashing it as the tongue hits your palate is just priceless… oh my gosh… it was like having an orgasm in your mouth.. I just wanted to have more orgasms that night. MORE MORE MORE!!!!

Alas it ended quite quickly.

Next we were served the Hotate Mentaiko which were scallops that were au gratined with Mentaiko which is Pollack Roe ( I think that is the right spelling). Now this dish was presented well, but somehow eating it, it was a dish that was neither here nor there. Pollack Roe gives a kind of pinky orangey color. I don’t know what it was but Dan felt the same. It just lacked something. To me it kind of tasted like a very lightly herbed Italian something or the other and the fact that it was served with four slices of French Baguette kind of made it even more confusing. It was not bad, it was different. Perhaps if it came before the Foie Gras then we would have appreciated it more. It was a good amount of Scallops though, eight if I am not wrong. Maybe it is wrong for me to say but it tasted like a mild gratinated thousand island dressing. It’s just me perhaps. Do try it though, but not after Foie Gras.

What could be better then a few bowls of this? Then came my favorite, my Sashimi Set 200. Oh gloriness to the power of a trillion. It was just not enough I swear, but it was the best Sashimi I have had in a long long time. The pieces were thick and succulent, the butter fish which is generally not a favorite of mine was as its name suggest, melted like butter in the mouth. Now whenever I order sashimi I always cancel the prawns, but of course since Dan ordered it, he didn’t bother to. So I was a bit queasy about the prawns till I was forced to try it and LOW AND BEHOLD…. It was gorgeous. I have had prawn sashimi before and always felt like throwing up. I do not like prawns, cooked or not. But it changed at that moment.

Funnily enough, the prawn did not have much prawn flavor, which was fine with me and the consistency was difficult to explain. How I wish I took a photo? Something was obviously done to the prawn to give it that texture. It is like eating Har Gau, the prawns are crunchy and big and yet does not taste prawny at all. This was kind of similar that day at Zipangu.

Still it was a wonderful dish… garnished delightfully on a bed of ice to ensure freshness and you know presentation presentation presentation. All in all, perfect, I came, I wanted and I got! All that garnishing after the fish was gone… what waste… How I wish the whole bowl was filled with sashimi instead…when pigs fly!

Kampachi Fish

Next came the Kampachi Fish. Well as you know I am never keen on cooked fish, moreover one with the skin still intact. Now as crispy as they say they can make fish skin, it’s still fish skin, and I don’t like it. So I was forced to have at least a morsel of the fish and so I did and it was really nice, minus the skin of course. The fish was perfectly cooked, and the sauce did not over power it like a curry would often overpower a fish. Of course the fish was very fresh so that added to my interest. Would I order it again, perhaps not. But it was nice. I did not however think the salad that came with it complemented it in anyway, perhaps it was a garnish but I like my vegetables so I ate it all.

Then we had the Sukiyaki Set. This came with the much needed salad, Miso soup and rice. The beef was of course excellent, just cooked enough and not overdone. I did think though that it looked rather insipid. I think the appearance was not tempting and this could be the fact that this was the last dish served and we were full.

The soup was nice, as any Sukiyaki can be, there was enough sake and so that took away the sugar sweetness so it had a nice alcoholic sweetness. It was a good broth, and we would have enjoyed it thoroughly if we ordered two set meals without the whole enchilada. I finished all the salad by the way. Actually after saying all that, I believe we finished everything except the rice because we’re on a DIET!


Dessert. Now this is when I like a Japanese Buffet, or at least the one I went to on my birthday. I love good green tea ice cream and I do not mean one scoop. But that’s what we got sadly, one scoop of ice cream with red beans ok a quinelle of red beans. It was of course nice, but more is nicer.

All in all it was a memorable night. I would like to thank Dan for a wonderful dinner that day. Truly mystifying, truly orgasmic with a tsunami of tastes running down my gullet.

Go to Zipangu, although you should make sure you go with someone who has a Shang Card!


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