Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Umai-ya Japanese Restaurant, Damansara Perdana


We shall now move from a pseudo-foodie post (I say "pseudo" because we all know that the last post wasn't really about food, don't we?) to a post on my favourite non-local food of all time - Japanese.


It all began when msiagirl wrote to me from England to let me know that she would be in KL on Saturday. She proposed dinner. And I never say no to good food. What started out as dinner plans turned out to be a day trip with a bunch of whacky litbloggers who made me realise that we had more similarities rather than differences. After all, how different can we all be? I read. I have books beside my bed, on the table, in the bathroom, in my car and in my handbag. Of course, the book in my handbag is dog-eared, not from excessive reading, but from all the rummaging that I do when I want to retrieve my camera or carkeys.


sashimi

Anyway, after we dropped off the last litblogger at his new place in Damansara Perdana, msiagirl and I drove around in circles hoping to spot a restaurant that would catch our fancy. We wanted something light and healthy and figured Japanese would be perfect. And so it was. Umai-ya stared at us in our faces and we walked right in. If only decisionmaking in other areas were this simple!

Service was excellent from the beginning. I'm always impressed with good service and it makes the dining experience a lot more pleasant. I wish more restaurateurs would realise the advantage of training their employees, but I guess they are usually bogged down with the cost-benefit issue. Which isn't an excuse, really, for several reasons, one of which I just mentioned.



sashimi mori

Since we had pigged out the whole day (some of which I shall be blogging about later), we assured ourselves that sashimi would be a healthy choice. To save ourselves the trouble of identifying which sashimi we wanted, we went for the easiest choice - sashimi mori (RM80/USD24). The platter was incredibly pretty. Everything was thoughtfully presented. The wasabe was shaped like a couple of green leaves and the platter was decorated with tropical flowers. Some items, like the sakura tempo (pink dust), looked like something decorative, but upon closer inspection, we realised that it was edible. After worshipping the plate for a good 10 minutes, amidst chatter and laughter, we proceeded to eat. And trust me, women can talk! Our ratio was 25 sentences to one piece of sashimi. It's a wonder we didn't suffer from food poisoning after all that exposure to the elements.


shrimps

I love the selection of sashimi. The red tuna was fresh and tasty, as was the yellowtail tuna. I love the white tuna which had a smooth buttery taste to it. The octopus and prawns were very fresh and the salmon was firm to the touch. One of my favourite items was the scallops which were so sweet, there was absolutely no need for the condiments.



seabass with sea urchin


This beautiful sight is seabass with seaurchin. The seaurchin had a creamy texture which went so well with the firm flesh of the seabass. Little pieces of oba leaves were placed in the sashimi which created a myriad of different flavours.



taco wasabe

The taco wasabe was adorable. A prettily cut out cucumber held sliced marinated baby squid in a cradle. I savoured each piece slowly, allowing the flavours to linger in my mouth.



chawan mushi


Chawan mushi is comfort food to me. The chawan mushi here was one of the best I had ever tasted due to the quantity of ingredients added to this simple dish.



green tea, black sesame and wasabe ice-cream


For dessert, we had three different types of ice cream. Black sesame was nice, but I found it a bit too savoury for my liking. The wasabe ice cream was beautiful. I have a weakness for wasabe. I love how it hits my nose and causes my head to hurt. Wasabe in ice cream does that too, and somehow, the combination of hot and sweet was potent. A good kind of potent. The green tea ice cream had a slight bitter taste, but I enjoyed it tremendously. A side serving of sweet red beans came together with the ice cream to counter the bitter taste of the green tea.

I've made a resolution to go back to Umai-ya to check out the other non-sashimi items on the menu. After all, if this food had, even for just one night, made me euphoric, imagine what one week of the food can do for the soul.


Umai-ya Japanese Restaurant

G-3A, The Place, Jalan PJU 8/5D

Bandar Damansara Perdana

47820 PJ


Tel: 03-7729 0015


Opening hours: 11.30am - 2.30pm, 6.00pm - 10.30pm

(This post is dedicated to k.t.x. who professes to dislike sashimi, and whom I'm hoping will be soon be converted to appreciate this stupendous dish. After all, good food must always be shared. ;-) )

44 comments:

wmw said...

This is one of my fave place for Japanese food. I like the service and the ambiance there. But it's cooked food for me there! ;o)

~Bee Nee~ said...

oooh the sashimi selection looks so pretty!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

i m heading there..80 bucks for all that?? you must be joking?.. oh yeah how to go there ar?..is dis supose to be near the curve?

Anonymous said...

Ah, reliving our night out together! Beautiful pictures and will always remember it. You know...in Japan they sometimes serve the sashimi off the bodies of women (bloddy sexist eh?) but since you posted a pic of those abs in your last post - I've been wondering... (Flying out from singapore now!) cheerio from msiagirl

Tummythoz said...

Last post not food post? 0.o? But attract so many comments on being hungry?
No comment on this. M one of those odd ones who's still learing to appreciate raw seafood. *rushing back to ur previous post to continue ogling at exposed meat*

tankiasu said...

Oh the sashimi platter looks beautiful. I won't be sampai hati enough to eat them!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

wmw: haiyah...u must try sashimi oso...I teach u ok! hehe.

bee nee: I didn't have the heart to eat it because it was so pretty!

joe: damansara perdana is next to Mutiara Damansara. The Place is right smack in the middle of the commercial area which you will reach if you follow the road. Not difficult at all.

msiagirl!! hi!!! That's an interesting thot...to eat off unkaleong's abs. lol.

tummythoz: women!!!!! I'm getting so many more hits becoz if unkaleong's pic! c'mon...focus!!! this is a FOOD blog. :-P

tankiasu: that's exactly how we felt! That's why we took 2 hours to finish just one plate of sashimi...so sayang to eat!

k.t.x said...

this post gave a jump outa my seat. LOL. u r 'pimping' me in a very negative light....lol. loL,lOL,LOL.

i dint say i 'dislike' sashimis, infact i love them, but i wont order sashimis per se.

will read this post in detail, now, loads of architectural details to be sorted out. LOL. u bad.

jason said...

Fabulous presentation! Teach me how to appreciate sashimi too ya :P

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

k.t.x dahlink, raw fish on rice and plain raw fish tastes bloody different. Of course, I'm no expert lor. Hey, I love pimping ppl and u're no exception. ;-) Btw, when I was 17, I wanted to be an architect. Does that mean we have something in common? LOL.

jason: for you, anything! Looks like we'll be checking out quite a lot of places when you're down in KL hor? When will I ever find time to work??

MeiyeN said...

omg, you are posting my favourite food, sashimi!!!!!!!!! apparently, we wanted to try this jap rest when we explored damansara perdana a year back.. luckily that you review this place, i actually forgot all about it! :D

sc said...

went pass there before, just didnt try (tried the thai rest opposite it, was just so so). reading this, i'm definitely going to Umai-ya soon!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

meiyen: u know wat...I wanted to try this place a year ago too after I saw a review of it somewhere! Unfortunately, like everything else that excites me, I shelved it and forgot all about it. hehe.

sc: with so many japanese restaurants here, it's hard to choose. and I guess we all have our favourites, as well. do try it and tell me what you think.

Henry Yeo said...

Must resist hand reaching into wallet......

Pink Elle said...

The sashimi looks very fresh indeed but I'm queasy about sashimi too! Cooked preferably! :) I tagged you again...hope you don't mind and I promise to do your tag soon!

xiu long bao said...

I used to hate cold raw uncooked sashimi but im now luving it so much (after being introduced to some premium slices) that i must order a plate when dining @ japanese rest. Umai-ya is in my list :)

wmw: Must try sashimi!!!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

henry: resistance is futile.

pink elle: ur tag damn dangerous one..easy for someone to figure out my age...hahahaha.

xiu long bao: oooh u're just like me...must always have sashimi one. U know, when I'm depressed, I must have japanese food to cheer me up. ;-)

jason said...

LOL.. let's see where you wanna bring me to. Aiya, eat is more important. Hope you're not depressed while you're enjoying the sashimi... Hugs

k.t.x said...

LOL. well, i dont know whether it's yr photography or the actual sashimis..lol. but it does look really good. i know i will enjoy it to bits!

according to my jap fren, japs hardly take salmon, in fact they wack those with 'natural' colors, like the yellowtail, white tuna and mackerel etc. i dunt know but i tend to lean towards that direction too.

i hv juz been promoted to work on the tile patterns of a jamban from detailing the waterproofing ......lol. i dont think u'd regret too much being one....lol.

Lee Ping said...

Dear Lyrical Lemongrass,

I wonder how does "oba" leaves taste like.

Eating Japanese food is like digesting art, isn't it?

"25 sentences to one sashimi" How could you resist the beautiful food in front of you? My problem is not with talking but with listening. I always feel it was rude for me to eat when the other person that I am eating with is talking.

boo_licious said...

Looks good. A few food bloggers have reviewed this place before per their website.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

jason: you're the sweetest boy I've ever met! Thanks for looking out for me. Seriously. :-)

k.t.x: hehe..if you think it looks good, it definitely tastes better. :-) Jambans, huh? I guess the world always looks better through rose-tinted glasses. ;-)

lee ping: oba leaves have a very intense flavour which I'm having difficulty in describing. It's not like mint, neither is it like lemongrass..it's like a combination of sharp flavours but extremely tasty, even when eaten on its own. I know what you mean when you say that you feel it's rude to eat while the other person is talking. What we end up getting eventually is cold food. :-)

boo_licious: So they have! I clicked on some of those links, but I guess some are too old and do not exist anymore.

Paprika said...

oooooh the sashimi looks so fresh and succcculent. Your photos are making me drool....

Big Boys Oven said...

Lyrical Lemongrass,

We also a japanese food lover, we can tango the whole nite especially with sashimi. I guess it must be the crunchy texture and the way it melts in your mouth.

By the way, 1st June too long to wait, we already started to blog. Have a look and give us some feedback.

BigBoysOven

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

paprika: sashimi does that to me too! Can never say no to them beautiful things.

big boys oven: I've visited your blog. Love the pics of the cheesecakes, especially with gula melaka in them. Can try ar? hehe.

Henry Yeo said...

Hand reach into wallet...managed to located key...jump into car...engine wouldn't start...PHEW!

I have managed to resist the temptation...but that bloody battery replacement cost me my meal!!!

catsndogs said...

honestly .. nothin so special about japanese food. BUt the special things is... the picture u took too pro , makes me really wanna try it ... since i cant affort go there, jus drop by sushi king and had few plates this noon... wahahaha

Hengster said...

I second Chee How on that!
I regretted not stealing a bite of your sausage cocktail at Laundry after seeing the picture. You did some touch up right!!??

Jackson said...

wow!! Sashimi!! u sure that meal is a light one?

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

henry: LOL. Next time, sacrifice a roti canai for a bottle of battery water lar. :-P

chee how and robert: wei, u guys saw my camera that nite, right? Where got pro one! I don't do much touchups coz i want to maintain the natural look of the photograph. It's all about angles. ;-)

jackson: two people sharing one plate only mah. At the most, we get mercury poisoning lor. lol.

Henry Yeo said...

Interesting that this is your second time eating sea urchin wrapped in sashimi after the omakase menu.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

henry: yeah, i'll never forget my first time. hehe. I love this stuff, man.

Timothy said...

Check out the food man ... it's so designer like. If it was me .. I'd stare at the food and that's about it.

Hengster said...

i might need you to take an angle of me. ...u may make me look nicer...like the food..salivanating..
:P

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

timothy: I so wanna go out with you. That way, you stare at the food all you like, and I'll eat up all da sashimi on ur behalf. Woohoo.

hengster: According to Unkaleong, u have nice abs. When shall we schedule our photography session? I can photograph you at all angles...no problem one. *wink*

Hengster said...

hahaha
as i mention before. Cant believe all the myth and urban legend from Unka Leong. I can draw some abs with marker though

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

don't be so modest la. So do u have before and after pictures of yourself too? :-)

The Expedited Writer said...

this restaurant in is in Damansara Perdana??? Geez, i moved away too soon to enjoy this gem of a place. Must go back there someday to eat, eat, eat!

Hey, love the look of your blog ..;)

Big Boys Oven said...

lyrical lemongrass,

Need your help, I am thinking of doing a cake testing soon, how do they usually do it? Pls Pls give me some idea....

Sid xxx

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

the expedited writer: there are now quite a number of restaurants in Damansara Perdana. I remember, several years back, that the only restaurant worth visiting there was Mum's Place. Hey, I'm glad you like the new look. :-)

Hey Sid..I dropped you a note on your blog. Tasting session shouldn't be a problem.

WokandSpoon said...

Hiya, I jumped here from Flog&Rosbif. Love your closeup shots of the Japanese food! I've never had wasabe ice-cream but seeing as I love wasabe and ice-cream, it sounds like a pretty good combination!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

hiya wokandspoon! thanks for dropping by! You will love wasabe ice cream...it's not as bizzare as it sounds. :-)

catsndogs said...

i can help u with the lighting in taking robert abs .. u should really check out his , after unka leong back bbk.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

catsndogs: u mean i gotta wait that long to photograph robert's abs ar? lol. okie, will take u up on ur lighting offer. U guys are good lar...pimping each other!