Shijimi Clam shells

I was miserable.  I had been working through Chinese New Year and the weekend after that, and all I wanted to do was spend some time with the husband over a nice meal.  We had several choices at Doubletree and the Intermark, but in the end, as we made our decision, it didn’t feel like much of a gamble to visit Hanare, a reincarnation of the popular and highly rated (and now defunct) Tykoh Inagiku.  Quality and freshness is a priority at Hanare where seafood is brought in from the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo three times a week.  Shipment had just arrived the day we visited.  Joy.

As we pored over the menu, my initial reaction was that of shock.  The prices were probably some of the highest I’d seen, but as we talked through it, we told ourselves that we would not be cost-conscious and deprive ourselves of a potentially good experience.  As we rattled off our order to the Manager, I casually asked if they served an omakase menu, to which he replied in the affirmative.  An omakase is a great way to acquaint one’s self with the Chef’s specialties, and at RM250 per head, it seemed very reasonably priced.  Like most omakase experiences, a menu wasn’t provided and we left our fate in the Chef’s hands, merely giving him a couple of our special requests.

Perhaps it was the wine, perhaps it was the sake, perhaps it was the food, perhaps it was the company, perhaps it was the release of tension and stress, but it was one of my most pleasurable meals in Kuala Lumpur in a very long time.  The cacophony of laughter from the table beside us merely added to the enjoyment, and not surprisingly, as the night went on, I found myself smiling more and more as I submitted myself to the flair and mastery of Chef Sudo San.

Ground Floor, The Intermark
182 Jalan Tun Razak, KL

Tel: 03-2164 2133/2164 2633

Note: In addition to the ala carte and omakase menu, Hanare also offers a champagne brunch every Sunday priced at RM298+ with champagne and RM150+ for food alone.

Yuba Tofu and Yuba To Okura – two starters using tofu skin as its base, one resembling the typical beancurd sheets we are familiar with, and the other a denser, mushier texture with a more intense flavour.

Shirako – cod milt – sacs containing seminal fluid that taste like pig’s brains. A rare and pleasurable treat. Nothing to get repulsed about.

Sashimi – Toro, Buri, Hirame, Akagai – delightfully fresh.  Served with freshly grated wasabi.

One cannot deny the pleasures of sake….

Wakasagi Saikyo And Aka Miso – Ice fish with two types of miso – eat it whole.

Mozuku (Seaweed) Chawan Mushi with a hidden surprise – cod milt again! The egg custard had a smooth consistency.

The tomato was firm with a very thin skin and smelled like it had just been plucked. Juicy and incredibly sweet with a dense texture.

Amberjack fish and seaweed in mini steamboat – swish for a bit in the boiling hot soup to sufficiently cook it. The soup, once infused with all the flavours, can be subsequently drunk.

Tomorokoshi, Imo & Soramame (corn, sweet potato and Japanese broad bean). The Japanese take pride in every ingredient and item that is served at the dinner table. Even the humble vegetable is given pride of place on the omakase menu.

Sushi – Toro, Hotate, Ikura and Uni.

Shijimi Clam Soup – aromatic and flavourful.

Homemade green tea ice cream.

I love the decor at Hanare. The custom made tables of granite and wood (some made of a single piece of wood, proudly displaying its uniqueness and imperfections) are simply beautiful.

Remember this name.


Valentine's Day
Bald Eagle was featured in a Valentine’s Day article in the NST where he gave his two cents worth on what Valentine’s Day means to him. I agree wholeheartedly with him that it is more fun to surprise each other throughout the year, and that one should be spontaneous and unpredictable.  Which is why we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day apart this year – he in Sydney, while I remain in KL – and we’re none the lonelier.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all. May your lives be filled with love and happiness.