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Nihonkai Japanese Restaurant, Dataran Mentari Sunway

>> Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Venue: Nihonkai Japanese Restaurant, Dataran Mentari Sunway branch
Occasion: Lunch & dinner with friends (on separate occasions) & to review the quite-newly opened Japanese restaurant by Joel's mum's friend!
Overall comment: Good Japanese food at a very affordable price! Their maki, sushi, & rice sets are yummilicious. I find their noodles having more space for improvement...
Halal: Unsure since they serve alcohol. Best to call the restaurant to find out.

I was asked by my friend, Joel, to try out Nihonkai @ Dataran Mentari Sunway as it's a restaurant managed by his mum's friend, Janet Chi (restaurant manager for the Sunway branch). I enjoy Japanese food & I didn't mind dropping by this restaurant when I could :)

To date, I've been there 3 times in just these few weeks! It's a lot of Japanese food for the PerutBesi...hahaha...

Nihonkai Japanese Restaurant @ Dataran Mentari Sunway was officially opened on 23 June 2010. This famous restaurant name will instantly ring a bell to Japanese-food lovers, who will associate the name to the main restaurant @ Old Klang Road. No doubts, the Old Klang Road main branch is doing very well, resulting to the birth of this branch @ Sunway :)

The Interior (when the restaurant just opens in the late morning)
There are "open tables" (in the middle & right-hand side of the photo), "semi-closed tables" (on the left-hand side of the photo), & VIP rooms (right behind, with doors - reservation required) for your preference. I usually request for the room when I'm there with a larger group. The rooms can fit around 6 persons comfortably & can squeeze in another 2...I'm not sure if there's another larger room! :P

Nihonkai offers an extensive range of Japanese dishes, from the usual sets, to the ala carte dishes of sushi, maki, don, soba, udon, sashimi, teppanyaki to desserts as well! Prices for sets starts from RM18.00/set, which I feel is rather cheap for a generous portion! (When the PerutBesi claims that the portion is generous & the price is cheap, she really means it...)

The Menu - Set Lunches & Set Dinners are available throughout the day
The only difference between both the types of sets is the watermelon (lunch set)/chawanmushi (dinner set). According to aunty Janet, as what I call her, the slight difference is to accommodate those who can't take eggs, which are higher in cholesterol. Nice :)

Assortment of sushi
I haven't tried their individual sushi platters, but I've tried their maki, which were lip-smacking!

1st-time @ Nihonkai, Sunway

Soft Shell Crab Maki (RM26.00/serving)
Crispy, fried soft shell crab stuffed within sushi rice, fish roe, and cucumbers, wrapped with traditional Japanese seaweed. We really enjoyed this :)

Torikatsunabe + sashimi (RM20.00/lunch set)
Chicken cutlet with scrambled egg & raw fish
The portion is quite generous. You'll get a share of rice, chicken, eggs, and fresh sashimi all in one set!

Sukiyaki Beef/Chicken (RM25.00/lunch set)
If you fancy something soup-ish/sizzling hot, this may be your type of dish. It's somewhat like the Chinese steamboat, but in the soup, you'll find glass noodles, vegetables, an egg (you'll need to add it in yourself), and the slices of beef goes into the soup as well. The soup dish comes with a bowl of rice to give you an even more substantial meal!

Mixed Tenpura (RM18.00/lunch set)
Light & crispy tempura prawns & vegetables served with rice set. It's slightly dry when eaten with the bowl of plain Japanese rice, but if you're not very particular with non-gravy rice (and especially if you just love fried food!), then this will be good for you.

Salmon Butteryaki (RM18.00/lunch set)
Two large pieces of fragrant pan-fried salmon with butter accompanied by rice & side dishes in the lunch set. Abi chomp away happily & was well-pleased :)

Shake Sashimi Salada (RM15.00/serving)
This is the Japanese version of a salad, where the salad dressing is a mixture of grounded sesame seed with mayonnaise & seasoning. It's quite appetizing & unique, suitable for those who aren't keen on a heavy meal, yet wanting something with a Japanese touch.

2nd-time @ Nihonkai, Sunway

Agedashi Tofu (RM7.00/serving)
Deep fried beancurd
Evie said that the Agedashi Tofu at Rakuzen tastes better. The outer-layer of these beancurd could be crispier. I'm no expert in this dish, so I can't say much. To me, it's just like the usual beancurd. As long as it's soft & smooth, it gets a passing mark ;)

Nihonkai SP Maki (RM16.00/serving)
These are sliced cucumbers & vegetables wrapped in a thin layer of rice paper (like the Vietnamese rice rolls), topped with fish roe & mayonnaise. It's quite refreshing if you prefer something light as appetizers.

Gyouza (RM9.00/serving)
Fried Dumplings
Deep-fried meat dumplings served with vineger dipping (It's alike the Taiwanese "kao zhi" dumpling). Nothing much to shout about...

Tenzaru Soba - Cold with Tempura (RM13.00/set)
I had this as I wanted a lighter meal + some tempura. The cold soba is not exactly something to shout about, but the tempura is indeed quite delicious.
Nabeyaki Udon - Hot (RM15.00/set)
This udon noodle dish comes with ONE tempura prawn...I found it rather strange & seemingly miserable...hahaha...not the best udon...

3rd-time @ Nihonkai, Sunway

Salmon+Tuna Mayo Sushi Special with Edamame
This sushi was on the house! It's something that I didn't notice on their menu, but it was certainly one great sushi! You'll find a layer of sushi rice + a layer of tuna flakes + another layer of sushi rice + a slice of raw salmon + roe-filled mayonnaise topping the whole sushi. The mini platter was served with Edamame (Japanese Green Beans). I wonder if they will ever put it up for sale!

Unagi Kabayaki (RM33.00/dinner set)
This was certainly one of the most worth-eating unagi set meals that I've ever had! The unagi (eel) was grilled to perfection & smothered with flavourful terriyaki sauce. The portion was so generous that I had a hard time finishing up the meal. Not to forget was the chawanmushi; I'm quite particular with the Japanese steamed egg, but this one has my hats off. It was "just-nice" - smooth, soft (but not watery), delectable steamed egg with ginko, some chicken meat, & a piece of black mushroom served in the traditional chawanmushi cup :) *yums*

Mixed Tempura (RM17.00/serving)
Sookie just wanted something fried with her meal, & since she can't exactly decide on what to have (she wanted to have every other thing on the menu!), she ended up ordering 1 portion of mixed tempura + a set meal.

Teppanyaki Beef Set (RM29.00/dinner set)
This set was not in their menu, but the restaurant can customize dishes & sets for you :) That's one excellent customer service plus point! You can choose to have it served in the usual lunch/dinner set & the price will be adjusted accordingly. Quite a good deal instead of ordering it ala carte, which costs more :) (unless of course you don't fancy the sides!) Sookie said her beef was well-done when she prefers it to be medium rare. You'll have to tell the waiter/waitress upon ordering, else by default, it'll be well-done.

Nihonkai Special (RM22.00/dinner set)
One of the most value-for-money sets on the menu. Their lunch set is about RM3-RM4 cheaper, with the watermelon slices instead of the chawanmushi. The 2 large slices of grilled salmon with terriyaki sauce goes well with rice & is more than enough to feed the hungry...what more can you ask for in a set where you're paying less than RM25.00 for everything? :D At least the salmon's not overdone & it doesn't have that bad fishy smell

Ebi Fried Maki (RM23.00/serving)
This was aunty Janet Chi's recommendation. According to her, the restaurant serves good maki & this is one of the best sellers - fried prawn wrapped in Japanese rice & thin slices of avocado. Just lovely :) It's not too overwhelming nor was it too "common". The sesame mayo-sauce (the same dressing used in the Shake Sashimi Salada!) gives the maki a twist of added fragrance as compared to the usual mayonnaise served with other makis.

Macha/Green Tea Ice Cream with Red Beans(RM6.00/scoop)
Air-flown from Japan, Nihonkai boast of its best-seller dessert - the macha ice cream with boiled red beans. In my personal opinion, it's a tad too sweet for my liking. I prefer my macha ice cream to be more pungent in the green tea smell+taste, giving it a slightly bitter after-taste, but my 2 friends prefer this version which doesn't have that bitter taste. Personal preference indeed :) Overall, the ice cream is quite smooth & it's a good dessert.

Goma/Black Sesame Ice Cream with Red Beans (RM8.00/scoop)
This is my 3rd time having the Japanese Goma ice cream (in my life). The taste of the black sesame is surely evident & it's more fragrant than the Macha ice cream. You can also taste the grains of black sesame in every scoop of ice cream. The level of sweetness is the same as the Macha ice cream, & Sookie voted for this over the Macha! In terms of Japanese ice cream, I still dream of the ones I had at Genji @ Hilton Hotel PJ. Somehow, that was quite unforgettable... oh yes, don't forget to drink a gulp of tea after eating this ice cream before you smile - just in case you end up having ash-filled teeth! :D

Map to Nihonkai Japanese Restaurant, Dataran Mentari Sunway
Anyone for some good Japanese food? :D

Nihonkai Japanese Restaurant
2, Jalan PJS 8/18
Dataran Mentari
46150 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan.
Tel: (+603) 5630 1368
Business Hours: 12:00p.m. - 3:00p.m. & 6:00p.m. - 10:00p.m. daily
Note: It's at the newer shop lots opposite Yuen steamboat, facing the inside, not the main road (behind Belly Good restaurant)


Presentation: * * * *
Price: * * * *
Environment: * * * 1/2
Taste: * * * 1/2
Service: * * * 1/2


- Ruth


Joel Yim August 10, 2010 at 2:05 PM  

Good post! And you went there more times than me. Auntie Janet must be doing a good job :)

Chong August 10, 2010 at 4:23 PM  

Didn't know they have another branch in Sunway. Used to go to the other branch at Old Klang Road. And I don't recall them having such an extensive menu in Old Klang Road's branch. Hhmm...

PerutBesi August 11, 2010 at 12:44 PM  

->Joel Yim: Thanks! She is doing a good job & her recommendations are lovely :)

->Chong: It just opened quite recently! Not many ppl know about it yet, that's why I went there to review & blog about it. I'm not sure how's their menu at the Old Klang Road branch, but this one's certainly more than enough for me! :D How've u been, Chong? Hope all's good for u!

paowao August 11, 2010 at 7:42 PM  

i had the salmon butteryaki too. it's awesome!!! btw what are their operating hours?

PerutBesi August 11, 2010 at 10:45 PM  

->an ardent: Hey Pao!! Didn't know it's u :D Abi must have brought u there? I just added their business hours info to the post...left that important piece of info out while I was blogging that superbly long post! It opens daily from 12pm - 3pm & 6pm - 10pm :) Their set meals are pretty good, eh? :D Thanks for dropping by & stay tuned with PerutBesi! :D

paowao August 11, 2010 at 11:00 PM  

haha sorry!!! i forgot that i changed my blogger name hehe. eh i stalk yr blog alot one ok. your food blog sgt syok untuk di-stalk! haha yes he brought me there i wanna go there again!

thanks for the info! :D

PerutBesi August 11, 2010 at 11:09 PM  

->an ardent: Scary that my blog's being stalked, but it's good stuff for me ;) Can help me publicise my food bloggie d...teehee...I would love more readers & interactive comments! Blogging alone is sometimes like talking to myself, so it's good to have commenters to talk to! :P

paowao August 12, 2010 at 6:48 PM  

hahaha wokeh! i'll link uuu :)

PerutBesi August 13, 2010 at 2:21 PM  

->an ardent: Pao! Thanks for linking my blog up with urs! ;)

Anonymous July 1, 2013 at 2:36 PM  

This is the WORST Japanese restaurant I ever been to, the food has nothing to huha about, below average…… One thing that need to stress is their service, very very BAD!!!!! Ignorance and rude!!!!!!!

Wonder this is under franchise ??? spoiled the good reputation of NIHONKAI!!!!!

PerutBesi July 1, 2013 at 3:04 PM  

@Anonymous: Oh my! Has it deteriorated that badly?? I've NEVER had such treatment/food quality all along...did you complain to the restaurant when you were there? It would be good to inform the restaurant on your dissatisfaction so that they can improve.

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