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Review: Watami Grand Feast - Exclusive Launch & Introduction of Watami's Grand Menu

>> Monday, June 17, 2013

I'm gonna pause on my US trip's post for a while to blog on the invited reviews first...bear with me & stay tuned for more posts & recommendations from my US trip (and Cambodia as well, which I've yet to begin!)

Overall comment: Good variety of Japanese dishes, all available under 1 roof. They don't have a large variety of each type of dish, but there will be something for everyone from the menu. The dishes are best shared so that you'll get to enjoy a variety of dishes at 1 meal :)
Halal: No

Last Thursday, some of us were invited to the Watami's Grand Menu feast at 1 Utama, where we had the opportunity to review & try-out almost 20 different dishes! At the end of the review, we were fully satisfied & stuffed!

The name "Watami", derived from the name of its founder, Wataname Miki, means harmony (wa) & people (tami). The Watami group aims to bring the "Ishokuya" concept of dining to Malaysia, where casual restaurants with a lively & comfortable space plus an extensive menu is offered.

 Watami at 1 Utama Shopping Center

A bar + dining area
Watami features alcohol/wine pairing with their dishes :)

We were introduced to Watami's new & improved menu by Nelson Wang, VP of Operations & Business Development, Chaswood Group. Being a lover of Japanese food & its variety, Nelson was proud to introduce to all Malaysians, especially those in the Klang Valley where the 3 Watami restaurants are located, the 20 new dishes originating from Tokyo, available in the Grand Menu of Watami (which has 100+ dishes!!).

Watami's Grand Menu
Color-scheme is easier on the eyes, but it's really A LOT of dishes featured on 1 page! Shows the extensive variety :)
Somehow their menu reminds me of Zanmai's menu...similar color...

Below are the new dishes on the Watami's Grand Menu:

Passion Fruit Mango Tea (RM13.90/"big drink")
One of their featured drinks is this passion fruit mango tea. It's sweet, fragrant & pretty refreshing. I enjoyed it :)

Green Citrus Yuzu Marmalade Soda (RM13.90/"big drink")
I tried a bit of this drink & hmm...it's not something that I really like. For one, it's a soda. But this soda (it's refreshing, but it's gassy, which I don't fancy) came with a 'sourish' & 'citrusy' touch with some sweet & tangy marmalade as well! Quite an interesting combination, but it will surely fill your stomach up 'til you'll struggle to finish up your meal! :D

Now to the actual food...

Clockwise from top: 
Unagi Chawanmushi (RM7.90/serving) - my 1st serving was served "uncooked", which caught me by surprise cos I was expecting steamed egg, but it came out like some beaten "half-boiled egg". The properly steamed one that was served to me tasted alright. Steamed egg was smooth & flavourful, but I prefer it to be slightly firmer as I find it too light/watery.
Puchi Tomato Butaniku Maki Kushi (RM4.90/skewer) - This is like a whole mouthful of words! It's basically cherry tomatoes wrapped with pork bacon & seasoned with pepper. It's a VERY yummy combination & as I didn't know what was served to me, upon biting into the bacon wrap, the tomato juices squirted out in my mouth, which was a great but pleasant surprise! I love it!
Tamago Yaki Sushi (RM1.80/piece) - Nothing very spectacular as it's just egg roll with the nigiri sushi.

 Salmon Sashimi Salad (RM16.90/serving)
Radish, onions, salmon, fried wanton skin, mixed seaweed, mixed nuts, & grapefruit dressing.
Somehow I didn't manage to taste the fried wanton skin nor the mixed nuts & grapefruit dressing. I think it didn't occur to me that these ingredients could be found in this salad. If I was more focused (instead of photographing), I would have dug deeper to get every single ingredient onto my plate for tasting. This salad reminded me of Ploy's salad, which I actually prefer over Watami's version :P

Kankoku Butechige (RM25.90/pot)
Vegetables, pork, sea clams, korean rice cake/dokbokgi, kimchi, instant noodle, special spicy hot pot soup.
This is actually Korean-style army hot pot, where you'll find EVERY other item in a boiling pot of soup. Yums! I love such hot pots - it's a meal by itself :) You can request for more soup if you need/want, so no worries about not having enough soup in this shallow pot. 

Hiroshima-fu Okonomiyaki (RM18.90/serving)
Okonomiyaki base, pork slices, egg, dried bonito, Aonori flakes.
Typical okonomiyaki, which I didn't find very wow! Perhaps it's because I didn't eat it while it was hot. Cold food usually doesn't taste as great. There was just too much happening at the table....so much food! 

Assorted Skewers/Kushi Moriwase (RM19.90/serving of 5 skewers)
Chicken wing, chicken gristle/cartilage, beef & eringi mushroom roll, chicken thigh, beef & spring onion beef roll.
I managed to try the just the chicken gristle & both the beef rolls - I LOVE the beef  & eringi mushroom roll! The mushroom was juicy & having it wrapped in slightly crispy & fragrant beef bacon is such a bonus! It went "pow!" in my mouth....ahhhh....satisfaction guaranteed (for those who love mushrooms)....the one with spring onion was quite interesting, but it may throw those who don't fancy spring onions off, while the chicken gristle one felt erm...dry...

Rosu Katsu (RM22.90/serving)
Pork, cabbage, QP sesame dressing, & Tonkatsu sauce
Somehow I feel that the rosu katsu here can't compete with the one at Tonkatsu by Ma Maison. The batter is different & the juiciness & tenderness of the pork is also different. If I'm craving for deep-fried meat/rosu katsu/tonkatsu, I will certainly pick Ma Maison over Watami, where the latter is probably better for its variety & not specialty.

Watami Tonkatsu Ramen (RM22.90/serving)
Ramen, pork chashu, flavoured half-cooked egg, bean sprout, bamboo
I have to admit that the soup base is indeed special. Made from pork bones, this soup is certainly commendable! We found it slightly too salty for our liking, but I guess you can actually tell the waiter/chef to ensure yours is not overly salty. The broth is rich, thick & flavorful.

Kara Miso Ramen (RM22.90/serving)
Spicy miso ramen with pork chashu, bean sprout, half-boiled egg, & Japanese leek.
The soup base is certainly different since 1 is miso-based, while the other is pork-bone base. Both are good, but somehow this one with the spiciness has more "kick". It was even more salty compared to the Watami Tonkatsu Ramen though...hahaha....

Ishiyaki Kaisen Garlic Rice (RM29.90/serving)
Rice, spring onions, garlic butter, shurmos, scallops, shredded nori, egg, Dashi soy sauce, tobikko.
If you love garlic butter rice, this one's for you. Accompanied with fresh seafood in a hot stone pot, this rice dish is certainly very filling & is best shared with family/friends. The aroma & taste of garlic butter is very evident in this hot stone pot.

Anchovies & Garlic Seafood Pizza (RM24.90/serving)
This crust pizza, anchovies, ketchup, garlic, squid, scallops, shredded cheese, & Japanese pesto sauce.
I didn't get to try this that day! It looks nice, but hmm....ketchup as the base? For RM24.90, somehow I feel that it would be more worth it to have pizza from Skippy's or even Domino's, eh? :P 

Anago Tempura Maki (RM12.90/roll)
Sea eel, nori, rice, cucumbers, & takuan sesame.
Somehow I couldn't taste the sea eel evidently although it's supposed to taste something like the unagi? For such makis, I really miss the ones from Nihonkai & Sushi Zanmai/Hokkaido Sushi. Perhaps the tempura batter was too thick that the maki felt more of the tempura batter than the sea eel itself. 

Are you stuffed yet? Or are you still craving for more....? :D

Chicken Katsu Kare (RM23.90/serving)
Chicken cutlet, rice & sweet curry.
I don't think the curry was sweet! In fact, it felt rather spicy for a Japanese-style curry that I was taken aback. I was expecting something less spicy, but this one felt "Malaysianized". The curry was indeed thick & strong-flavored - some of the bloggers loved this one compared to many Japanese restaurants that offer the same dish, but I personally feel that the curry at Ma Maison was nicer as it has bits of meat in the curry gravy :) Price is also around the same as well. And oh, the batter here isn't as crispy as well :P

Watami Tokusei Tori Karaage (RM22.90/serving)
Chicken thigh, special karaage (deep fried) sauce, Japanese leek, & spring onions.
I can't recall if I did try this dish. As mentioned, there were just too many dishes on the table & I wasn't fully focused on eating only...hahaha. When the words "tori karaage" are mentioned, nothing can compare to the version that I had at Armada Hotel's Shokudo. Even though that version didn't have gravy, but the chicken thigh pieces were oh-so-crunchy-and-crispy!

Jikasei Niku Miso Hiyaako (RM9.90/serving)
Silk tofu, flavoured minced meat, Japanese leek & leek sauce.
It's supposed to be a cold appetizer dish, but it didn't come earlier. Haha. This cold tofu dish felt common although the tofu is made in-house by Watami's chefs. It didn't feel VERY smooth although it does taste very similar to the Chinese-style's tofu with minced pork. I feel that my aunt's home-made tofu is better! :P Way smoother...

Tokyo Rosu Katsu Don (RM23.90/serving)
I was too full to try this already. I supposed it'll be similar to the earlier dish of the rosu katsu, but this one comes with rice & egg. 

Yasai Kinoko Itame (RM16.90/serving)
Stir-fried cabbage, carrots, enoki mushrooms, Shimeji mushrooms, Shitake mushrooms, & bean sprouts, with pork slices.
I actually enjoyed this dish! Mainly because 1. it has an assortment of mushrooms  2. it's a lovely plate of stir-fried vegetables! After a FULL meal of rice, noodles, & meat as above, it was just SO refreshing to indulge in some vegetables & mushrooms. Something simple, yet delicious. 

Salmon & Maguro Carpaccio (RM21.90/serving)
Mixed salmon & tuna carpaccio - thin slices of salmon & tuna sashimi served with garlic sea-clam sauce & green garlic dressing (perilla lead, spinach, olive oil & garlic)
Another one of my favourite dishes for the night. It's light, tangy & the fish slices were fresh :) It's a tad expensive, but for such quality of sashimi, I think it's worth trying & enjoying.

I was SO stuffed at the end of the review. It felt more "keng" than the Chinese 8-course dinner! This one had 20 different types of items & drinks to taste! *faints*

If you love a place with variety, large tables & spacious seats, I think Watami could be your option. It's a place where one can just sit there, enjoy the meal & catch-up for hours with family & friends!

Watami Malaysia @ Pavilion KL
C4.04.00, Level 4, Pavilion KL Shopping Mall,
168, Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel: (+603) 2141 6671

Watami Malaysia @ 1 Utama
1st Floor, Rainforest, 1 Utama Shopping Centre,
1 Lebuh Bandar Utama,
47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: (+603) 7727 1399

Watami Malaysia @ Paradigm Mall
Lot 07, Level 1, Paradigm Mall,
1, Jalan SS7/ 26A, Kelana Jaya,
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: (+603) 7886 9661

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




HenRy LeE June 18, 2013 at 4:47 PM  

looking at all the pictures right now reminds me how full i was although i didn't stay until the last dish but i think i will be visiting Watami again after this :)

PerutBesi June 18, 2013 at 5:17 PM  

@HenRy LeE: Tell me about it...SUPERBLY stuffed ok! And I didn't even get to try everything....*faints* I won't mind going there again, but not too often la...not that cheap la...and not everything is very nice at that place...just like what I mentioned in my post :P

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