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What to eat in Kuantan: Gyu Don & More at Koi Zen

>> Thursday, May 19, 2016

*pork-free restaurant*

When it comes to a guaranteed-satisfying bowl of gyu don (stir-fried beef with rice), I'll always go back to Koi Zen!

I've tried gyu don at many Japanese restaurants in Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur & Kuantan, but seems like none can satisfy my taste buds except for the one at Koi Zen. I've no clue what sort of 'addictives' they have added into the bowl of gyu don, but it's REALLY fragrant, has the taste of 'burnt butter' that's totally aromatic, the beef slices are generous (it would be tastier if the beef slices weren't well done) & same goes to the mushrooms, onions, & spring onions, while the portion of rice is also huge. It's slightly on the sweeter side, but the flavors are well-balanced. I think the raw egg yolk to be mixed with the steaming hot rice bowl gives it an additional 'kick' as well :P

Gyu Don (RM18.00/serving)

I've written about this place more than 4 years ago, featuring Koi Zen's 1st restaurant at Star City Kuantan. Nowadays, we will pop by their 2nd outlet near East Coast Mall, as it is less packed, parking is easily available & the taste of the food is pretty much the same.

Koi Zen may not be your authentic Japanese restaurant, but it's alike Japanese restaurants like Sushi Zanmai, Ichiban Boshi, & Rakuzen, when it comes to the quality, price & variety of Japanese food.

Koi Zen's branch near East Coast Mall

The restaurant
Not as spacious at the 1st restaurant, but decent space, catering to a smaller crowd.

The one thing that comes to my mind to describe Koi Zen is 'affordability without compromising on taste & quality of food'. On a daily basis, even during weekends, you can find set meals below RM20.00 (excluding GST) that comes with a main dish, side dishes, a serving of chawanmushi, & a slice of fruit. I think it's good value for money, especially if you are hungry & you would want a variety of dishes to whet your taste buds.

Sapporo Nabe with Mixed Hoso Maki (RM19.90/serving)
As if we didn't have enough of Sapporo, we ordered a "Sapporo-inspired udon dish" that comes with a mixed rice rolls/maki. You can choose from a list of add-ons like sashimi, sushi, maki, & stir-fries, so we took the mixed hoso maki since we have noodles as our main dish.

Sapporo Nabe
The slightly spicy claypot udon dish was flavorful as it comes in a spicy miso + kimchi soup base. The claypot was filled with not just noodles, but seafood & vegetables, a pretty balanced meal. 

Chirashi Don with Gyu Shogun Yaki (RM21.90/serving)
My SIL ordered the chirashi don, a classic sashimi rice bowl for sashimi + rice lovers. This is also one of our favorites, but I think AP & I have had quite a good dose of seafood/sashimi rice bowls during our honeymoon to last us for a while. The best part about such set meals is that you can choose what you want to add-on to your rice set, which I thought gives a good variety :) Since there's rice & fish, why not add some beef, eh?

Inari Egg Mayo (RM3.99/set of 2 pieces)
We're kinda suckers for inari, so inari seems to be a 'must order' these days...hahaha...what more with egg mayo *lip-smacking*

Koi Zen Japanese Cuisine (branch)
No. 20A, Ground Floor, Jalan Putra Square 6
Putra Square
25200 Kuantan
Pahang Darul Makmur
Tel: (+609) 513 9222
Business hours: 11:30a.m. - 10:00p.m. daily
FB: https://www.facebook.com/Koi-Zen-Japanese-Cuisine-at-Putra-Square-1528059634086535/
GPS: 3.8185434,103.3260412

Koi Zen Japanese Cuisine (main)
B-30, Ground Floor, Jalan Seri Kuantan 80
Kuantan Star City
25250 Kuantan
Pahang Darul Makmur
GPS: 3.8244229,103.3375122

Presentation (does it look mouth-watering): * * * 
Price (is it affordable - more stars = YES): * * * 1/2
Environment (is the place comfortable, cosy, clean, pleasant): * * * 1/2
Taste (is the food delicious, worth coming back for more): * * * 1/2
Service (are the service providers friendly, efficient, polite): * * * 1/2


Gyu don any time,


Henry Lee May 19, 2016 at 11:39 PM  

Sapporo Nabe looks good! My ideal meal is below or somewhere within RM20 so this place is a go for me! :D

PerutBesi May 20, 2016 at 1:49 PM  

@Henry Lee: Yeap, this place offers good food at affordable prices! If u ever come to Kuantan, let me know! We can meet up cos I'm here most of the time :D

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