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Kuriya, Bangsar Shopping Centre

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Fresh sea urchin

I remember my first sea urchin experience – at the now defunct Hajime in Jalan Damai – and it wasn’t a pleasant one. But the sea urchin prepared by Chef Nakagawa Takahiro at Kuriya in Bangsar Shopping Centre was so intense, subtle yet complex, it was almost ethereal.

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Choya Umeshu

Kuriya, which stands for “aristocratic kitchen” in Japanese, offers diners a true Japanese dining experience featuring classic favourites and seasonal ingredients air flown from Japan every week.

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Japanese yam with egg yolk

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Tamago

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Tako (yam) with goma sauce

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Smoked tofu with beancurd skin and quail egg

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Tofu with sea urchin

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Ikura

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Fried potato

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Edamame

I enjoyed an omakase spread that started with a sumptuous appetizer platter comprising ikura, smoked tofu with beancurd skin, tofu with sea urchin, tamago, grated Japanese yam with egg yolk and miso, fried potato with sushi rice and edamame – all delicate and delicious. The ikura popped loudly between each bite, as the eggs gave up their brine. So good!

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Fishes to choose from, for your sashimi. There’s scorpion fish, lion fish, blue fin robin, sea bream, young snapper and fat lip. So get the chef to recommend accordingly. 🙂

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Sashimi platter of Buri, Toro and Mino Kasago

I was very excited to see the sashimi platter, an assorted display of Buri (yellowtail), Toro (tuna) and Mino Kasago (Lion Fish). The former two were lovely with just a dot of shoyu and wasabi. A saucer of shoyu with bird’s eye chilli was placed in front of me and to my surprise, I was asked to dip the slices of kasago into the mixture. It was a brilliant match as the sweetness of the fish was well accentuated by the dipping.

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Lion fish slice, dipped in shoyu and chilli padi

Like the fugu fish, the lion fish is also poisonous and can cause numbness in the body with careless preparation. But I ate and survived to write this article, so rest assured, chef knows what he’s doing. 😉

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Wagyu Beef Aburi with Nama Uni, Hand Roll Style

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Marble Score 6

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After I was done with the sashimi, Chef Nakagawa came out with a mini charcoal grill and condiments for hand roll. I tucked into possibly the most luxurious handroll I’ve eaten, comprising grilled wagyu slices of marble score 6, sea urchin and house special teriyaki sauce. It was a clever play of sweet, creamy, fatty and savour flavours.

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My most luxurious handroll to date!

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Lavila Sauvignon Blanc, which paired well with the food

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Alaskan King Crab Tempura

It was also my first time trying the Alaskan King Crab Tempura and it was as tasty as it looked. The flour batter was light and wispy, while the flesh of the crab was succulent and sweet.

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Meaty, succulent and sweet!

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Aburi Sushi

A small plate of Aburi sushi was later placed on the table and the hand pressed rice rolls were topped with three types of fish – salmon belly, tai (sea bream) and hirame (flat fish). The right way to eat this is to pick up the sushi with your fingers and place it on the tongue, fish-side down.

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Miso Soup with King Crab

Each fish slice was supremely pure and the rice was delicate with just a hint of vinegar and shoyu. The miso soup was prepared using the remains of the king crab and it was rich in flavour.

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Seiro Soba

Kuriya’s soba is made in-house on a daily basis and the texture and flavour of the noodle is notably superior. Seiro Soba (the most basic soba option) features cold buckwheat noodles dipped in tsuyu (soy sauce based mixture).

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Cold Sake

This went incredibly well with cold sake. In Japanese culture, one needs to pour the sake till it spills out to show generosity, hence the wooden box to contain the spill. 😉 Depending on your budget, an omakase meal at Kuriya ranges between RM100 to RM200. Pretty decent value considering the amount of premium items used.

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Yaki Ebi Shumai

Other items I sampled from the ala carte menu were the Yaki Ebi Shumai (RM16) and Tori Karaage (RM17). The former, inspired by the Chinese siew mai, comprise grilled prawns wrapped in dainty dumpling skin and topped with roe. Not something I would order in a Japanese restaurant but it was not bad at all.

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Tori Karaage

The Tori Karaage was prepared using chicken thigh and fried till the outside is crispy; very moreish.

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Another one for the road!

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Dorayaki Ice

Dorayaki Ice (RM12.80) and Soba Abekawa (RM10.80) marked the end of my sumptuous meal at Kuriya. Prior to this visit, I’ve only tried the set lunches but now that I know the ala carte menu is fairly affordable, I’ll return for more.

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Soba Abekawa – soba balls with red beans and soy bean powder

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Chef Nakagawa Takahiro

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Ambiance: 7/10
Price: 6/10
Food: 7.5/10 (pork free)
Verdict: The food is good and for the quality you’re getting, pricing is affordable.

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Kuriya,
T2, 3rd Floor,
Bangsar Shopping Centre
Tel: 03-2093 9261

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6 Responses

  1. Aizuddin

    My favourite japanese restaurant!

    For some reason, i’ve been blocked from commenting on your FB posts. 🙁

    1. rif

      Hi Aizuddin,

      Thank you for your comment.
      I feel that your comments are not appropriate, that’s why.

  2. Really value in my books, for the quality of the food you will be getting 🙂

    1. Bangsar Babe

      Now I know Unka! Now I know… 🙂

  3. Sugarplum

    Actually I was quite disappointed with Kuriya’s service level when I was there recently. The manager was really pushy with her up sell, they ran out of whisky, my carbs were cancelled and dessert added on without checking with me. Good food no doubt, sucky service.

    1. Bangsar Babe

      Yikes, sorry to hear that Sugarplum.

      It sucks when people get pushy as it robs customers of the pleasant dining experience. I recently felt the same way.

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