I didn’t think much about Warakuya in Puchong when Jien suggested we eat there for lunch recently. He’s been there prior with a friend and told me I should check it out myself. The restaurant is large and on weekends, it gets super packed during peak hours.
Warakuya Puchong is a Japanese restaurant but it doesn’t feel like one to me. It feels more like a café that serves Japanese food, targeted for the community around Puchong. If you know what I mean. Stepping into Warakuya doesn’t give me the feeling of Japan but rather, the feeling of Taipei?
Anyway, I digress.
The service at Warakuya Puchong deserves a mention. You’re greeted at the entrance and ushered to an available table. A hot towel is given for you to freshen up and for females who have long hair, a hair-tie is presented so you can eat comfortably. For those seated right underneath the air-conditioning, blankets are offered for you to stay cosy throughout the meal.
Some dishes are served table-side, like the California Temaki (RM7.90) which is assembled in front of customers. Portion is generous – you get a good sized handroll filled with sushi rice, crabstick, tobiko and tamago. Unlike many handrolls I’ve eaten, this one has the best value and also the most ingredients so you don’t have to deal with just sushi rice and nori at the bottom.
The Sashimi & Sushi Bento (RM36.90) comes with some salmon maki, tuna mayo sushi, sashimi slices (salmon, ika and butterfish), chawanmushi, miso soup and white rice. Pretty large portion, even for me. Sashimi slices are fresh and super thick – each bite is a mouthful. Not that I’m complaining.
Jien likes the Spicy Yaki Buta Set (RM23.90). You can opt for spicy or non-spicy, depending on your tolerance level. This makes a good option if you’re into stir-fried meats. There’s plenty of pork slices with caramelised onions on the hotpot and this goes well with white rice. The kimchi side dish is a bit odd but it complements the overall flavour of this set.
I ordered a portion of Hire Katsu Mayo (RM17.90), essentially pork tenderloin, breaded and deep-fried then topped with a mixture of egg and mayonnaise. There’s a good amount of mayo topping so each katsu slice gets properly coated, which I appreciate. Taste-wise, it’s alright. Decent but nothing to shout about.
On our subsequent visit, I tried the Tonkotsu Ramen Gozen (RM39.90); a sizeable set of pork bone ramen, salmon mayo sushi, tofu, chawanmushi and a tempura set. The tempura was quite tasty – light and wispy batter, while the prawns and assorted vegetables were fried just right.
I didn’t care much for the ramen though. Don’t think one should expect much from a non-specialty ramen restaurant. The noodles were a tad overcooked and the broth although adequately thick, didn’t have the body or depth to justify the name “tonkotsu”.
But again, it’s really value for money and if I weren’t reviewing this as a Japanese restaurant, this set would have fared higher in taste. If you’re really hungry, order this.
Our friend had the Salmon Yaki Set (RM23.90) – comes with two pieces of pan fried salmon, rice, miso soup, tofu and kimchi. No complaints from him so I assume it was decent. Plus, he orders this quite often so something must be right about this set.
Jien’s Chicken Don (RM18.90) is also a safe and reliable choice at Warakuya. It’s no-frills and of good portion. So if you’re into teriyaki chicken and want something reasonable, this is your best bet. The teriyaki chicken is properly done too – juicy, good amount of sauce for seasoning and grilled till the sides are crisp.
Do not order the Okonomoyaki (RM15.90) here. It’s the only downer among all the items we’ve tried at Warakuya so far. This Osaka-favourite is done disastrously; overly thick and starchy, with a smatter of seafood here and there. I doubt the cook knows what an okonomiyaki tastes like in Osaka, hence this outcome.
Overall, I feel Warakuya serves decent and value for money “Japanese” food with good portions. For the quality they are serving, it’s hard to challenge their price point. Service is friendly and attentive so that gives them merit.
Food: 6.5/10 (non-halal)
Verdict: Food is quite decent and portions are generous. Skip the okonomiyaki though.
Warakuya Garden Puchong
No.01, Jalan Kenari 18a,
Bandar Puchong Jaya,
47100 Puchong, Selangor.
Tel: 03-8071 0001
Business hours: 11.30am till 11pm