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Benkay Japanese Restaurant @ Hotel Nikko Kuala Lumpur

“Do you think dating me makes you gain weight?” I said to rif cheekily.

“It does! Your food adventures make me fat.” he chuckled.

This conversation came up when we were stuck in a jam, on the way to town. My random question stemmed from a recent encounter with a couple. One was a vegetarian, and the other, a meat lover. To please his girl, the meat-lover became a vegetarian, and lost a bulk of his weight along the way. I’m glad rif is adventurous when it comes to food. Like me, he eats almost anything.

We went for a Japanese dinner that night, atBenkay Japanese Restaurant in Hotel Nikko. The decor boasts a combination of modern and traditional Japanese influence, giving diners a calm yet warm feeling. Assorted sashimi (RM85) was first brought to the table. This platter comprised salmon, yellowtail, sea beam and tuna belly on a bed of shaved ice. Presentation was lovely, but what impressed me was the freshness of the fish slices. The tuna belly was smooth and fatty, that it almost melted in my mouth. Salmon, yellowtail and sea beam were also fresh and a delight to eat. Fishes are flown in from Japan every Tuesday and Friday, so it’s best to do on those days to get the freshest cut. The smoked wild duck (RM22), rimmed with luscious fat had a deep flavour and was deliciously tender. One of the best smoked duck I’ve tasted, I reckon. The smoky flavour did not overpower the flavour of the duck. rif and I loved the Thin Slice Yellow Tail with Chilli Padi and Wasabi Sauce (RM48). The sweetness of the fish and crunchiness of the roe paired well with the spicy chilli padi, and the mild wasabi sauce gave it a tingling aftertaste. Thumbs up! My eyes gleamed in excitement when I saw the pan fried foie gras steak with simmered winter melon (RM36) — the slice of foie gras was almost half the size of my palm! The foie gras had a nicely burnish crust and was perfectly cooked inside. I liked the clever combination of the liver with winter melon, for textural contrast and complementing flavours. Dragon Roll (RM35) packed a whole lot of ingredients. It’s best to eat it immediately, to prevent the filling from turning soggy. I really enjoyed this.Fried camembert cheese (RM16) had a crispy batter coating, while remaining soft on the inside. Slightly pungent and very moreish, this one. If only the portion was bigger… Yaki udon (RM38) comprised Japanese wheat noodles fried with tender seafood and crunchy vegetables.The noodles had a nice, slightly resistant texture, and the chef was very generous with the bonito flakes. Simple, yet tasty. We capped of our meal with the sweet red bean with rice powder dumpling (RM15). This tasted weird to me – the rice dumpling was extremely chewy and the red bean was much too sweet for my liking. rif didn’t like this either.

Cold Tamano Hikari (RM60)
Hot Hakutsuru (RM50)
Master Chef Tetsuya Yanagida

On a whole, I enjoyed my dinner very much. Kudos to Master Chef Tetsuya Yanagida (formerly from Zipangu Japanese Restaurant), for preparing such a lovely meal! And thank you Rhianna from Nikko Hotel, for extending the invite to us.

Ambiance: 7/10
Price: 5/10
Food: 7/10 (pork-free)
Verdict: Pretty good Japanese food with a clever combination of flavours and textures.

Benkay Japanese Restaurant
Hotel Nikko Kuala Lumpur
165 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia 50450

7 Responses

  1. PureGlutton

    This is making me hungry for Jap food – that plate of smoked duck seems to be beckoning me!

  2. Baby

    see also feeling fat already… looks yummmy….

  3. Julian Si

    Foie Gras or Smoked Duck … hmmm, decisions decisions. Looks delllllisssssh!

    ps – Try the Smoked Duck at Plaza Damas' super chinese restaurant Imperial thingy. V v good!

  4. lionelong

    yep, Benkay is one of the favourite Japanese restaurant. Now, when will I be going there again? Rhianna, do you hear me? 😛

  5. KY

    waah, does sound like a nice place to go. i loved zinpangu but haven't tried nikko yet. hello Rhianna! :X

  6. UnkaLeong

    What I really like about this place, is it allows me to order a pint of Guinness from Bentley's next door to go with my bowl of hot, piping Udon!

  7. Bangsar-bAbE

    Unka – Talk about good service! 😉

    KY – You should try Benkay. I found the dishes quite interesting.

    lionelong – Hahahaha…I'm sure Rhianna will be more than happy to accommodate both you and witch. *winks*

    Julian – You come back KL and bring me there la! Can? =P

    Baby – No la…Japanese food not that fattening.

    Pure Glutton – Twas delish! =D

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