Friday, June 18, 2010

Kapoh Muneharu - Japanese Restaurant, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Appetizer - Squid in Special Home Ground Wasabi Sauce

Chawanmushi so fresh and so tight that you can even smell the difference

Spot the Toro, Uni, and Mantis Shrimp

Best Tenpura ever!

This is the kind of Tofu that you'll never want to stop eating

Looks great like this too right?

Home Ground Wasabi with Radish Flown Fresh from Japan

Handmade Tsumetai Soba

Fried Cod Fish and Scrambled Eggs

As many of my friends would know, I am not a person who's very picky when it comes to food. I eat virtually everything, from the weirdest most exotic things you can find on earth to the cheapest and dirtiest things you can find on back-streets to the most expensive things in top Michelin Stars rated restaurants. 

However, I am extremely serious with the passion that the chefs put in preparing their food. It can be the Stinkiest Tofu of China, Roasted Kangaroo Eyes of Australia, Barbeque Scorpion in Thailand, as long as they are made with passion, I can taste it like how I feel the songs that I play on the piano. Moreover, I totally hate dining in commercialized restaurants ie chains, fast food etc. I can taste the complains that employees put in their food, you know what I mean?

Today, I had lunch with my parents in this quiet little Japanese Restaurant in Federal Hotel. The name of the restaurant is Kapoh Muneharu and it is located in the Arcade One Front Entrance of Federal Hotel in the heart of Bukit Bintang, one of the most exciting tourists and locals populated area of Kuala Lumpur. The entrance of the restaurant is quite small and looks absolutely average and when I walked in, the place is small, not much interior design, but very clean. On the left is the Sushi Bar, right is 3 tables of 4, a small room at the end of the hall and a kitchen at far right. Together with my parents, we sat at the bar in front of the Chef, Muneharu Tokunaga & Mr. Safuan.

Like what I do when I dine in all other Japanese Restaurants, I ordered the largest Bento for my enormous appetite. My mum ordered Tenpura & Sashimi Set and my dad, the Bento as well.

Sitting in front of the Chef Tokunaga san, I can see his passion even from cutting our first slice of Sashimi. The Sashimi knife that he was holding, I asked, cost more than USD 3,000. Most of the ingredients that the restaurant use are freshly flown from Japan every Tuesday and Friday. Beside Chef Tokunaga san, I could also see Chef Safuan holding a part of radish with one hand and the other hand holding a knife, twisting and cutting it into one long slice so thin that it is virtually transparent. 

While chatting with Chef Tokunaga practicing my worsening Japanese Language, the appetizer came. Squid in special sauce made partly with home ground Wasabi. Oh My God!!!!! Oh My........... Oh My.......... - Usher. I ain't gonna explain further. This is my first time eating this kind of Japanese Appetizer.

Once I finished my Appetizer, another Appetizer came, the Chawanmushi. I'm very particular with Chawanmushi. To tell the difference between a good and bad Chawanmushi, just very lightly shake the cup. You'll see the egg vibrates as if it's dancing. Then smell it, it will smell heavenly if the ingredients are fresh. To me, it smells like having a nice warm dish beside the fireplace during the cold winter snowstorm.

My mum's Sashimi came first, I took a piece of her Toro (Tuna Belly), it melted in my mouth. Melt over here doesn't mean melt like M&Ms in your mouth or hand. It is the tenderness of the flesh that you can never taste in any commercialized Japanese restaurants. I really mean NEVER. Then I took a piece of her Uni (Sea Urchin) covered in Yellow Tail Sashimi. Priceless!

Two minutes later, my Bento set came. I took the first dish in front of me, the Tofu. I thought to myself, I just wanna finish the most average dish first then I'll take some time to enjoy my Sashimis. Upon touching my tongue, the texture and the taste of the ordinary looking tofu unexpectedly exploded outside and inside my mouth. I asked Chef Tokunaga, "Kono Tofu ha tokubetsu desu ne?" (This Tofu is very special) Then Chef Safuan answered. It is the result of one full hour of slowly grinding fresh soy beans and sesame together. I cut the small little tofu into Ten even tinier pieces so that I could enjoy it a little longer. If I were eating in normal Japanese restaurants, that would have gone within one third of a second, I won't even bother chewing it.

Then I thought, Tenpura should be just normal. I took a bite, I could not taste any oil at all. All I could taste is the distinct rich aroma of very crispy fresh sea prawns in really great Tenpura sauce. Those Tenpura vegetables were as if they were just harvested.

Tokunaga san asked if I wanted another bowl of rice, I was like "Okawari!" (More!)

Then on my Right was the "Tsumetai Soba" (Cold Noodles). The most outstanding feature of the Soba is not the texture, but the taste itself. Soba with a slight bouncy slight crunchy texture is great, but the secret lies in the taste of the noodle. That explains why Japanese have Char Soba (Green Tea Noodles), Malt Noodles etc. Noodles with different kind of Flavors EMBEDDED in it. This one is soooooooo good that I don't know how to type about it. I took it strand by strand.
I slowly took my time to enjoy the rest of the passionately prepared food. I thanked the Chefs and their very dedicated waitresses. Then I asked if I could take a picture with the Chefs because I really want to write down my experience, be it to be shared with you guys or just like YouTube, for my own memories, since I have the memory of a Goldfish. (I'll explain to you why Goldfish if you email me or write on my Facebook wall).

Anyway, if you guys really wanna dine there as well, here're the details. Just say that you got to know them from the Internet or perhaps mention to the Chefs Tokunaga san or Safuan san, "Ray Mak" or "Mak san no musuko". I don't know if he'll give you something special. 

Kapoh Muneharu Japanese Restaurant

Managing Director / Chef
Muneharu Tokunaga

Arcade One Front Entrance, Federal Hotel,
No. 35, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
+603-2144 6909 or +6012-944-4960
Fax +603-2144 6908

For my Japanese friends who're reading this. You must try this!!! Price? I swear to God that you ain't gonna believe what you see. However, if you're really Rich, just say "Omakase!" for your order. Please write your experience there! You are what you EAT!

Warmest Regards,
Ray Mak

Chefs - Mr. Safuan & Muneharu Tokunaga san