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Sunday, April 6, 2014

MIRAKU Japanese Restaurant @ G Hotel Penang

Miraku Japanese Restaurant has been around since the opening of G Hotel and surprisingly, till now, I have never had a meal here before. I guess it was the perception that it was a very expensive and exclusive restaurant that caused me to didn't really pay much attention to it before.
But boy is my thought about this restaurant different now. It seems that this restaurant is a favorite food joint for the many Japanese living in Penang and its head chef here is also proudly from Japan! The restaurant is located on the first floor of G Hotel and its open for both lunch and dinner time. They have a wide variety for their menu and for lunch, there is a good and affordable choice for bento sets. Here one can opt to sit at the counter where the live action by the chef can be observed or the many more private tatami styled rooms (there are 5 in total) or just casually at the many dining tables.
So do check out my humble experience here and hopefully you will have an enjoyable experience there as well.

The very simple and elegant designed facade

A sneak peak of whats in store!

 Standard on each table, soy sauce and ginger and also toothpicks
 The many menus, do check out the specialty menu too
 For starters, try the Ontama Salmon Salad (RM26 large) where this is basically a salad with a poach egg to be mixed in.
 The egg sits on a layer of crispy rice noodles which crackles when the sauce is poured over it
 As this was the large version, I found that having just 1 poach egg was abit little to fully appreciate the egg salad as if you were to order a small version, you also get 1 poach egg. Doesn't really add up the equation here in my opinion. I also only found small bits of salmon but was informed that the highlight was the egg and not the salmon... hmm.
 As from my feedback above, I also got to try the Tofu salad, and this time with their own made Wafu dressing which was based on soy sauce and I think beancurd paste (it was a secret which the chef did not share). This salad was great with the sweetness from the sliced onions matching perfectly with the wafu sauce. The bland taste of the tofu further highlights the taste of the sauce. This was a refreshing salad and well worth a try.
Namayuba Avocado Sashimi, does not contains raw fish but instead this is actually fresh beancurd skin with avocado but the highlight of this is definitely the freshly grated wasabi! For just RM14, even if you don't like the beancurd (which I do), you can keep the wasabi to go with your other dishes! Hehehe.

 Namanori Tamago Yaki (RM13) is basically a layered egg with some herbs in it. I always find Yaki's abit sweet to my liking but nonetheless it was folded nicely.
 Sushi Moriawase "Sakura" (RM86) is like a beautiful sushi boat just that it comes in a really long wooden plate. There is a total of 20 pieces of sushi and also 4 pieces of tamago and each is craftily made. I found the fish to be fresh and the size of the sushi to be bite size meaning I could easily fit it in my mouth in 1 bite.
 This sushi platter really works as a great sampler of whats available
 Kobe Beef Steak (RM200/100gm) is one pricey dish and though I didn't taste it, my friends who did says the succulent pieces of beef was just melting in their mouth and was delicious!
 An alternative for beef lovers would be the Gyu Toban Yaki (RM36) which is basically thin slices of beef which is then seared on a hot plate at the table. Again, this one was a favorite with beef lovers too.
 Quickly searing it
 And its ready!
 Initially was thinking how can a sushi restaurant review go without a beautifully platter of sashimi and I was truly surprised when they brought out the Sushi Moriawase Take (RM140) which looks and taste great. The platter was beautifully decorated and contains 12 varieties of sashimi to sample. There was snapper, siakap, king fish, surf clam, red lion, traveli, octopus, hokkaido scallop and a specialty for the day, shining eye squid!  I have to say that this was the first time I have ever have this tiny squid, moreover serve as shashimi. It was very fresh and tasty for squid.
 I found the scallops to be especially juicy and sweet and the nice thing was the many types of fish to try out.
  This is the squid in a bowl. 1 bite and there it goes!
 Kaki Age (RM20) is a deep fried item which kind of reminds me of cucur udang but much bigger in size and having some seafood filling and a tempura sauce (where you mix in some radish and ginger). The piece of kaki age was so large that it can easily feed 4 pax happily and dipping it in the sauce helps to reduce the oiliness from the frying.
I really enjoyed this one alot!
 The final dish for the nite was the Miraku Kaminabe (RM64). This is basically a seafood hotpot where its served on a piece of paper. The version here is with a sweet broth and I found it a tad too sweet to my liking and moreover, I felt that there was just too much broth. It would have been better in my opinion had there been more vegetable to soak up the broth instead.
 The paper apparently will not burn as long as there is some liquid on it
 Just too much broth here
 And finally its dessert time. The Uji matcha Ice Cream (RM12.50) was lovely with a good dollop of red bean on top of the very fragrant green tea ice cream. They were very generous with the red bean here and the icecream was very smooth too

 We got to sample another of their unique icecream which was the wasabi icecream. This was made by mixing vanilla with wasabi and though it was good (fresh wasabi is used), I still prefer my desserts to be sweet rather than spicy!
 The chef's posing for a shot
 There was even a model too, showcasing the private tatami styled room

The spacious dining area
The open counter/bar area where you can see the chefs in action
 Filleting salmon was skilfully done by one of the chefs.
Overall, I was impressed by what I had at Miraku. There are some winners and some not so much to my liking but overall, they serve up some very authentic Japanese cuisine and I was surprised that it was not at sky high prices. I will definitely be visiting again and hopefully get to sample more varieties of their dishes.

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