GINZA Japanese Restaurant's exquisite offerings, crafted around what is fresh and in-season, fuse time-honoured culinary traditions with modern artistry.
Their comprehensive repertoire of over 300 dishes brim with authentic flavours and many feature specialised ingredients imported directly from Japan.
As such, some are unique to the establishment's two branches at Vantage Desiran Tanjung in Tanjung Tokong, Penang, and the Fuller Hotel in Alor Setar, Kedah.
Shigeru Kasajima, co-owner cum executive chef at the Penang outlet, said customers always have something different to savour as their specialty items constantly change.
“The produce and seafood that we fly in changes throughout the year and some of them you won’t find anywhere else here.
“We try to keep the original taste that appeal to Japanese diners, but tweaked slightly so that Malaysians will enjoy them too,” he noted.
Prices in the menu are reasonable and on par with similar eateries and cater to all segments of the market.
Highlights include the excellent selection of sashimi imported from Tokyo's famous Tsukuji Market like Uni (sea urchin), Fugu (pufferfish), Zuwai Kani (snow crab), Taraba Kani (king crab), live oysters and Japanese lobsters.
Otherwise, order an Assorted Seasonal Sashimi platter, and you may find cuts of Toro (bluefin tuna belly), Kampachi (amberjack), Tai (snapper), Akagai (arkshell) or Botan Ebi (sweet prawns) amongst others.
Besides dipping the sashimi in conventional wasabi and shoyu, diners may also try it with freshly scraped flakes of Himalayan rock salt instead.
If available and of good quality, Kasajima also utilises local seafood to keep prices low, as evident in dishes like the Watarigani Shoyuzuke (marinated flower crab).
“We steep it in a special marinade for four days. Then, it's cut open and enjoyed raw,” he pointed out, reminding guests not to be shy about slurping all the best bits.
For cooked items, the Maguro Kama Aburiyaki (grilled tuna collar with seaweed and ponzu sauce) and Maguro Medama Nitsuke (simmered tuna eyes) are must-try's. Intense and flavourful, they turn often overlooked parts of the highly prized fish into stars.
Equally stellar is the selection of Wagyu Beef, which is prepared in a variety of ways. The A5-rated cuts have the best marbling, ensuring a luxurious, melt-in-the-mouth feel.
Besides being stone or charcoal grilled, they are also incorporated into the Fountain Rolls – sushi that also has prawn tempura, cream cheese, cucumber and spicy mayo.
The restaurant recently introduced a selection of Collagen Ramen, which is believed to have a good effect on the skin. One option is the Tonkotsu Gyokai Ramen (roast pork and seafood), built on a hearty stock derived from boiling pork bones, fat and collagen for 24 hours. Add some lard to taste.
Also comforting are the choices of Nabe (hot pot).
For desserts, the chef recommends the White Orchid – mixed fruits wrapped in rice pudding, with coconut sauce and ice cream.
Complete your meal with over 60 types of sake, shochu and Japanese whiskeys. There are also daily set lunches from noon to 3pm, with prices starting from RM19.80 onwards.
Ginza's Penang branch also has seven private rooms, some of which are tatami-style and five of them can be connected to form a larger space accommodating 40 pax.
For reservations, call 04-8909918 (Penang) or 04-7303073 (Kedah).
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