Rare delicacies for a unique dining experience

Cod fish sperm is among the delicacies available at the restaurant.

LOOKING for Japanese food other than the usual sushi, sashimi and tempura?

With specialities such as Foie Gras Chawanmushi, Fish Collagen Mochi and fish sperm, Minori Japanese Restaurant at The Royale Bintang Damansara Hotel in Petaling Jaya may just be the answer.

Yes, you read it right! Fish sperm, milt or sperm sacs of cod (RM40) to be exact, is served here. It may seem like a Fear Factor challenge but for some cultures, it is a delicacy.

In Japan, it is called shirako, which means “white children”. Minori master chef Takahiro Ishida said, it was an expensive winter dish but touted for its health properties.

Ishida said shirako was believed to be good for the skin because it was high in protein and low in cholesterol.

He added that most of the items here were imported from Japan, except for the Norwegian salmon.

Shirako is available for a limited time as its season is coming to an end.

Ishima is certified to prepare pufferfish. — Photos: SIA HONG KIAU/The Star
Ishida is certified to prepare pufferfish. — Photos: SIA HONG KIAU/The Star

Another in-season item is the pufferfish, which is available until March.

Minori director Datuk Jessie Yow assured us that the chef was certified to prepare puffer fish or fugu as it is called in Japan.

The Fish Collagen Mochi, which is priced at RM10 is another item said to be good for the skin.

It is to be savoured with soybean powder and palm sugar.

Yee sang is not typically Japanese but it is being served for Chinese New Year. Minori’s version, Yow said, was considered healthier because of the ingredients used such as fresh salmon and olive oil.

We were also served Minori rolls with deep-fried soft shell crab, avocado and grilled eel.

“I chose those ingredients because Malaysians enjoy soft shell crab, avocado and grilled eel,” said Ishida.

Fancy some foie gras with chawanmushi?
The Fish Collagen Mochi is served with soybean powder and palm sugar.

Instead of the usual chawanmushi, Foie Gras Chawanmushi (RM60) is served.

According to the chef, the foie gras was roasted and paired with raisins.

“The foie gras, which is from France, is fatty. To balance the flavours, I used sansho pepper,” he said.

The sweet ending to our meal came in the form of Minori cake balls (RM7.50 each).

“It comes in different flavours and we can do different designs as per customer’s request but they need to inform us three days in advance,” said Yow.

The restaurant seats 100 people and its VIP room can accommodate 30 diners. The restaurant is closed from Chinese New Year eve until Feb 10.

MINORI JAPANESE RESTAURANT, The Royale Bintang Damansara Hotel, No 2, 1st Floor, Jalan PJU 7/3, Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor (Tel: 03-7959 9099, 03-7731 7611). Business hours: Noon to 3pm, 6pm to 10.30pm, daily.

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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