Traditional yet modern Japanese fare

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  • Thursday, 15 Nov 2007

GET a taste of “traditional modern”Japanese food that is inspiredby a legendary noblemanof feudal Japan throughout thismonth at Genji Japanese Restaurantin the Hilton Petaling Jaya. 

The restaurant is showcasing the Genji Kaizeki Bento Lunch and Genji Kaizeki Dinner in conjunction with the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival (MIGF) 2007. 

'Traditional modern'cuisine: Teoh with hisGenji Kaizeki BentoLunch and Genji KaizekiDinner creations.

“Genji” is derived from “Genji No Uma” or “House of Genji”, and named after Hikaru Genji. He was known as the shining Genji and famed for his appreciation and passion for fine food, wine and life-style. 

The chef behind the two menus is Chef Richard Teoh, who focuses on creating “traditional modern” cuisine, to capture the distinct flavours of Japanese ingredients with the best of modern Japanese techniques. 

“While tastes may be changing, and variety is the spice of life, certain basics of Japanese cooking shouldn’t be forgotten,” said Teoh, 44, who is participating in the MIGF for the first time. 

He draws on his 23 years of experience and sought inspiration from chefs he had previously worked with, especially his idol and mentor Tatemukai. 

“Japan is a country with four seasons. Both menus feature a combination of ingredients that are available during certain seasons, like shako tempura which is usually available during autumn,” said Teoh. 

Signature dish:Shake potato cilimayo (salmon onmashed potatotopped with chillimayo baked toperfection).

The Genji Kaizeki Bento Lunch is a box set with these dishes: dashi tamago, yamamomo, renkon, edamame (Japanese omelette, mountain plum, lotus root and green beans), shake, maguro (slices of fresh salmon and red tuna sashimi), gindara shioyaki (baked cod fillet with salt), hotate tempura (deep-fried scallop with tempura batter), kabocha ni (braised pumpkin in light soy sauce), and saba battera sushi (Osaka-style sushi with marinated mackerel). 

It also includes asari suimono (short neck clam in clear soup) and azuki goma pudding (sesame pudding topped with red bean paste). 

Japanese experience: Thespacious and comfortable GenjiJapanese Restaurant at HiltonPetaling Jaya offers a taste of'traditional modern' Japanesecuisine in conjunction withMIGF2007.

The Genji Kaizeki Dinner consists of eight delectable courses. For starters, there is the horenso ohitashi (braised Chinese spinach with light soy sauce served cold), followed by appetiser shake bo zushi, umaki tamago, edamame (salmon ball sushi, unagi omelette and Japanese green beans), and hot soup dobin mushi (clear soup served in a teapot with condiments like chicken, prawn, gingko nut, mushroom and Japanese tofu). 

The next courses comprise toro, kampachi (slices of fresh tuna belly and yellow tail fish), shake potato cili mayo (salmon on mashed potato topped with chilli mayo baked to perfection), and shako tempura (deep-fried mantis shrimp in tempura batter). 

Round off your dinner with yaki mentaiko onigiri cha (grilled Japanese rice ball with marinated cod roe in clear kelp soup). For sweet endings, indulge in azuki dora yaki (Japanese pancake with red bean paste). 

Teoh recommended two of the restaurant’s signature dishes – the appetiser shake bo zushi, umaki tamago, edamame and the grilled dish shake potato cili mayo

“The appetiser features three items – peeled Japanese green beans; ball sushi wrapped with salmon, topped with caviar and salmon roe to bring out the colour and flavour; and eel omelette topped with grated radish to bring out the egg’s flavour. 

“For the grilled dish, we boil and mash some potatoes, season it with salt, pepper and some Japanese oba leaves (mint leaves), shape it into balls and roll salmon around the potato balls. 

“It’s then topped with chilli mayo cream. This spicy dish is especially suited to Malaysian taste buds,” he said. 

Available until Nov 30, the Genji Kaizeki Bento Lunch is priced at RM100++ per person, while the Genji Kaizeki Dinner is priced at RM130++ per person. 

The MIGF menu is not available on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons. 

  • GENJI JAPANESE RESTAURANT, Hilton Petaling Jaya, No. 2 Jalan Barat, Petaling Jaya (Tel: 03-7955 9122 ext 4071). Business hours: Lunch, Mon-Sat (noon-2.30pm), Sun (11.30am-3pm); dinner, Mon-Sun (6.30pm to 10.30pm).  

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