1st Malaysian Foodies Gathering – Hajime, KL

Fresh off a floggers’ gathering just the night before with the Penang makan kakis, I touched down in KL just in time for The 1st Malaysian Foodie Makan Outing. This group on Facebook has approximately 2K members, of which some are bloggers and others not.
Bonded by food talk and binded by the love of eating, we share reviews, recommendations of places to try and answer queries posted by the members. (imagine background song playing “we are family..my brothers and sisters and me..”). ;p

After weeks of planning, we settled for Jap food, and the final winning venue was Hajime.
I opted for Hajime as well, after reading about it on Lingzie’s post, and was glad that it was the favoured venue in the end!

Initially, I had wanted to ask Lingzie for recommendations but then I got an email informing us that we are given specially prepared set menus instead, created by the chef just for the occasion.

Menu A

Chicken crackers – Deep fried chicken with biscuit bits
Goma Tofu – Tofu with special sour sauce & sesame topping
Sashimi 3 kinds – Fresh seasonal raw fish
Hotatei Ninniku – Grilled scallop with special garlic sauce
Salmon pizza – Hajimi style mini pizza
California Cheese Maki – Hajimi special california roll with cheese & eel
Ebi miso mayo – Fried prawns with special mayo sauce
Garlic Fried Rice

Menu B

Soft Shell Crab Salad – Hajime house salad with soft shell crab
Goma Tofu – Tofu with special sour sauce & sesame topp
Chicken crackers – Deep Fried chicken with biscuit bits
Ebi Ninniku – Grilled shrimp with flying fish roe & garlic sauce
Salmon Ginger – Hajime Salmon Roll with Ginger special sauce
California Cheese Maki – Hajimi special california roll with cheese & eel
Hanabi Sushi – Smoked tuna & foie gras with special sauce
Inaniwa Udon – Fine inaniwa udon noodles served with dashi sauce

Total 18 of us turn up, and we had 2 from Penang, and 2 from Singapore. Shows that good food has no barriers no? Which brings me to think of these lyrics “there isnt an ocean too deep, a mountain so high that can keep, keep me away from foood..” LOL!

Ok ok, back to the serious matter..
As there are some differing items on each set, some of us shared our sets so that each person gets to taste every dish.

We started off with this, the Goma Tofu.

No fanciful description here. It was a firm block, and tasteless on its own, meant to be eaten flavoured by the sauce of course. Unfortunately I find the sauce too salty and avoided scooping any of it with my tofu, hence the word tasteless. But its ok, as I did liked the peanuts bits on top (not unlike the crushed peanuts you get with our Malaysian pancake).
Overall, it was an interesting fusion-ed morsel.

Chicken crackers. How should I describe it? Well…its chicken. Its thin. Its crispy. Didn’t impress but did leave me eagerly waiting for next course!

I personally find the sashimi were very good, the flesh of the fish firm and it was obviously very fresh. It was the epitome of how sashimi should be! No pics as it was gone almost as soon as the waitress set it on the table!

Coming in a close second was the Hanabi Sushi and Salmon Ginger Roll.

The tuna was seared on the outer layer, still raw inside and the rich creamy foie gras sort of like melted in my mouth and blended in with the flesh of the tuna. It was one heavenly mouthful. Hhhmm.. who would have thought; raw fish and liver?

Salmon ginger roll is named as such cos of the sauce that came with it. Creamy, with subtle ginger taste. As you can see, the salmon slice was THICK. Wrapping around a chockful of goodies. Nice.
Add a dab of wasabi and a blot of the ginger sauce. PErrrfect.

I lovvveee the Salmon Pizza. (hence the larger than life pic of it here!)
THICK salmon slices, seared outside and slightly raw still inside, mixed with bits of fresh tomatoes, some special sweet sauce and topped with cheese and roe. The biscuit base was very very crispy BUT not oily. I wish there was more!!

Much has been raved of the Grilled scallop, and yes, I agree it was rave-worthy. ;p

It was sweet, chewy and plain tasty.

Another item worth mentioning is the california cheese maki. The eel on top is very good!

I didn’t managed to try the Salad but there was no unfavourable comment on it so I guess it was fine.

I adored garlic fried rice but the one here failed to impress. Not sure why but it seems very soft/soggy? The udon was lacklustre as well.

The prawns were ok, tasted the same to me with the exception of difference sauce.
This one below is the Special mayo sauce (its mayo laaa, mix with something and something so become “special” ;p)

And this one here is better, with …ginger sauce? garlic sauce? Errr.. kindly scroll up and read the menu yourself! ;p

I just realized NOW, as I was looking at all the pics at one go, that there is a similarity to them – most item has sesame seed toppings! Did you notice that too?

Anyways, quality of the food here is undoubtable. For our sets,the portion served were more appetiser kind of size, and was just nice to fill the tummy (for small eaters, at least). I guess the “normal” serving would be of better proportions.

I have read that they serve puffer fish (fugu) here and was keen to try it out as I’m always game for anything to tease my palate.
Apparently it is available only on Tuesday and Friday or Saturday. Though we were there on a Sunday night, there was fugu available so I guess you can always try your luck. Or better still, as advised by Koko himself, call in advance and make a booking.
For me, I missed the opportunity as it was already sold out when we finished our set meal.

After the dinner, Chew had a chance to speak to Sally (the restaurant manager) and we were introduced to their executive chef, Koko Tan.

Sally, Koko and the creator of Malaysian Foodie; Chou Chew Yew

It was really nice of him to have taken the trouble to prepare a set menu for us. Thanks Koko!

Overall, I had a great dinner here with all the Malaysia foodies members who came and I’m definitely looking forward to the next gathering this Thursday!

Category : General