Still going strong after being in operations for almost 5 years does go a long way to prove the resilience of Ishin Japanese Dining.
There isn’t a shortage of Japanese outlets popping over the last half a decade, and the last I’ve been to Ishin was at least 4 years back.
I thought it was a good time to revisit since 4 years is a long time. Besides, I was curious as to how it lasted all these years, considering its location on one of the busiest roads in KL and from what I remembered, the pricing is pretty premium.
The answer is pretty obvious after a few courses.
I began the meal with my “benchmark” dish for any full-fledged Japanese restaurant – the sashimi.
There was a Chef Special Sashimi of 7 types of (RM220++) but I’ve thought that might be excessive for 2 pax. So the Sashimi Moriawase (RM80) it is then.
While the cuts were undeniably thick, I only enjoyed the scallop.
I have to admit that I’m spoiled by my favourite sushi restaurant in KL (of which I’ve recently posted about) and to be fair, an equivalent portion of sashimi there would have been almost twice the price of this sashimi bowl.
So you get what you pay for. The texture and flavours of the seafood at my favourite Japanese restaurant is vastly different from the ones here.
Ishin’s Sashimi Moriawase (RM80) – Chef section of 5 types of sashimi – tuna, hamachi, tuna, scallop, salmon.
And of course, only freshly grated wasabi will do.
Not many people order a salad at a Japanese restaurant, but I’m one of the few who enjoys a good salad anywhere. My option for fibre that day was a Kaisou Salad (RM23), a delightful huge bowl of greens, seaweed, cucumber, tomatoes and alfalfa sprouts.
If you need your fibres but do not wish to deal with such a large potion, you can order under the “sides” menu for their miniature salads.
In fact I overlooked that part of the menu else I would have ordered 2-3 mini salads instead of one!
Logan kindly recommended the fruit tomato (RM24) from Ishin’s Seasonal Menu.
He said the tomato is imported from Japan and I didn’t need further encouragement. I’ve had those Japanese tomatoes before and I’m sold on how naturally sweet, juicy with a texture that is soft yet with a good bite.
This serving from Ishin didn’t disappoint!
Ishin’s seasonal menu is one menu that you should watch out for. Depending on the well, season, you can look forward to specially imported specialties from different parts of Japan.
Besides the fruit tomato, we had 2 more seasonal offerings which are the Kuro Baigai (RM42) and the Sakura Ice Cream.
Double boil Japanese black snails are certainly something not on my everyday menu.
We ordered them out of sheer curiosity and was glad to discover them to be delicious and yielding a firm, chewy bite.
A rich and creamy aphrodisiac seasoned by the salinity of the ocean, it is therefore crucial to get quality uni else you might swore off uni forever.
Quality in this case means paying a premium price since sea urchins are imported goods. Ideally it should originate from Hokkaido, as with most unis are nowadays.
This tiny bowl is RM61++ is not something that you would eat everyday (though I wish I could) but it is gratifying.
Not many Japanese restaurants in Klang Valley offer uni by trays and in comparison to Rakuzen’s (post coming up next), Ishin serves a slightly bigger portion and taste-wise the uni here was more pristine.
A die-hard fan of unagi (even better if there is anago) I’ve not been able to enjoy a good unagi for ages.
My regular Japanese restaurants does not serve unagi and at other restaurants I find their unagi either overcooked, thick skin with little flesh and overly sweet because of too much sauce.
Surprisingly the Unagi Kabayaki (RM72) was as ideally cooked as it could be with decent amount of meat to skin. The amount sauce is just nice to flavour the flaky, soft flesh.
I’ll return for this for sure!
We did try a set since there is an on-going Set Lunch Buy 2 Free 1 promotion.
This is the Ebi Cheese Yaki Set (RM37) which includes a soup, rice and fruits in addition to 2 prawns coated with cheese.
I skipped this since I was busy devouring my unagi, but my dining partner rated it a poor 5/10.
A fan of chawanmushi?
Well, I adore anything with eggs. And when you top eggy, wobbly egg custard with uni (sea urchin), I’m hooked.
BELOW: Ishin’s 3 Taste Chawanmushi.
This trio offers soft, silky texture that’s the mark of an impeccable chawanmushi. Besides, the chef eshewed the common gingko nut, chicken and fishcake for luxurious toppings such as roes which makes it more compelling compared to the standard chawanmushi.
Fret not though if you’re a stickler of the traditional version as that is on the menu as well.
Last but not least was the cherry blossom ice cream (RM20/scoop) which was simply unique. I would highly recommend this over the common matcha, goma or chocolate versions.
Smooth and creamy yet not overly saccharine, the ice cream has a nice salty finish on the tongue.
Well, try it and you will know!
The extensive menu offers something for everyone so it is easy to see why Ishin is popular.
Soba, teppanyaki, don, meal sets and sides, the menu satisfies every appetite.
My top picks from my meal this round would be the uni, the unagi, the fruit tomato, the sakura ice cream, the salad and the chawanmushi trio.
Would I return?
Yes, I would.
Besides the favourites I’ve listed above, I would like to try the rolls and sushi next.
I have a habit of only devouring sashimi each time I dine at a Japanese restaurant so you can expect my reviews to be largely focused on sashimi, some makis, uni, unagi (anago if it is available) and chirashi don.
Depending on the company, there are possibilities that we might order some cooked items which would then be featured in my reviews as well.
Ishin Japanese Dining
202, Persiaran Klang, Batu 3 3/4,
Off Jalan Kelang Lama, 58000 Kuala Lumpur.
Contact: +60 3-7980 8228
Lunch : 12pm-2.45pm
Dinner : 6pm-9.45pm
For reservation, please call +603-7980 8228.