Japanese Buffet – Tatsu, Intercontinental Hotel – 88 Dishes for RM98++!

The title of the post got your attention yes?

Hahah.. I know it would!  😀

Admit it, most of us love a good Japanese buffet. There might be many such buffets in KL, but very few offers both quality and value.

Thus this is precisely why the recent 88 dishes for RM98++ ala carte Japanese buffet at Tatsu stood out from the pack. I have heard and read from many who enthusiastically extolled of their meals here. And for the first time, just last Saturday, I stepped into Tatsu to verify those claims myself.

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (63)

Below are the straightforward and simple terms and conditions for the deal:

1. How much -: RM98++ per adult and RM49++ for children 6-12 years old.

2. What’s available – Menu: A total of 88 dishes including soups, rice, soba, udon, handrolls, makis, sushi, top grade sashimi, salads, teppanyaki, hot pots..the list goes on.

3. When – validity: Lunch & Dinner (Sat, Sun and Public Holidays) – 12pm to 2.15pm, 6.30 – 10.15pm

4. Where – Tatsu Japanese Restaurant, Intercontinental Hotel KL. 1st floor

5. Reservation: + 6 03 2782 6188

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (35)
 That’s it.
And the best part? This is an ala-carte menu. Your food are prepared upon order so sit comfortably at your table and be served like a queen. Skip the queues, avert the indignity of having to “pile your plate high with food in case it runs out” and ditch the droopy sashimi sitting on the counter.

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (18)

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (10)

Take your pick from 88 dishes and have it served to you straight from the kitchen. Relax and savour the premium ingredient for the next 2 hours and 15 minutes. For example, our sashimi arrived plump, vibrantly fresh and in impressively thick slices.
Each bite gave me affirmation of the quality.

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (28)

The options of sashimi on the 88 menu includes Salmon, Butter Fish, Kampachi, Octopus and Tuna. Here at Tatsu, I have finally found a place for the perfect butterfish, a personal favourite of mine when it comes to the sashimi selection.

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (25)

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (30)

A quartet of appetisers accompanied the start of our meal, all generally faultless.

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (19)

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (20)

Top to bottom: Edamame, Smoked Wild Duck, Chilled Tofu with Fried Anchovies and Baby Octopus.

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (24)

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (23)

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (22)

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (21)

This was followed by piping hot “Dobinmushi” – clear soup in teapot, a wholesome stock of glorious pristine flavours and dainty presentation.

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (31)

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (32)

Then I saw MEAT. Smoking pink sirloin over a bed of charcoal was placed on the table and I forgot everything else.

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (36)

According to Chef Darrel (my first impressions of him HERE ), these sirloin cuts were given a few turns on the teppan-grill in the kitchen prior to being placed over these charcoal ceramic “burners”; which serves to keep the meat hot in addition to imparting a wonderful smoky flavour to the meat.

I relished the juicy meat, dipped them a bit in each of the accompanying sauces provided and polished off my share within minutes. 🙂

More seafood was next, this round in the form of tempura, all skillfully fried and but a tad thick on the batter. The Japanese pumpkin was a personal favourite and other than the ubiquitous prawns, I urge you to include the soft-shelled crabs in your order as the crabs here was meaty and sweet.

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (38)

We had a small platter of teppanyaki-ed sweet scallops followed by a rather unique “Fish Neck in Bitter Orange Sauce” from the appetiser section.

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (40)

For the fish neck, it was originally meant to be cod but we had salmon instead that day. The combination of the skin, the flesh and the sauce (which was zesty and bitter-ish from what I suspected to be imparted from orange zest), was a remarkably refreshing twist from the usual.

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (42)

The Unagi was somewhat a let-down, overly smothered in thick, sweet sauce.

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (43)

Our attention was diverted thereafter with Chef Darrel special dessert demonstration. This is currently off the menu but you can enjoy the same green tea ice cream as we had 😀

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (61)

It’s very good green tea ice cream, if that’s of any consolation for missing out on Chef Darrel’s Strawberries and Sake Toban. :DD

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (56)

While most of us are familiar enough with the term teppanyaki and yakitori, not many have actually heard of ‘Toban Yaki’. It’s my first today as well; as I watched Chef Darrell crafted out another of his amazing desserts.

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (58)

Toban refers to the traditional method of cooking in ceramic plates.

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (47)

Our dessert, Strawberries and Sake Toban started out simple enough with butter, strawberries and sugar all poured into a ceramic skillet. It was then left to “stew” for a while, covered, over the teppanyaki counter. After 5-10 mins or so, Chef Darrel poured sake into the mix and continues to simmer it and with the help of the heat, the sake both flavours the whole skillet of strawberries and the sake evaporation actually “perfumed” the dessert to smell like strawberry liquor. 🙂

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (44)

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (52)

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (49)

Chef Darrel, please pour more? 😛

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (48)

A short while later he added a bit of strawberry puree for colour and flavour before he takes it off the heat.

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (53)

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (51)

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (50)

Then big, compact scoops of Tatsu’s famous green tea ice cream was placed on top.

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (55)

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (56)

The heat melted the ice-cream and that added creaminess to the dessert. But it melted a tad too fast so we asked for MORE ice cream! GREEDY us! :DD

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (60)

One more scoop!

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (62)

This was an amazingly, awesome dessert. A hint of luxury and bitterness from the sake, tartness by the strawberries, the mix of hot and cold; it all unfurled in my mouth and I’m again reminded of Chef Darrel’s ingenuity in crafting the most inspiring desserts, so far all with a touch of liquor. 😛

So please, make your way to Tatsu, 1st floor of Intercontinental Hotel KL on Sat/Sun/Public Holiday (hint: Merdeka is this Friday!) and feast on unparalleled, freshest of seafood and other Japanese dishes that would please even the most discerning connoisseur.

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (5)

Tatsu - Japanese restaurant Intercontinental Hotel KL (16)

I’ll be back for sure. There are after all, 88 items and I only managed less than 20 that afternoon! 🙂

*Many thanks to ulric for helping out that day with the wonderful pictures. 🙂