Ju.Ne Japanese Restaurant @ Publika – set lunches and Yogan hot plate with Saga Beef!

Becky’s 1 Minute Summary:
What: Japanese casual dining.
What to order here: Definitely the hot plate set (both meats and seafood). Though it is a Japanese restaurant, my sashimi set (set lunch) and the Rainbow Roll (sushi) was just fair. The hamburg with egg (set lunch) was good though.
Overall experience: Lunch sets are pretty value for money considering the quality, location and portion. But what was really distinguished this outlets from others would be the Yogan sets.
Price: Set lunches are reasonable for the quality and taste. Ala carte and dinner meals are pretty KL standard kind of prices unless you order expensive meats like we did. For example the Saga beef was RM150++ per 100g. 

For the long story, read on. :)

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Being a regular at Publika, I knew about Ju.Ne but had dismissed it as ‘just another Japanese restaurant‘. My perception changed when I found out that my gourmet friend Fern highly favoured it. Fern is well travelled, and I know she’s a discerning gourmet as well.
My curiosity piqued, we arranged for a lunch date.

Decor and ambiance- wise Ju.Ne is as basic as it gets. Nonetheless, it’s the food that matters right?

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Fern recommended the meats; saying that Ju.Ne’s specialities is the hot plate. Based on Ju.Ne’s FB Page, the Yogan sets are steaks and seafood cooked using a ‘liquid rock sourced from Mt. Fuji’.
I however, stubbornly ordered a sashimi set since I love my raw fish. Fern went for the Hamburg set, which turned out to be a good choice.

The lunch sets includes Ju.Ne signature bowl of crunchy veggies on ice paired with their bagna càuda (dip made from garlic, anchovies, olive oil, etc), a soup and cawanmushi. I loved the cold, super fresh vegetables with the addictive dip. That was something unique!

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My sashimi set was served with freshly grated wasabi which was definitely a plus point. I have came to a point that I could barely tolerate powdered wasabi paste anymore. The fish on the other hand could be better.

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Fern’s Hamburg set. Delicious.
Be sure to break the onsen egg over it.

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Yes, like that. 🙂

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Lunch was satisfactory but after what Fern had said about the hot plate and MEAT I had to return.
So my next visit was dinner with a Sagagyu Yogan (Saga Beef) (RM150++/100g) and Seafood Yogan (RM42++) set.

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Our Saga beef. Yes, this is 100 grams.

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Our sides were mustard, minced garlic and wasabi plus a bowl of dipping sauce.

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Obviously dinner is DIY. But it was fun time grilling them nonetheless!
The hot plate doesn’t give out much smoke and food got cooked pretty quickly since the stone surface is so hot. Besides we were in an air conditioned outlet so there isn’t much to complain about. 🙂

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The Saga beef was absolutely divine; soft, juicy and rich in bovine flavours of the best kind. We only gave each piece a turn or 2 on the hot plate so it went into our mouths almost medium rare.

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The seafood set at RM42.00++ is surprisingly value for money as well. One huge squid, one big prawn, 2 fat oysters and 2 thick cuts of salmon. Apparently the prawn was imported from Japan while the squid is local.
All the seafood were very good; particularly the prawn which was really sweet and fresh while the squid was bouncy, tender but still with a toothsome bite. And yes, sweet too though without marination.

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I prefer the slightly thicker, 1 cm slices to the slimmer, more elegant 5mm rings highly flavoured by many F & B establishments: there’s more squid to get your teeth into. 😀

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My salmon; cooked to the perfect degree; still moist and pink inside.

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We did order a Rainbow Roll (RM26++) as well but this was pretty ordinary and I thought it could do with more fish.

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Having Saga beef was a treat, but I’ll return for the wagyu (slightly cheaper) and the seafood set anytime! Somehow their sushi and sashimi had failed to impress me so far. Perhaps I should order the dinner sashimi set which a few people had claimed to be better.

Lastly, here’s a little titbit about Ju.Ne.
In Japanese, a Chinese character 樹(ju) means trees, and 音(ne) means music.The origin of the name of this outlet is from “the desire to offer comfortable space like the sound in woods”. 🙂

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Ju.ne Japanese Restaurant
Unit 4A-G2-3A (just ONE floor below Red Bean Bag (same floor as the Square), just walk to the right)
Block A4, Level G2
Solaris Dutamas
No. 1 Jalan Dutamas 1, KL
Tel: 03 – 6207 9923