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!

This Post Has 28 Comments

  1. J2Kfm

    such fun! you guys gather every week?!

    din know the existence of such group though. interesting!

  2. Selba

    Yay… Another gathering! How nice…. and the food looks really good! When will be then 2nd one? 😀

  3. thenomadGourmand

    J2Kfm: ahhh..u got facebook?
    Not planned for every week but seems that every time a makan outing is suggested, many responded!

    Selba:Yup food issss good! 2nd one is at Sunway Pyramid -Ole Ole Bali at 7pm. 50 pax RSVP-ed! Wish u join us!

  4. fatboybakes

    wah, got such a group ah? you guys eat free?
    yeah, hajime is pretty good. alas, i couldnt blog about it coz my pics were horrendous…

  5. thenomadGourmand

    fbb: yeahh.. the lighting there is pretty dim, somemore I no pro w the Cam. So took many shots and pick the best! Yup, got such a group – on facebook!

  6. Nic (KHKL)

    i’ve heard good things about hajime. am looking forward to a visit one day! 😉

    woah, din know about this group as well. on facebook?

  7. thenomadGourmand

    Nic: Yup it is on facebook. Anyone can join 😉

  8. Big Boys Oven

    wow looks so gorgeous one after another one! wish I was there!

  9. thenomadGourmand

    BBO: I wish i was there in Pg with u guys at Dragon-i too! Tho i heard the food was not gd ;p

  10. Steven Goh

    wao… u are very famous. After the Penang’s flogger gathering now you are in Malaysia’s flogger round. Very interesting.

  11. PureGlutton

    Foodie gathering?? Ahhh… i wanna join! Looks like good fun and good food wor.

  12. thenomadGourmand

    steven: No la..I luvv eating n its even better when u get to eat with like-minded ppl!
    PureGlutton: YEahh! mayb u could suggest somewhere near ur plc and we try to organise one there!

  13. 550ml jar of faith

    What fun! A Facebook group that translates to flavour packed outings! I am soooo joining!

  14. vialentino

    i wanna join next time since i luv food a lot too…

  15. thenomadGourmand

    550ml : yes do join!
    Vialentino: yup join us! the more the merrier!

  16. gill gill

    Yeo, If got gathering during my Kl trip, we will be glad to join in too…hehe. Ooo the Mini salmon looks good, is a good idea for this coming xmas party 🙂

  17. thenomadGourmand

    gill gill: yes.. will try to organise one..cos everyone seems to hv their own plans…

  18. Big Boys Oven

    Hey, a good joly Christmas to you too, Santa me will hope you get the present! have a nice New Year too!

  19. Big Boys Oven

    nomadGourmand: the food at Dragon-i was excellent, just that the taste of different people maybe different.The pirpose of the dinner was to get together with some food bloggers, thats all! 🙂 Wish you where there too!

  20. thenomadGourmand

    BBO: I myself had good experience eating there so i was surprised to read some post by the Pg floggers abt the food at their invited dinner last week. it was different dishes i guess.

  21. Lingzie

    ooooo hajime!! i so heart this place! the special menu looks wonderful… eh next time i’m in KL we go try the fugu together ok? cos i also missed the fugu when i was there last. 🙂
    merry christmas!

  22. thenomadGourmand

    Lingzie: Serious?? Yes.. got member to try the fugu yeahhhh!

  23. Food

    I was told of great reviews for this place, Hajime Restaurant in Jln Damai. On top of it, one of my friends had suggested we go there-for our get-together dining sessions.

    Put aside the quality of food, which for quite a hefty price we paid (KL would have plenty of other food options in this price range), was only mediocre.

    The whole traumatic experience came when our table arrived at 8pm and ordered our meals. Much to our disappointment only after 50mins, we were served and still our orders were wrong. When asked whether we could change back to what we had originally ordered, only then we were told they lacked an ingredient needed to complete the dish. Mind you, they made us settle for a missing ingredient in our food – WITHOUT INFORMING US! We had to find out for ourselves!!

    Obviously we asked to speak to the manager/person-in-charge, and this
    lady (SALLY) approached us. She had an appalling unprofessional attitude. We explained politely to her the situation again, and to let her know it was unacceptable to us. A mere apology and explanation of their kitchen situation would suffice if errors
    were made. Instead, she huffed and puffed and told us that we were
    making a scene so we could get free food!

    Not only did she insult us, she blamed the whole mistake on the lack of kitchen staff! Of course we were totally annoyed, we weren't going to be penalized for their poor business structure!! Who are we to suffer their inefficiencies just because they do not want to hire the appropriate help?!!

    This woman claiming herself to be the 'owner' (SALLY), which here we only find out she claims she's back to the restaurant manager, started raising her voice at us, accusing us of not hearing her out (still no one word apology, by the way). Only until the executive chef (Koko) from the kitchen
    emerged, apologizing profusely, but still our orders couldn't be

    So needless to say, we had to make-do with what they forced upon us to eat, still paid for the whole bill (which came to RM 500+), but we were so relieved once we stepped out from the restaurant.

    This establishment called Hajime Restaurant in Jln Damai is an utter
    disgrace to F&B service quality in Malaysia.

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  25. Maude Flamer

    I spent a whole year as an exchange student in Kyoto Japan, and I have to say I probably wouldnt have gotten by if it werent for a cheap dinner of udon a few times a week! There is even one shop where you can eat for free if you do 30 minutes of washing the dishes after, but I cant say I was ever that poor! Anyway, I found a load more tasty looking ideas at this udon recipe site.

    1. Rebecca

      Hey Maude!
      Thks for the recommendation! That reminds me! I got to post on the udon place here in KL too. Very fresh and bouncy. Cheap too! Lovely stuffs!
      I could buy fresh udon from them & use the recipes from the link you sent me. :heart:

  26. Mike

    How come hajime contact number not available anymore? Any one have hajime new number?

    1. rebeccasaw

      Hi Mike!
      Hajime has since closed down and the mgmt/chef is all at Cocotei now, on Jln Delima.
      Address: No.5, GF-B, Jalan Delima, 55100
      Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia
      Tel: 1800-88-6655 (Reservation allow)
      Fax: 03-2110-0418
      Operation Hours:
      10:30am – 2:30pm (Last Order 2:00pm)
      6:00pm – 10:30pm (Last Order 10:00pm)

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