Gonbei San, Starhill Gallery, Bukit Bintang – Re-Opens on 1st March 2011


New post: Dining with Master Chef Lew – and checking out Gonbei’s new menu!  :P

Out of the many Japanese restaurants in KL, I only liked a few.
And Gonbei at Starhill made the list.

Gonbei entrance

Gonbei impressed me when I went for the Sunday buffet last year. For only RM78++/pax, we were stuffed with fresh oysters & seafood sashimi, tender lamb chops, tasty teriyakis & grilled seafood.

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gonbei 10

gonbei 9

gonbei 11

gonbei 12

gonbei 18

gonbei 8

gonbei 31

Choices of meats cuts and seafood were abundant. Other ready prepared items were the old school sushis, cold soba, cawanmushi & miso soup.

gonbei 21

gonbei 22

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gonbei 30

gonbei 28

gonbei 7

gonbei 27

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Other than the fresh cuts, most of the food were cooked to order. Fried items arrived at our table piping hot, crisp & devoid of excess oil.
The grilled items were perfectly seasoned. Desserts are aplenty. Premium Baskin Robbins ice cream were of unlimited supply.

gonbei 14

gonbei 15

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gonbei 5

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Mochi – cook it yourself if you wish or get the friendly staff to prepare it for you.

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gonbei 3

I love Gonbei San for precisely all that. Traditional old age cuisine, with none of the overly-fusionized nonsense.

However, shortly after my lunch here, Gonbei closed for renovation. I was almost afraid that it would be closed for good.
Thankfully, now, after a few months of redesign both in architecture & menu, Gonbei San is opening its doors again to set a new standard of superlative Japanese cuisine in Malaysia using the finest and freshest ingredients prepared by the finest and most experienced chefs in the art of Nihon Ryori or Japanese fine cuisine.

In addition to its designer ambience by the multi-award winning architect and designer Yukichi Kawai from Japan, Gonbei San will feature a new and exclusive private room for corporate and social functions for up to 20 guests.


A new and sophisticated Sushi bar with open kitchen is where guests can enjoy the freshness of Neha or fresh seafood skillfully handled in a theatrical display by chefs who have perfected the ancient art of Sushi and Sashimi preparation.

Among a new selection of Japanese cuisine that will be served include signature dishes by Master Chef Lew – from Kobe Beef Teriyaki to Gyuniku Suji Inaka Ni of braised beef ligaments and Toro Sashimi of prime belly of tuna fish.

toro sashimi

The art of cooking with Japanese Sake will also be showcased with Sakana Sakamushi with fish steamed with rice wine and Sake Kasu Udon or Soba, a soupy noodle cooked with rice wine lees accompanied with vegetables and fresh seafood.

sunomono moriawase

Even more enthralling, Master Chef Lew will join forces with his son Head Chef David Liew to bring the first ever “Father-and-Son” collaboration to continue the legacies of fine Japanese cuisine exclusively at Gonbei San in Starhill Gallery.

In Gonbei San, everything from its fresh Wasabi of quality horse radish to seasonal air-flown seafood and a spectrum of delicious appetizers ensures the most authentic Japanese cuisine in Kuala Lumpur.

According to gourmands of authentic Japanese cuisine in Malaysia, this tour de force of two renowned Japanese chefs in one restaurant will make Gonbei San arguably “the best Japanese restaurant in town.”

Gonbei entrance

Well, I for one, will be lunching in Gonbei soon to put to test that claim. 😉

Gonbei Logo

12pm to 3pm for lunch (2.30pm for last order)
6.30pm to 11pm for dinner (10.30pm for last order)

Weekend Buffet (available for Public Holidays)
Saturday Ala Carte Lunch Buffet & Ala Carte Main Menu
12.00pm – 3.00pm
RM 80++ Adults, half price for 6-12yrs old child.
Sunday Brunch
12.00pm – 3.00pm
RM 80++ Adults, half price for 6-12yrs old child.

Relish Floor,
Starhill Gallery,
Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100
Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: +6 03 2782 3801 Fax: +6 03 2782 3818

All pictures are:

This Post Has 30 Comments

  1. Sean

    this was one of my favorite japanese restaurants a few years ago! didn’t realize they had started serving sunday buffets, but it looks much better than jogoya’s, heheh. am definitely planning a revisit this month too! am expecting it’ll be even better than before!!! 😀

    1. rebeccasaw

      I realized that their Sun buffets are not very well known! So many ppl commented the same as you when I told them that Gonbei’s buffet was one of my fav!
      Yup, i’m heading there soon too 😉

    2. JT

      However I would like to put my comments on my experience during my lunch with Groupon Vouchers.

      There was not enough food portion served on the buffet tables as most serving plates are empty. Diners will have to ask the chef for refills where the chef seems reluctant.
      I asked fore more oysters and the chef asked me ‘Didn’t you too some earlier?’. Does that mean that I can only have 1 portion or there is a timing for refills?!
      I asked for more honeydew and the chef said ‘No more’ !!! Is this a buffet or what? and it was only 1:45pm and the lunch was supposed till 3pm.

      As advertised on Groupon as a Fine Dining Lunch was in fact quite true; very small portion, insufficient servings, limited choice, long wait for food to be replenish.

      Variety of food was also very limited comparing to the normal buffet that Gonbei had.

      I will say that this offer is not worth for the money.

      1. rebeccasaw

        Wow John. The chefs actually said that?
        Anyways..I hope the Gonbei mgmt actually read this and take note.

      2. rebeccasaw

        Hi John

        I have noted and forwarded your feedback to the restaurant. Kindly check your email.

  2. Baby Sumo

    This was one of my favorite places too. Went a few times and was totally impressed with the food.

    1. rebeccasaw

      Yup! I checked:
      Saturday Ala Carte Lunch Buffet & Ala Carte Main Menu –
      RM 80++ Adults,
      half price for 6-12yrs old child.

      Sunday Brunch
      RM 80++ Adults,
      half price for 6-12yrs old child.

      Both are from 12-3pm!

  3. NKOTB

    one of my favourite place in KL.
    love their abalone sashimi.

    1. rebeccasaw

      Abalone sashimi?? I didnt have any at the buffet. Ala carte is it?

    1. rebeccasaw

      Very! That’s why i totally love this place !

    1. rebeccasaw

      I dont like it when its quantity over quality. But here they maintained the quality well!

  4. Pureglutton

    Looks very promising… do let us know if they’re still as good now after the revamp.

    1. rebeccasaw

      I will! Since the menu is revamped as well, I’m expecting to be surprised 😉

  5. Caroline

    my-oh-my!! everything looks so fresh n delicious! gonna bug Eric to bring me here!! :p

    1. Rebecca

      Hohohoo! Good choice! it’s not that expensive for the quality you get here!

  6. mimid3vils

    This has been in my list for so long (until I forgot about it) 😛 But my stomach is getting smaller due to getting older haha , not worth to try any buffet already 🙁

    1. Rebecca

      I hear you! I’m also cutting dwn on too much gluttony. But now i only go to buffets that offers gd quality over quantity. Hence I dont eat a lot but I eat the top choices dishes – oysters, fresh cuts etc

  7. fentious

    have been waiting for this opening for a looong time, and its a must have. With gonbei, u dun hv to think so much no more tenji or jogoya :yahoo:

    1. rebeccasaw

      Oh yes! Jogoya or Tenji – cannot fight! This is totally of a different level!

  8. Ms Low

    i heard that the Groupon promotion redemption period had been postpone until end of march 2011. Is that really? Y do not have notice?

    1. rebeccasaw

      Hi Ms Low, I have absolutely no idea as I didnt manage to buy on time!
      Have you tried calling them?

  9. wineries in Napa

    We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with helpful information to work on. You’ve done an impressive job and our entire group might be grateful to you.

  10. Jenny Chong

    Rather disappointed when called for reservation(called on 23rd Nov) for buffet lunch(with Groupon vouchers) on either 26/27/28th Nov.And was told that the restaurant is fully booked till January. I will only travelled to KL for these 3 days.(Planned earlier to visit Gonbei San). Have been placed under waiting list and will try to walk in. Hopefully, the restaurant can help to arrange for a table of 5 within these 3 days. Your cooperation is much appreciated. TQVM~

  11. Dave

    What John said was true, i can only rate them below Sasaki or Shogun. Cant compare to the one opposite them as few class below. I dont mind the food is limited, variety is little.. but it taste “Not good” either. Total dissapoinment and time wasting.

    1. rebeccasaw

      I think the Groupon vouchers has affect the qualty. Normally it’s not as bad, cos if u say below Sasaki or Shogun, it’s really bad fr a fine dining restaurant like ths..

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