Tuesday, November 21, 2006


A review on a Japanese restaurant that I frequent....

[ Begin Edit ]
(Aug 07)
Umaiya is expanding!
They have a new outlet in Damansara Utama @ Uptown Jalan SS21/37 (Tel: 03-7726 4410). I haven't checked it out yet but I'll update when I do.
(Hmmm... I wonder if the food is as good there as it is in the original outlet?)

[ End Edit ]

I admit it... I have been selfish..
(Bad Chocoholic~!)

This place is one of my favourite Japanese restaurants due to the consistency of its food, relative affordability and convenience but I haven't posted it up for I feared that it would be swamped with people...
(It's not a very big outlet)

Anyway,... my bad.
(I won't do it again....)

The Dinner

Umaiya is a simple Japanese restaurant on the ground floor area of a little shopping/ commercial center called The Place in the Damansara Perdana area....
From the outside....

It has a modern but cosy feel to it, with a few traditional Japanese touches here and there that adds character to the ambience:
From the inside....

There are not that many bento sets (which range from about RM20 - RM40) there but they make up for it with a pretty wide array of yummy ala carte dishes... Here are some starters that I enjoy, the Kaebi Karaage (something like that), Idaako and Seafood Salad:

Top to bottom: The Kaebi Karaage, Seafood Salad and Idaako

The Kaebi Karaage, which is basically deep fried mini prawns, is crunchy and fragrant. They are extra yummy with a dash of lemon but are horribly addictive so BEWARE! Haha....

The Idaako, marinated baby octopus, is also good.... Not overly fantastic, but at least it tastes fresh.

The Seafood Salad is great for people on a diet... There is a healthy and generous serving of seafood and fresh vegetables in a delicious Japanese dressing...
(Not the usual Thousand Island or Italian Vinaigrette)
It isn't enough to fill me up so I usually have it as a starter/ side dish but hey, if you're more concerned about calories, then it's good lah.

Onwards to the mains, here's my absolute favourite item on the menu.... the Dragon Maki:
O' Great Dragon Maki!

It's a maki (japanese roll) with a glorious concoction of Unagi (eel), Salmon, Tempura Prawn and Avocado all in one.
To me, this is the perfect maki.
PERFECT - texturally, taste-wise, everything.
(It's affordable - but not THAT cheap... about RM25.. I think it's worth it, considering how much stuff they put in it)

Other items on the menu which are good too are the Umaiya Bento set, the maki with Unagi and Tempura Prawn and the Grilled Prawn with mayo/ fish roe sauce (have forgotten the fancy Japanese names - sorry):

Top to bottom: The Umaiya Bento, Unagi and Tempura Prawn Maki and Grilled Prawn

The bento is pretty heavy but it's good because it's got a bit of everything - grilled fish, maki, sashimi, fried rice, deep fried chicken as well as a side of chawan mushi and miso soup.

The grilled prawns are also good - fresh, fragrant and generously slathered with the savoury sauce - yum!

The Unagi and Tempura Prawn Maki is also ok.... but it just feels like its missing something...
(Like I said, the Dragon Maki is my favourite)

The selection of desserts here is rather paltry but they are nice, simple ways to cap off your meal here... One example is the Goma (black sesame) ice cream:
Goma Ice Cream

It's definately not as full flavoured as the black sesame ice cream in the top notch restaurants,... and it kinda tastes more like peanut ice cream to me but for 9 bucks, it's ok.
(As opposed to 20 bucks+ at the expensive Japanese restaurants)

So it's: Convenient location (for me anyway), consistent quality, affordable, simple dining BUT some hits and misses on the menu... well, that's about it...

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Umaiya @ The Place, Damansara Perdana

Taste: 7
Ambience : 6
Service : 7
Price** : RM 40/++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-7729 0015 (Damansara Uptown outlet : 03-7726 4410)
Opening Hours: 11.30am - 2.30pm, 6.00pm - 10.30pm


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  1. They'll probably put u up in their website as they link blogger's reviews on their restaurant.

    We always want to try this place but somehow decide not to at the last min. Must make an effort one day! Sometimes so many Jap places to eat, one gets spoilt for choice.

  2. Really?! I went there. It's pricey, and for the price, I think there are 2 places in Hartamas which is much better. Including the one located on the 1st floor (yet it is always packed) - forgot the name. Sugimoto?

    And for exclusivity, I think one of Morimoto's tatami rooms, right inside 1U, is still the cosiest! The food quality is good (sashimi is sliced good and thick), yet not many people frequent the place. But it's been there for years.

  3. Interesting point to note,in Japanese, "umai" is an adjective typically used to describe skill or taste. In food references, it means "delicious" or "yummy."

  4. good Morning! First time commenting here.

    Ohmygosh...Another review of Jap food place.. hehe...so near my offis in D.P.

    I just gone to this Jap Buffet called Shin Nichi. loved it. Check it out when u haf time.

  5. I love this place!!!

  6. to boo_licious:
    Well,... we'll see what happens.

    It's true though - nowadays so many Jap places around...

    to wuching:
    I try lah...

    to anonymous 1:
    Expensive-ness is very subjective thing, that's why I put the estimated cost per person for each restaurant review so everyone can judge by their own standards...
    (Some ppl might consider places like Kampachi cheap, you never know.... but for me, it's mega expensive)

    I have tried Sugimoto's but I thought the servings were a little small.
    (And parking in Hartamas can be such a pain)

    Thanks for the tip though - Morimoto sounds interesing... haven't tried it yet - will try to go there soon.

    to anonymous 2:
    That's very fitting then...

    to pam:
    Shall try out Shin Nichi the next time I want to go for a buffet...

    to hungryox:
    Me too!
    Yay for us!

  7. after going to japan, i just can't seem to stomach japanese food anymore lol. =P

  8. to merv:
    Yeah, I suppose the Jap food there is more yummy and authentic...
    ... but the Jap food here is much more affordable though!

  9. I usually find allways japanese, and indian food stores really expensive in canada. either they are ripping us off by that, it is the "hip" food and gouging our poor wallets, or that I am a cheap son of a kitten lion trainer / chicken fighter coach.

  10. to b:
    I'm sure it's just that those restaurants/ food stores are expensive in Canada...

    Come to Malaysia!
    Me and Pat will take you for a Japanese buffet and you can eat your fill....

  11. "Expensive-ness is very subjective thing"

    Eh? I didn't say whether it was expensive or not. I just wrote that for the same price, I felt that one can get better food.. heh

    Small portions? Really? I ordered the Chirashi (chef's selection) at Sugimoto. For RM50, I got the thickest, freshest cuts of fish I've ever had anywhere! I'm not a small guy, but I couldn't finish it all!!

    But maybe it goes to show, one man's meat is another man's poison when it comes to restaurants - there might be different circumstances when each person visits a restaurant: place is too busy on that day, different waiter, chef, or an ingredient out-of-stock..

  12. to anonymous 1:
    Oh, is that what you meant?
    I got thrown off when you used the word "pricey", I guess..

    Anyways - yeah!
    Totally true.... restaurants are very experiental and vary from one person to another.

    For example, I don't like/ appreciate sashimi and obviously you do. So, you'd probably judge a place by its fresh fish and I would judge it by its tempura, hand rolls and other cooked stuff.
    (Ooh... the thing about the busy-ness and waiters is also very true: I remember once I felt so shy because I brought my parents to one of my fave restaurants and the service was so, so bad that night because they were super packed....)

    Oh, thanks for dropping by again.... Maybe next time leave a name?
    (Only if you want to of course, no arm twisting here...)

  13. Hey,

    If you have a complaint regarding any restaurant in your area you are welcome to post your comments on this site:
    Post Your Restaurant reviews here

    or you can also visit our blog:
    Consumer Blog


  14. Hi all, thanx a lot for this blog ....... This is exxactly what I was looking for.


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