My mum loves Japanese food. So, when I heard of this fairly new Japanese restaurant in Midvalley Gardens), I brought her to go try it out during our weekly quality time/ shopping excursion/ session of contribution towards the Malaysian economy:
Kita No Zen (the restaurant) and Hokkaido Ichiba (the adjoining ice cream/ dessert lounge) were opened by the people behind Rakuzen and Sushi/Pasta Zanmai, so you will see that the style of the decor interior is similar - modern yet with a Japanese twist and lots of natural elements:
They have a really extensive menu (almost mind boggling) ranging from the affordable (Agedashi Tofu) to the expensive (Grilled Snow Crabs), from the normal (Teriyaki Chicken) to the slightly unusual (Grilled Lotus Roots with Spicy Cod Roe).
I wanted to try the more unusual items, but I was slightly ill that day and felt like something soupy - so, I ordered the Spicy Miso Ramen with Grilled Chicken (RM 14.80++):
Overall, ok lah...
The ramen noodles texture was ever so slightly overcooked but still with some "bounce", paired with the slightly thick and mildly spicy soup. I found the toppings entirely normal though, and didn't like the egg, which was essentially just hard boiled I think.
(*sigh* I have also been spoiled with the awesome eggs/ soup from places like Marutama, but I guess they are yummier because they specialise in ramen...)
My mum had Chicken Teriyaki Zen set (RM 22++), of which I stole the some bites from:
I appreciated how the slices of chicken had been grilled well to achieve a smokey fragrance and slightly crisp skin and the sauce was nice balanced - not too sticky or sweet..
Unfortunately, I also found the meat to be overcooked**. Still, its a decent sized portion with the accompanying miso soup, chawan mushi and small side dishes (pickled vegetables, small salad and a beef salad) and is not a bad meal by shopping centre standards.
(** Note: My mum really enjoyed this, so maybe I'm just fussy?)
I was really looking forward to dessert and pored over the various flavors and combinations available. I wanted the more interesting flavours (like the Yuzu or Salt Caramel) but I was sharing with my mum (who is somewhat a traditionalist when it comes to ice cream) and settled for the Chocolate Vanilla Waffle (RM 9.80++):
While the ice cream was quite nice (light yet creamy in texture and flavour), the waffles were really disappointing - it was soft and kinda starchy.
(Note: If you like sinfully rich ice cream then you might not enjoy the ones here - they are generally on the lighter, delicate side...)
Overall, I'm not impressed with Kita No Zen so far, but I suspect I just ordered the wrong food items... :(
(I think I'll definitely head back though to try out some of the other ice creams and some of the ala carte items that caught my eye though)
So it's: Wide range of Japanese food (with some interesting/unusual items) and desserts, fairly reasonable prices, comfortable ambience BUT nothing bad really - it's ok for shopping centre standards and service can be a bit slow although friendly during peak hours.....
Hokkaido Ichiba/ Kita No Zen @ Midvalley Gardens, KL
Lot T-201, Third Floor, The Gardens Mall, Midvalley City, 59200 Kuala Lumpur
Ambience : 6
Service : 6
Price** : RM 55/++ per person
Parking: Difficult on weekends
** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-2283 1060
Opening Hours: 11 am to 10.30 pm
NO PORK SERVED
- Hou Hou Sek
- Eat Drink KL
- Eat Me Out!
- Kelly C
TAGS: Food, Blog, Weblog, Malaysia, Restaurant Review, Midvalley Megamall, MidValley, The Gardens, Hokkaido Ichiba, Japanese, Kita No Zen, Shopping Centre, KL, Kuala Lumpur