Monday, January 24, 2011

Hokkaido Ichiba/ Kita No Zen @ Midvalley Gardens, KL

A new Japanese food option in Midvalley....

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:
Outside Kita No Zen....

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:
Seated at one of the booths inside....

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++):
My bowl of ramen....

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:
:)
The chicken....

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++):
Our cute little waffles....

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.....


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


Hokkaido Ichiba/ Kita No Zen @ Midvalley Gardens, KL
Lot T-201, Third Floor, The Gardens Mall, Midvalley City, 59200 Kuala Lumpur

Taste: 5
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




OTHER REVIEWS:
- Hou Hou Sek
- Eat Drink KL
- Eat Me Out!
- JordanTan.com
- Kelly C

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18 comments:

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

its 2 Ks in Hokkaido!

J said...

to Joe who is constantly craving:
Oops. Fixed already, thanks! :)

ai wei said...

i find that the waffles were not good at all. cold soft starchy type. it would be better if they heat it up or make it more crispy.

Sean said...

ooh, i wonder whether ramen only tastes good if it comes topped with pork instead of chicken! :D
my family's tastes are quite traditional too. i think i've only eaten japanese food a few times with them. my grandparents refuse to touch sashimi and unagi =)

qwazymonkey said...

I only come here for the ice cream. It's cheap and nice. But stay away from the waffles. LOL

thule a.k.a leo said...

so far I have only gone to their ice-cream section... their grape & black sesame are awesome!! must try next time oh

Life for Beginners said...

Me, I think I'll stick to the dessert selection. Of late, I've become more careful dining out for Japanese food... Who would have thought? :P

J said...

to ai wei:
Yeah! So disappointing - It's such a waste though because the ice cream is nice...

to Sean:
Hmmm. Well, pork does add a certain amount of yumminess to any given ramen... but the chicken one at Marutama Ramen is pretty nice worr...
(So I guess it's not a rule? lol)
(Haha. Yeah, I guess our elders are all quite traditional in their preferences - Jap or Korean is the most exotic cuisine that my parents enjoy. Preferably no Western food for them)

to qwazy monkey:
If only I knew. :(
(Such a waste of calories lah those waffles)

to thule aka leo:
Ooh. Love those flavours. Will definitely try that next round! :)

to Life for Beginners:
I guess as our tastebuds mature, we all become more discerning? No point wasting time on below par food, right? :)

choi yen said...

Their food variety is huge, menu also have 3 or 4 O.O

J said...

to choi yen:
Yarrrrr.
It's so bad to go there when hungry because keep flipping through the menu and too many choices until become pening. lol. :)

Bangsar-bAbE said...

You were not feeling well...still can eat spicy miso ramen arr??

J said...

To bangsar babe:
Haha. Guilty as charged! I know I shouldn't have but I was feeling cold so I wanted some spicy to warm me up...
:)

HairyBerry said...

ya know, i passed by this place last saturday and thought of getting some ice cream but since it was a sit-in restaurant, i just left. and we ended up at that korean place downstairs. hehehe.

J said...

to HairyBerry:
I think there's a little cafe-ish section just outside the main restaurant where you can enjoy the ice cream? Go try it out lah. :)
(The ice creams are light but the flavours are really interesting)

cursuri machiaj said...

I don’t like the egg on you ramen bowl either, but the chicken looks great though. And yes, I do love “sinfully rich” ice cream. It’s the only ice cream I truly enjoy. Thank you for the review.

J said...

to cursuri machiaj:
The chicken was ok... :)
And no problem - it's my pleasure to share on my food experiences...

Fui Lemonadelime said...

I think their sorbet is a must try, especially the Niagara wine sorbet~

J said...

to Fui Lemonadelime:
Mmmmmm... sounds yummy. And that reminds me that I haven't gone back to try it yet! :D

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