One of our favourite Japanese restaurant, Rakuzen, has just opened a branch in Oasis Square, Ara Damansara - just 1 minute drive away from our house. Its first day of business was on Christmas day, and tonight, being Sunday night, the place was already more than half full. Word spread fast where good eating places are concerned.
Oasis Square is a new commercial centre located in Ara Damansara, developed by Sime Darby. It is designed with multistory retail lots and service suites surrounding a centre podium with several fountain pools and bungalow type of 3-storey retail lots. Rakuzen is housed in one of these retail bungalows.
|The centre podium with the feature pools and retail bungalows. |
Background is the Oasis Service Suites.
The restaurant interior is warm and cozy, with lots of wooden panelling that are designed around a honeycomb theme. Whilst its original branch in Subang Jaya is more rustic and simple, with tables and chairs arranged in a straight line along the walls, here you can choose to sit in circular cubicles or private rooms with designer hanging lamps - very trendy. Lots of sofa space for the kids to clamber, lie down, or even play some peek-a-boo.
|Peek-a-boo-ing through the open panel|
The menu is the same across all the branches. We were feeling rather hungry, so we ordered two dinner sets, a starter and an individual rice pot. Ended up way too much food for two adults and a kid :P
Hubby wanted to try the Salmon Sashimi with Roe in Chirashi Rice. It came in a huge set with chawanmushi, miso soup, fruits and a small side dish of stir fry cabbage with hokto mushroom.
Generous chunks of sashimi belly with big juicy roe that gave a mighty pop in your mouth. Nice, except that the rice was not chilled enough. It was kinda lukewarm.
Hubby and I loved this Wagyu Beef Rice in Hot Stone Pot. The rice was wonderfully fragrant with that stone smoky aroma, the beef strips flavourful and moist, and there is a layer of crispy brown rice crust at the bottom. So good.
|before adding the sauce and egg..love the gingko nuts|
The chicken karrage was ok, i thought the batter was a bit too thick and chewy, instead of crispy and thin. Taste was good though. Goes well with the mayo.
I had the nabeyaki udon. Didn't realise that it also came with another bowl of sashimi salmon with tobiko roe (more roe!) and also chirashi rice (more rice!). I was like - too much carbo! There was a massive amount of udon in the bowl, as well as three pieces of tempura, mushroom, some chicken meat and even one fifty-cent size hotate.
|Again, lukewarm rice - why???|
Service was efficient. They have a button attached to the side of each table for you to call.
Total damage: RM146, including tax. All meals come with complimentary green tea.
Parking is a breeze, as the place is still 90% unoccupied. Rakuzen is currently giving a RM$10 voucher for every RM$100 spent. I like the fact that there is no minimum spend on the voucher. You can use it to pay for any amount of meal. Valid while stock lasts.
|Sushi preparation area - notice the stone in the centre of the picture?|
|The table corner is carved to fit around the stone.|
|Six footers beware! Toilets for "short" people ;P |
Converted from a storeroom - hubby (who is 5'11") can just walk
through without knocking his head.