Friday, March 30, 2007

Gonbei, Starhill

Don't you use love this time of the year? It's the season of promotions, increments and most importantly bonuses! Ok maybe most of you got yours at the end of the year or even at frequent intervals thoughout a year but for most of my generous foodie companions, now is prime time. They get, we celebrate, I jump for joy (don't think my current bulk allows any significant height though). 3 out of 5 voted Japanese and wanted to revisit Ninja Jones. However changed venue when 1 who had good dining experience here before suggested this posh restaurant instead. Posh? That was our impression due to its location and premium prices. W-a-s is the key word here. I'll story later.Let's just whizz through a few of what we had that night. Please don't be too upset if I fumble on the names of the dishes. Orders were made without much reference to the menu and at warp speed as friends knew what they wanted. As for me, a young grasshopper in such cuisine only get to answer 'err yea, I eat', 'oh, sound icky', 'err ok I try-lor'. You will notice my pictures have kind of a brownish tinge on them. Poor lighting. As far as possible I will try not to use the camera's flash in dimly lit restaurants. It would attract too much attention and may be a nuisance to other patrons.

Carrot+Orange juice. No ice, no sugar. Mine. Other drinks ordered that night included Ocha/Green tea, another glass of Fruit Juice but I cannot recall what and a glass of their House Red.
Fish cakes
Japanese corn. Only 1 portion left so it went exclusively to our friend who claimed he craved it to death. Nah!
Wagyu Tenderloin
Salmon Sashimi
Teppanyaki Hotate (Scallops?) and prawns. These were my portion on my plate. That's a miniature size tomato with green seeds. Adorable, right?Saba Fish. Fishy smell a bit too overpowering for me.Garlic Fried Rice. My small bowl. Everyone agrees it is good especially the fried garlic! I do not know for sure what the accompanied sauce plate held. One side was some kind of a salad cream while the other although look like chopped chillies, it was not hot at all.
Teriyaki Cod Fish. Picture is not minimised. That was the size we got. = (
Soft Shell Crab
Ice Cream Tempura (Fried ice cream). The outer skin was too thick. We did expect it to be crunchy but it's more like 'lau-fong' texture.
Pumpkin Ice Cream with red beans. Dollop of ice cream was yellow in colour but turned out green in my picture. 'o.0'

Banana & Mango Fritter. I enjoyed this most. Have fallen hard for this combination ever since I was introduced to it barely a year ago.

Story time. We were greeted with the usual boisterous greeting one gets at Jap retaurants but odd part was the 'eyes' that followed us to our table where a friend was already seated and had started off with a few dishes. He was real early and gluttony got the better of him. Hey, that reminded me, we should not had splitted the bill equally! Aiyaya. Oh back to the eyes. Most of them belonged to the 5 idle staff behind the sushi/sashimi counters. Stares which either say we don't look like usuals at such classy joints or maybe they don't see that many patrons given any time of the day. Oblivious to my discomfort, the rest plonked themselves right in view of the counter. -_-"

Dishes came dishes go at quite a slow pace though we were the only 1 of the 3 tables occupied. We were busy chatting away at controlled volume due to the serene atmosphere. Our effort was most unnecessary. You know why? The chef was using our orders of Ice Cream Tempura and Banana Mango Fritters as teaching aids! The staff behind the counters were making a rukus with comments and questions while watching the ingredients being wraped, torched and plated. @_@" That pasar malam scene (as one of my friends called it) did not end there. It continued until we left. After our desserts were served which did take quite some time, the chef seemed to be dishing out lessons on the basics of sashimi, sushi or whatever cold dishes preparation. Either that or he was just showing off to a most appreciative crowd, the staff. Friend who had been there before said that nothing of such happened during his last visit early this year. Well, maybe it was a really very slow day. V e r y s l o w .

Hoo-ha, no charge.
Glimpse of class in session, no charge.
Other than the above (those items not pictured were items finished by the early bird):-


Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Y'know, I've never seen Gonbei crowded before. Usually walk past it when I go to Jogoya. :-P Cod looks dismal, u poor dear. But everything else looks nice. :-) Craving for sashimi now...thanks a lot! :-P

Tummythoz said...

I'll rather spend that sum at Jogoya! Actually haven't been there yet. Sashimi? Still learning to a appreciate. Did I mention wasabe is yucky stuff to me? *run far far at lightning blot speed. Well trying very hard that is*

Tummythoz said...

Oops. Shd b 'bolt'.

Coketai said...

This is definitely not a good dining experience, pay such high price and yet you still do not feel comfortable even though the food may sound OK! Sometime we expect more for this kind of pricy restaurant.


Precious Pea said...

WAHHHH!!!!!! YOU and your foodie frens must be getting very high increment and bonus!!

sc said...

like lemongrass, i've only been to jogoya and merely walked pass gonbei..was told that gonbei is much more expensive than jogoya, hence shunned...hehe. guess food at ninja jones was better?

Fezzaboy said...

I believe so to, my friend's brother operates Izzy's just opposite Ninja Jones. He too thinks that Ninja Jones is better.

boo_licious said...

er, I'm still confused. Is that Fezzaboy or Tummythoz writing that review?

Am not sure as you didn't really say if the food was good or bad but judging from Fezzaboy's comment, it wasn't good and Ninja Jones was much better?

Someone who is constantly craving said...

OMG>...thats more then 1/3 of my monthly pay you are talking about for what looks like tiny dishes haha..
i reckon you can actually find some pretty good authentic jap food in the hartamas areas..

well thanks for popping by..i welcome any1..esp food lovers..

jason said...

WAHSAI... *displaying the same reaction as Precious Pea* Kekeke.. Well, from the pics and your story, I guess there's no need to think about Gonbei la.

tankiasu said...

My workstation is flooded with my saliva now, just by looking at the Wagyu tenderloins!!! *slurp slurp*

Paprika said...

Gee how disappointing! Like everyone here, I haven't actually been because it looks so lun si and expensive from outside.

team BSG said...

funny, most people seem not too pleased with so called authentic Japanese ala-carte cuisines in KL/PJ? maybe it has to do with the ultra high prices !
over the weekend, I met some friends who were tucking into a late buffet(3pm) lunch at Zen, /sunway pyramid, they seem happy enough at RM55++ per head. Maybe you should try japanese buffets next, who knows ?

Kok said...

The portion for the food are quite small. If I was to choose, I'll go for Ninja Jones (based on photos):P

Kay said...

Woah, lots of food here!..The fish cakes looks pretty tasty, I would skip the corn, the tenderloin is very meaty..mmm! I love scallops..I never heard of garlic fried rice, this is new to me... cod fish is tasty! Would love to try some of that tempura ice cream! Wonderful foodie you got there! ( Cbox : & Blog : )

Jackson said...

Looking at the bill.... OMG!!! So expensive!!! But i bet the food must b very nice!

Melting Wok said...

wow, tummy, the ling cod looks awesom e:) man, you guys get such big soft shell crabs back home, wait, how much was for tt piece ??

Tummythoz said...

coketai, welcome. I'm most at ease sitting in hawkers' centers & fast food chains. =)

precious pea & jason, haha. Actually only 2 of them got higher spending power. The other friend & I had been trying to eat free (on their a/c) after that meal pleading that our bleeding pockets need ample time to recover. =P

sc, fezzaboy & kok, personally, I prefer either Ninja Jones or Rakuzen. Then again, I've not been to many Jap restaurants.

boo_licious, *waving like crazy* it's me, it's me Tummythoz.

someone who's constantly craving, hello! Do pop around my list of tummy yummies blogroll. Guarantee your cravings will reach new heights!

tankiasu, have u tried kobe beef? Was told it is much much better. Hope to get the chance soon. Drools.

paprika & jackson, yes, I was disappointed.

team bsg, friends say my level of appreciation for Jap cuisine will not do justice to a good buffet spread or price. Apa boleh buat, I am still not a fan of raw seafood and dislike wasabe.

kay, welcome welcome!

melting pot, err anyone can read Jap & point out which says soft shell crabs in the bill?

Rasa Malaysia said...

Japanese grilled fish (except cod) is always very fishy...another really fishy one is smelt fish on the stick...eeewww.

tankiasu said...

Yea heard of Kobe beef of course. But I also heard its gila babi expensive! :P Apparently they feed them quality grain and BEER!

Paris Beaverbanks said...

Wahlau - so ex and use your food as teaching aid somemore?! O_o You've been tagged btw

fatboybakes said...

haiyoooo, this place, they sharpen their sashimi knives to slaughter you after cutting the fish. we had dinner there once, and it was SOOOOOOOOO EXPENSIVE, i had to clutch my heart in shock. AND, i was not amused that a lot of the items listed in the menu were "not available" and its substitues were priced "market price". the normal tenderloin wasnt available, for teppenyaki, and the alternative was wagyu, which was like some absurd price. this is one of those places that i'd label, NEVER AGAIN!!!

having said that, mind you, i think jogoya standard also has plummeted.

MeiyeN said...

O_o so expensive!!!! maybe you can try out rakuzen.. ;)

Honey Star said...

Oh wow!!!the food looks good but super expensive.

wmw said...

What an odd experience at such a "posh" place....and them giving you folks the "eyes", that's just plain rude!

Tummythoz said...

rasa malaysia, oic. Thx for d heads up.

tankiasu, heard they r get daily massages too!

paris, meme ec or not? I think I still owe quite a few. -_-"

fatboybakes, hi-5. Never again *with echo*.

meiyen, used to frequent the one at Chulan Sq but not since it renovated. Plan to go soon.

honey, pity it did not taste so.

wmw, u r back! I'll zoom over & help u unpack. So got buy lots of souvenirs-ar?

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

wah, jogoya's standard has gone down? I always thought it was one of the better japanese buffets in town.

wmw said...

Thanks for the offer...not that many, except for my favourite Tous pendants!

jason said...

wmw: Haha... you love dogs too??

Anonymous said...

i having ala carte buffet at gonbei today, th food quite ok, but unfortunately the service is poor, slow, and no manner. so disappointed.

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