Monday, December 11, 2017

Tsubohachi Izakaya-Hokkaido | Publika Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Photo By: Elin Chow
Official Website: Tsubohachi Izakaya-Hokkaido 
Address: A2-UG1-9 Dutamas, No.1 Jalan Dutamas, Jalan Solaris, Publika 50480, Hartamas Height, Kuala Lumpur

I have been procrastinating whether I should write about my recent dining experience at Tsubohachi Izakaya-Hokkaido @ Publika because some of the photos I took are blurred and I hate posting low quality photos on my space here. But I still decided to write about it because I would like to share about my enjoyable dining experience.

Tsubohachi Izakaya-Hokkaido is an underrated Japanese Izakaya in Publika.The reason why I say it is underrated is because the food is really good but surprisingly, not many people seem to know about this restaurant. 

For those who do not know, Izakaya is a type of informal gastropub serving Tapas style food.  It is a casual place to meet and drink after work.

The first thing that you will noticed when you stepped into the restaurant is the 2 giant wooden bathtubs with matching pendant lights shining above them. 

The restaurant is pretty spacious with a few different seating options for diners to choose from. You can either choose to sit at normal tables, the wooden bathtubs or right on the ground on tatami mats. The atmosphere is very comfortable and relaxing.

Tsubohachi offers a wide range of delicious food items and drinks. From Sashimi, edamame, various salads, meat and noodles, to classic Izakaya favorites like grilled seafood, Okonomiyaki and Yakitori. The options are really vast and we were totally spoilt for choice! 

I love Takoyaki! I will always order Takoyaki whenever I visit a Japanese restaurant. But this one was nothing impressive. 

Chawanmushi is steamed egg custard topped with mushrooms. This is a simple dish that we would always order whenever we dine in a Japanese restaurant. The texture of the egg is silky smooth and melts instantly in your mouth.  Taste is light and richly flavorful. However, the price is a little expensive.

Salmon Sashimi
Salmon Sashimi was very fresh. The taste is buttery rich and has an almost melt-in-mouth texture. So delicious!

Nagashi Somen Set (Flowing Noodle Set)
Nagashi Somen is an unique way of serving thin noodles via flowing cold water. The noodles will slide down from a sliced bamboo pipe. Diners will have to use chopsticks to pick up the noodles as they slided down and dipped them in cold dipping sauce before eating. 

At Tsubohachi, the bamboo pipe is replaced by a Somen Set, which includes wheat-flour noodles, Ebi Tempura, fruits and vegetables and dipping sauce. We enjoy catching the noodles, fruits and vegetables from the flowing cold water. It really require a certain amount of skill!

Ebi Tempura was fried to a beautiful golden brown. It was not overly battered and gave a loud crunchy sound at every bite. Although it was delightfully crispy, it was not greasy at all. The prawns were also very fresh and nicely cooked and served with a tempura dipping sauce.

Hotate Yaki (Grilled Scallops)
My favorite will always be Hotate Yaki - a very expensive but delicious treat. The butter grilled scallops were awesomely sweet, tender and flavorful. I have been craving for this since I came back from Japan last year. This was also one of the reason we chose to visit this restaurant. But seriously, one is not enough to satisfy my craving. 

Kyuri Ippon Zuke (Japanese Style Pickled Cucumber) 
This one is my husband's favorite. I am not sure how it taste because I hate cucumber! But according to my husband, this was really good.

Tenderloin Steak with Ponzu
This was very disappointing. Served with a dipping sauce made from grated daikon, the meat was tasteless, hard and dry. Definitely not recommended.

Tako-Butsu (Diced Octopus Sashimi)
Diced Octopus Sashimi were not finely sliced, which was a little tough to eat. The texture is rubbery and difficult to chew. Not recommended!

Toro Salmon Sashimi (Salmon Belly)
Toro Salmon Sashimi is always one of my favorite, which is the fattier belly portion of the fish. The Sashimi is very fresh and has a buttery, melt-in mouth texture. Each slice of Sashimi was delicately cut, nicely presented and served freshly raw. Every bite of it was truly a delight.

Buta Kimchi Nabe (Pork Belly & Kimchi Claypot)
Made with anchovy broth, Kimchi, pork belly and vegetables, this soup pot is hot and sour that will warm your body up during rainy days. But the broth was a little too salty for my liking. Otherwise, I will definitely love this dish very much.

Salmon Harasu Yaki (Grilled Salmon Belly)
Since I am a big fan of raw Salmon belly, I decided to order the grilled ones to try as well. However, I did not like it very much because it was a little too salty. Unlike the raw version, the grilled Salmon belly has a very strong fishy taste too.

Tobiko Ajitama
I am not sure how this taste because I do not like boiled egg. But according to my husband, this is sweet and the taste was not bad.

Unagi Kabayaki (Boiled Eel)
Unagi Kabayaki is a popular dish in Japan, but I really do not like its strong fishy smell. For those who love Unagi, this should be good. 

Tobiko Gunkan
Tsubohachi Tebasaki & Nagoya Tebasaki (Fried Chicken Wings)

The chicken wings were well-seasoned and fried to perfection. Simple and delicious!

Madai Shabu Shabu

Madai is Seabream fish. I believe this is a kind of seasonal fish in Japan. Since it is currently available, we decided to try it out too. The fish meat was very soft and fresh. Definitely worth paying for!

Overall, we have a wonderful time eating at this restaurant. The total bill came to RM 400++ and the amount food we ordered was just nice for the 4 of us. Food was generally good and service was awesome. The staffs were prompt at clearing the empty plates and refill our tea. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for an authentic Izakaya dining experience.

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