Monday, February 7, 2011

Kita No Zen, Hokkaido Ichiba, The Gardens, Kuala Lumpur

The last couple of times I wanted to try the Japanese food at Hokkaido Ichiba, I was put off by the long queues formed outside the outlet on weekends. We tried our luck again on a weekday and thankfully, although the restaurant was quite busy, there was no queue to get in.

Hokkaido Ichiba is made up of Kita No Zen and Hokkaido Ice-Cream. You can order both food and ice-cream when dining at the Kita No Zen section but you can only order ice-cream from the Hokkaido Ice-Cream section. From where we were seated, we had a good view of the open kitchen.

A lot of wood used in the restaurant decor

Complimentary hot green tea

I found it mind-boggling and a bit overwhelming that Hokkaido Ichiba does not only have 1 menu, but 4 menus (a la carte, set lunch, seasonal, Hokkaido ice-cream).. thus it took us a while before we could decide what we wanted to eat. In the end, we went for the set lunches since they were pretty good value for money, with prices ranging from RM22 to RM65.

I went for the Sakura Chirashidon Zen set (RM30); the set came with an appetizer, a bowl of sushi rice topped with assorted seafood, chawanmushi (steamed egg custard), miso soup, pickles and fresh fruits. I was pretty impressed with the set as the chirashidon came laden with fresh seafood. In the bowl, there were salmon sashimi, maguro (tuna), kanpachi (amberjack), kaori-halo kani (crabmeat), scallop, pickled ginger, prawns and tamago (omelette). The appetizer was pretty interesting; cold squid tentacles topped with Japanese mayo and seaweed. I also enjoyed the chawanmushi as it was very smooth.


Cold appetizer

Steaming hot chawanmushi

Hubby had the Sashimi to Tempura Zen set (RM38). This came with an appetizer, tempura, a sashimi platter, miso soup, chawanmushi, pickles and rice. I tried the tempura as Hubby offered me a whole prawn, and it was very good. The batter was light and not oily. His appetizer differed from mine, braised beef which we found to be very flavoursome. There were 3 types of sashimi served with this set; salmon, tuna, and kanpachi.



Sashimi platter

One of the reasons I wanted to dine here was to try their Hokkaido ice-cream. Unfortunately, we were too stuffed by the end of the meal so decided to forego the ice-cream, maybe another day. We had the intention of dining here again on the second day of CNY when we were in The Gardens, however the restaurant was closed. Oh well, something to look forward to in the future.

Verdict: Overall, we found the set lunches very good value for money; generous portions and the sashimi was very fresh.

Service: Good.

Price: Reasonable. Total bill was RM78.90. Prices for set dinner approximately 15% more expensive than set lunch. Green tea is complimentary.

Location: Kita No Zen, Hokkaido Ichiba, T-201, 3rd Floor, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2283 1060

Note: The Gardens Club card holders are entitled to a complimentary scoop of Hokkaido melon ice-cream with a minimum dine in spend of RM30.


  1. ya, it's been a long time since i last ordered a set at a japanese outlet. they're always so filling! the sashimi-&-tempura set looks like a great deal though, with such a wide variety of stuff in it :D

  2. Sean: Yeah we were pretty pleased with the sets here, unlike another Jap outlet in The Gardens which we felt were too stingy with their portions.

  3. Must try the ice cream. I recommend the one with crepes and wafers. :)

  4. Shame we didnt learn about the free ice cream offer prior to this meal as I could had made space for a free scoop :-)

  5. i need to find chirashi sushi like the ones i had in cairns years ago where they put tons of uni and ikura..the salmon eggs pop with the sticky sushi rice, thats gorgeous.

  6. Michelle: Yeah will have to go again soon!

    C&D: Lol!

  7. Joe: That sounds yummy, let me know if you find one like that in KL!

  8. My Hokkaido Ichiba photos still not yet edit =.="

  9. Choi Yen: Haha you are not alone.. I have a huge backlog of blogs to write also.

  10. here is wishing you a happy Rabbit year and may you get lots of carrots or carats if you prefer! haha

  11. Must try the ice cream XD recommend the sorbet,especially niagara wine sorbet, not only nice aroma(in wine form), but also yummy in sorbet form~!

  12. eiling: Happy CNY to you too! Carats sounds good... more more more carats please!

  13. Fui: Thx for the recommendation, will need a while before I will manage to sample all the ice-cream flavours at Hokkaido Ichiba.


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