Monday, March 7, 2011

Hanare Japanese Restaurant, The Intermark, Kuala Lumpur

The Unc and I are both big fans of Japanese food, especially sashimi. We were looking around for a Japanese buffet whereby we could indulge ourselves, so when I read about Hanare's Champagne Brunch from EatDrinkKL's blog, I instantly knew that it would be just the kind of buffet we would like.


And what a fine meal it was! The dining experience was so positive that I did not hesitate recommending this on Twitter and had the urge to blog about this meal immediately. This says a lot, since I have a huge backlog of posts I have yet to write.


A Japanese buffet with the WOW factor..

Hanare's Champagne Brunch is only available on Sundays and showcases authentic Japanese cuisine from seasonal ingredients specially selected by their purchaser in Tokyo's famous Tsukiji fish market and air flown thrice a week. For RM298+, one can enjoy a selected buffet menu with free flow of G.H.Mumm's Champagne & Hakutsuru sake. There is also a non-alcoholic buffet only option for RM150+ which we went for.


Complimentary green tea


Quality, not quantity...


Upon arriving at the restaurant, we were greeted by the friendly smiles of the waiting staff and manager. The decor here is minimal but tasteful. The buffet "spread" is small, with only cold starters, tempura and somen being displayed. Everything else is freshly prepared as per your order. Even the sashimi is sliced on the spot upon request. I definitely prefer quality buffets like this, as it means that they feature almost everything I would want to eat versus quantity buffets with so-so food.
Tables


Relaxed atmosphere for a Sunday afternoon


Wood here, wood there


Premium quality sashimi that will wow you...


Our first stop was the sashimi counter. Only 3 types of sashimi are offered, but of premium quality; salmon, hamachi (yellowtail tuna) and chutoro (tuna belly). A bluefin tuna often yields akami (the leaner meat), followed by chutoro and the highly prized otoro. The Unc who has eaten both chutoro and otoro, often sings praises about them, so I couldn't wait to try it for the first time.


Sashimi chef slicing the sashimi upon request

Picked ginger, freshly grated wasabi and soy sauce

Sashimi platter



The sashimi was undoubtedly very fresh. I enjoyed all 3 types of sashimi with chutoro definitely being my favorite. The sensation of eating it was quite spectacular; as you slowly savour the chutoro, there is a wonderful buttery texture and aftertaste which will linger in your mouth. Eating chutoro brings a new meaning to melt-in-your-mouth. I shall not reveal how many pieces of sashimi we consumed during this meal, but we ate a whole lot more than what Sean of EatDrinkKL managed :P

Gorgeous chutoro (fatty tuna belly)


Close-up of the chutoro


Even the salmon sashimi was excellent

Pretty hamachi



We are not big fans of oysters but we just couldn't resist trying those on offer in Hanare. Sitting on a bed of illuminated ice, they were calling out to be eaten. Again, the oysters were very fresh and clean tasting. I had 2 oysters, which is quite a feat for someone who usually dislikes oysters. With oysters as fresh as this, maybe I would someday love them?


Super fresh oysters



We made it a point to try everything at the buffet, so the cold starters were next. Not exactly sure what some of them were, but I could make out the daikon, karaage, deep fried squid, and deep fried lotus root.



You can make your own salad. Choose from salad leaves, Japanese seaweed, ikura (salmon roe), smoked salmon, and crabmeat. The Unc concocted this colorful and delicious salad, which I wouldn't mind eating everyday. The ikura was such a delight to eat, I absolutely love the popping saltiness to them.




The waitress asked if we wanted to try the chawanmushi (steamed egg custard) and miso soup. Even the miso soup was very good; it was very pleasant on the palate and not overpowering. The chawanmushi was silky smooth and delicious.

Miso soup

Chawanmushi



What we thought was cold soba was actually Goma Somen. Hanare is the only place in KL whereby you can get these cold fine black sesame noodles which they have specially imported from the Japan. The noodles had a nice bite to it and were very refreshing to eat.


Wagyu beef teppanyaki that will blow your mind away...

Not to be missed here at Hanare are the teppanyaki offerings. Choose from Australian Wagyu Beef, prawn, scallops, salmon, amd vegetable and the chef will cook it on the spot for you. You can also determine the doneness of your beef here. We watched Chef Sudo San masterfully cook and slice the beef.

Premium wagyu beef cuts, scallops and prawns

Chef Sudo San

Chef and blogger in action

The beef that was placed before us was mouthwatering. Perfectly cooked to medium rare, the wagyu beef was simply out of this world. Who would have thought that the reign for best beef / steak I've ever eaten would be here at Hanare? The beef was succulent and tasted almost buttery. It was hard to put down our forks after the first bite. We couldn't stop at 1 piece each, or even 2.... it was THAT good. Simply sensational.... wagyu beef that will wow you.

The scallops was also very good, cooked til slightly translucent, sweet and bouncy. The prawns were meaty and sweet and was topped with a rich, creamy "special sauce".

Juicy scallops

Prawn in "special sauce" and scallops

After all the meat we indulged in, The Unc went to get some edamame to meet his quota for greens. This is how many he got.. it made me chuckle!


The tempura was not oily, however the batter was not as light as I would have liked it to be.
Prawn tempura

Vegetable tempura


Tentsuyu with grated daikon and ginger

We ended the meal with some fruit cocktail and azuki beans. The combination worked quite well, to our surprise. Not too sweet or rich, this was a good ending to our meal.

The Intermark, where Hanare is located


*There are also sushi and temaki on offer for the buffet, but we decided to skip them as rice would be too filling.



Without a doubt, Hanare's Sunday Brunch is the best buffet I've eaten ever.

Hanare also offers Omakase (degustation/tasting) menus priced at RM180 and above. For the full a la carte and lunch menu, click here.



Opening times: Lunch 12.00-2.30pm. Dinner 6.00-10.30pm.

Service: Excellent. Plates were cleared regularly, green tea was topped up at efficient speed and the manager Aliex was friendly and eager to offer information on their buffet.

Price: Expensive, but food selection is of top quality. In my opinion, it is well worth the RM150+ that we paid.

Location: Hanare Authentic Japanese Cuisine, Lot G06, Ground Floor, The Intermark, 182 Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2164 2133 / 03-2164 2633

GPS Coordinates: 3.161620, 101.719670


Join their Facebook page here.

29 comments:

  1. looks like they've added more items as promised over the past month! scallops, somen and chawanmushi at least! makes it even more worthwhile :D

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  2. Finally, a buffet with quality.
    What always set me back about buffet is that the quality of the food. I would rather go for ala carte menu :)

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  3. looks like much better quality of food than Tenji

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  4. Nevermind, there's still Koko in Melbourne

    *this is me longing for Hanare*

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  5. Chef and blogger in action - at first I thought so where is the blogger then eventually I saw you in the mirror haha. I wanna go next time :-)

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  6. argh! i want to go here for some buffet loving!!

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  7. gosh, fresh cuts of tuna belly! *gulps*
    oh, i want to be there!!!

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  8. Sean: Thanks to you, we found out about this wonderful buffet. I dont think I ever want to go any other Japanese buffet after yesterday.

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  9. Pureglutton: What you see here was only half of what we ate.. hehe :P

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  10. Zoe: If you love Japanese food, you really have to try this buffet. Pity that you cant eat beef because it really is to die for.

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  11. Small Kucing: I havent personally been to Tenji but I think the quality between both places is incomparable.

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  12. Michelle: Well, at least you got to have dinner here before you left...

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  13. C&D Daddy: Come come, we go again. no problem :)

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  14. Joe: If you wanna indulge in at least 1 buffet session while you're back in KL, make this it. Very worthwhile.

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  15. Ai Wei: Yeah the chutoro was sooooo yummy! And you can eat as much as you like as well :)

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  16. Simply fabulous! I need to go back again.. and again and again. LOL

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  17. I'm going to hanare tonight, u've had me convinced on few of these dishes. Can't wait to try 'em :)

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  18. Cumi: Yes, think we'll be making a return visit again soon.

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  19. AugustDiners: Hope you have a lovely meal there tonight! :)

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  20. Hmm. i was there too (Hint solo eater at hanare march 6 2011)''Relaxed atmosphere for a Sunday afternoon'' that black colored square table was where i was sitting i guess those pictures were taken after i left the buffet i sat next to the patrons. i remember you came with your boyfriend? cause i was sitting infront of you. so thats you who took pictures at that buffet.There were mostly 4 table including me and when i left the buffet,there was another patron just arrive.wat a suprise i came on the same day as another blogger but just remember i was there too! don't deny it!

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  21. porch.turds: Yes I remember who you are, I actually have a photo of your back hehe. I am married, but that is not my husband. :P

    So did you enjoy the buffet? You left quite early right. Did you blog abt this too?

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  22. Right I'm sure it was 90 minutes I didn't notice I left quite early by your standards. So you stayed back until 2pm? well I was already full by then! I was gorging actually. Thanks to Sean for introducing me to this wonderful eatery! he is really the restaurant Guru! I enjoyed the buffet but next time I'll have to tell the sashimi cutter to do it all in 1 time it was tiring just to go there to ask for the same thing many times.repetitive. Hopefully next time I'll get to sample that wonderful Japanese strawberry Ice cream that Sean had it was absent as we had Nata De coco with fruits. I might hola at you if i see you again!

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  23. Porch.turds: Actually the buffet was until 2.30pm and most tables stayed beyond that time. I think they change their desserts weekly, so it's hard to tell what they will be serving on a certain week. Do say hello next time if you can still rmbr how I look like :P

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  24. Didn't see the tarashirako in their menu~is that seasonal promotion item? ><

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  25. Fui: Maybe tarashirako is a seasonal item - I've seen it in their omakase.

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  26. feel that this is really a great Japanese food

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  27. Nikel: Yes, very good quality Japanese food :) Highly recommended!

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  28. Wow. Amazing spread indeed. Hanare's never failed to dazzle huh?

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