Kizuna One Japanese Restaurant @ Royal Perak Golf Club, IpohSeptember 7, 2010 | 6,750 views
*Update Nov 2011 – Kizuna One is now CLOSED. The restaurant has been taken over by another, serving Japanese and Thai cuisine.
#1 – Cucumber Maki (RM12/USD3.60) – Delicately rolled prawns and unagi with fritters and topped with a dollop of spicy mayo, and roes.
Kizuna One Japanese Restaurant is located at the revamped Royal Perak Golf Club (RPGC) on Tiger Lane (Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah); and has been proudly serving authentic Japanese cuisine for about a year now. Many locals are still confused whether this restaurant is opened to the public, or catering only to the members of the club.
Much like the misunderstanding that reigned when I first posted on The Fairway (that other dining establishment in RPGC), let me clear the mystifying air of confusion for you readers.
BOTH OF THESE RESTAURANTS ARE OPENED TO THE PUBLIC. Just that, if you’re a member of RPGC, you will get discount from your total bill. There, that’s settled! Happy? 🙂
#2 – The majestically-splendour ambience of Kizuna One (K1) @ Royal Perak Golf Club
With that out of the way, let’s concentrate on the review of the day. Kizuna One is NOT a branch of the other Kizuna in Medan Ipoh Bistari, albeit the almost similar sounding names. Yes, there WERE some connections back then, and established relationships with Akamomiji and to some extent … even A Lai I. But everything dates back to the days of Moritomo; that fantastic Japanese restaurant in Jusco Kinta City back in the late 90’s, and still famous during their stint in the early noughties.
Among the many Japanese restaurants in Ipoh today; Kizuna One triumphs indefinitely in the elegance, exclusivity and ambience departments. Read on to find out how exactly the feast turned out to be one of the BEST dining experiences we have had in a long time …..
#3 – Tako Su (bottom left); the complimentary appetizer of boiled octopus, seaweed and cucumber in a piquant vinegar dressing.
To find Kizuna One is almost a faultless affair. Seek for Royal Perak Golf Club on Tiger Lane, then park your car at the visitors lot (to the left) or the members lot (to the right) if you’re a member of the prestigious club.
Then you walk to the lobby of the club, and find your way up to the first floor. You can take the elevator, or just save the hassle and take the flight of stairs. You will find Kizuna One and The Fairway next to each other, and almost instantaneously you will be ushered to your seat.
#4 – Hokkai Salad (RM30/USD9) – A refreshing mix of lettuce, tomatoes, boiled octopus and crabsticks topped with fish roes
The first thing that struck my mind? Impeccable service, and an airy dining environment. Nothing too traditional nor fanciful, but a classy combination of wooden walkway leading to the partition-less seating area, with a stark contrast of black and cream-beige leather-cushioned chairs, and long black tables with a shiny finish.
If you’re in a big group, and you seek for more privacy, feel free to ask or reserve prior to your visit; the Private Rooms at Kizuna One. They have three rooms that can be adjointed/disjointed, the bigger room can fit 12 pax, while the two smaller rooms can fit 6 pax each.
#5 – Sashimi – clockwise from top left : Hokkigai (Surf Clam), Akagai (Bloody Shell Clam) Kanpachi (Amberjack) and Otoro (tuna belly)
The menu covers such an extensive range of Japanese delights; from the raw items like sushi, sashimi, pressed sushi and even carpaccio (thinly sliced raw fish/beef), to cooked foods like yakitori,/kushiyaki teppan dishes, tempura, and even bento sets. The plethora of choices left me reeling, and I trusted the recommendations from the proprietress herself; Miss Tan.
The Cucumber Maki seems to be Kizuna/Akamomiji/Kizuna One’s forte; delightfully crunchy and appetizing combination of prawns and freshwater eels (unagi) wrapped within a thin layer of cucumber, and the crispy fritters provided much texture. The spicy mayo provided a fiery kick; but of course you can request for the usual creamy mayo if you do not prefer spicy food.
A tangy ensemble of fresh salad with boiled octopus and crab sticks arrived next, with a special in-house dressing made from blended vegetables. The Hokkai Salad was even sufficient to satisfy a light eater, or one on a crash diet.
#6 – Salmon Carpaccio (RM27/USD8.20) – Thinly-sliced raw salmon fillet with dressing
But the platter of Sashimi knocked our socks off; encompassing thick slices of tuna belly (otoro) *you know how much I love fatty, oily tuna belly! *, kanpachi (amberjack fish) and two types of fresh clams; the akagai (bloody/red shells) and the hokkigai (white coloured surf clams with a crunchy texture). Every slice, every morsel was a delight to savour. I skipped the grated wasabi and wedges of lemon provided; and only dip the raw cuts into some shoyu (soy sauce).
The Salmon Carpaccio on the other hand, paled in comparison to the traditional, thicker sashimi we just had. But immensely lighter with an almost translucent appearance; the masterfully sliced salmon was still good enough for those not keen on chewing on thick, chunky cuts of raw fish.
#7 – Tiger Maki (RM23/USD7) – Crispy soft-shell crab rolls with a topping of melted, torched cheese
Aside from the Cucumber Maki, we were also presented with a slightly fusion Tiger Maki; a roll of rice with soft-shelled crabs topped with torched/grilled? cheese. A mix and match of Asian-Western fusion, the sushi roll needed no soy sauce, wasabi or even mayo to bring out the already robust flavour.
#8 – Foie Gras steak with a sweetish Teriyaki sauce
And this surprised us, as Foie Gras (fattened goose liver) was not in the menu. Paired with a glass of house red wine, the buttery and decadent patty of grilled foie gras was irresistible. The sweetish teriyaki sauce somewhat tampered the cloyingly-indulgent flavour of the liver.
#9 – Hamaguri Sakamushi (RM48/USD14.50) – Fresh and sweet Japanese Hamaguri clams cooked in a clear broth, with seaweed and ginger.
Hamaguri clams are available in Japan during spring season; and possess an uncanny resemblance to our local “la-la”. Very sweet and bouncy flesh, and best to be consumed raw, the clams were tastefully done at Kizuna One. Cooked in a claypot in a clear broth of wine, seaweed and thinly-julienned ginger, I don’t blame you for thinking this looks like another Chinese cuisine-inspired “Seong Tong La La” type of dish.
#10 – Two types of Baked Oysters; one with Cheese, and another with Mentaiko (spicy marinated Pollock roes) (RM15/USD4.50 each)
The Nama Kaki Mentaiyaki or Mentaiko-topped baked oyster is one of her top recommendations; as she proudly proclaimed the impeccable pairing of spicy marinated roes with the briny, fresh and plump oysters. And I could not agree more. Slightly smaller than the ones at Tengood, which is NOT a bad thing after all; for the BEST oysters according to her; would be those smaller, ‘slurpable’ in one gulp species like the sweeter Kumamoto oysters. The Nama Kaki Cheeseyaki, or cheese baked version was walloped by Dad, hence no comment.
#11 – Ayu Shioyaki (RM28/USD8.50) – Salt-grilled ayu fish (sweetfish)
Ayu or sweetfish is a type of fish resembling the smelts (the other famous salt-grilled fish aka ‘pregnant’ fish you see in Japanese restaurants; commonly eaten because of the roes inside the body). The flesh of the ayu was very flaky, soft and sweet. Salt-grilled is probably the best way to cook this fish, to preserve the natural sweetness of the flesh (described as a cross of melon and cucumber aromas). Don’t be misled by the picture above, the fish was only about 6-8 inches in length.
#12 – Gindara Mentaiyaki (RM28/USD8.50) – Grilled cod fillet with mentaiko sauce
Can’t comment much on the cod fish, aside from the deliciously addictive mentaiko takes precedence again, even to the extent of overwhelming the natural taste of the cod fillet. You can also choose the mentaiyaki style of grilling with salmon instead, if you’re fond of the fish.
#13 – Grilled meats and vegetables on skewers – Yakitori/Chicken (RM6/USD1.80), Hotate/Scallops (RM16/USD4.80) and Shiitake/Mushrooms (RM5/USD1.50)
Great light bites while waiting for the mains, or supplementing the mains. The earthy and robust shiitake mushrooms won me over instead of the more common chicken, and plump scallops. But nothing that stood out against Waraku‘s or even Tengood‘s grilled food on skewers.
#14 – Wagyu Amiyaki (RM150/USD45) – Grilled wagyu steak (marbling grade 5) topped with crispy deep-fried leeks.
Hands down the creme de la creme, we were already stuffed to the brim when the grilled wagyu steak made its appearance. A palm-sized portion of wagyu fillet was presented, with eclectic garnishing of fried leeks (tasted almost like fried shallots!), lettuce and a halved-cherry tomato. The meat was firmer than expected, but required less chewing; exhibiting that melt-in-mouth trait albeit not as prominent. It all boils down to preference. Some prefer their Wagyu (or Kobe, if you can find it here) to be extremely fatty, juicy and melting in the mouth without much gnawing, while the others will attest to the fact that you MUST be able to taste the flavours and texture of the beef; but still be able to enjoy the soft, buttery quality of the prized beef from the pampered cows.
#15 – Tenpura Mori (Mixed Tempura) (RM25/USD7.60) – Batter-coated prawns and mixed vegetables deep-fried and served with tentsuyu sauce.
By the time the assorted tempura arrived piping hot from the wok, we were stuffed to the brim. Mum does not take raw foods, hence all the cooked items were ordered especially for her. Nothing much to cheer about, nor anything to lament, but the tempura made its mark with three succulent prawns coated with a light batter (but slightly too greasy to register a full mark), served with the other battered vegetables.
#16 – Dining with a View of the 18-Holes Golf Course at the background.
Kizuna One opens daily, for lunch and dinner. They currently have a set lunch promotion on weekdays whereby you get FIVE choices – Maguro Tataki Set, Sushi & Sashimi Set, Teppanyaki Set, Chicken Teriyaki Set, and Temaki Set at RM19.90++ only. Good chance to sample what Kizuna One has to offer, in case you’re still skeptical (like how I was) and not willing to spend a fortune for a full feast here.
*This dinner was per invitation from the management of Kizuna One @ Royal Perak Golf Club
KIZUNA ONE JAPANESE RESTAURANT @ ROYAL PERAK GOLF CLUB (pork-free)
Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah,
31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Telephone : 605-548 4802
Business hours : 11.30am – 3.00pm, 6.00pm – 10.30pm
GPS Coordinates : E101 6′ 48.7″ N4 35′ 14.2″
Google Map to Kizuna One
*Open to Public. Parking is Free of Charge*