Everytime I have to go to Cheras, I get slightly anxious because of the congestion. Apart from few lucky occasions, I am always stuck in the traffic jam on the way there. Though if the reward of making the stressful trip is scrumptious Japanese food, then sign me up!
Cheras Sentral Mall (formerly Plaza Phoenix) only just opened earlier this year, though it’s showing plenty of promises with a good variety of retail shops and restaurants. Sushi Tei, one of the new tenants, is definitely no stranger to the Malaysians as there are several other outlets scattered around Klang Valley. But this would serve as good news for residents of that part of town.
We were invited recently to this brand new outlet to sample their menu. Sample is probably not the correct word because I will warn you that we went completely nuts that night with our orders. The interior of Sushi Tei is distinctively Japanese with lots of light wood and bright lighting, featuring a large conveyor belt. There are different sections to cater the customers including one private room we happened to dine in.
The benefit of dining with a group is that we get to taste more food, and I think we ordered at least 60% of the menu. So without further ado, let the pictures do the talking!
It’s definitely fair for me to judge a Japanese restaurant by the quality of their Sashimi, and this platter definitely passed with flying colours. Featuring 6 kinds of raw fish, we had Tuna Belly, Yellow Tail, Sea Bream, Salmon, Butterfish and Scallop. Needless to say, this made me a very happy girl.
Sushi Tei offers more than 20 different types of Sushi Rolls and it was difficult making the decisions, but we settled for Golden Dragon Roll, Dynamite Roll and Special Unagi Roll. My favourite would have to be the Unagi Roll, but the mango on the Golden Dragon Roll was also a refreshing twist.
The next few dishes are their house specialties and the most anticipated dish would be the Wagyu Houbayaki (RM58.80).
The delicate pieces of Wagyu beef is grilled slowly on top of some Eringi mushrooms. For maximum enjoyment, cook it to medium and savour the melting texture and the sweet flavour. Paired with a miso based sauce, this is a full on gastronomic experience. In fact I think it deserves another picture.
I also insisted that we order the Wagyu Wafuu Tataki (RM58.80) because I sure love my beef raw!
The beef is slightly seared on the outside and beautifully raw inside, topped with a citrus-y Ponzu sauce, scallion, Japanese leek. It’s a celebration of flavours and textures.
I can’t say I have ever ordered duck in a Japanese restaurant, but I was impressed with this dish. The smoked duck is served with pickled onions, alfalfa sprout and ponzu sauce. I love the bitey flesh, and the piquancy of the sauce and pickled onions help cut through the richness.
Being a liver fan, it’s no surprise I enjoyed the Ankimo, Monk fish Liver. It has a smooth texture much like that every other liver pate, but has that extra briny “ocean” element to it. Yum!
We moved on to a variety of grilled items and it was clear that Mentaiko soon became the theme of the night.
Starting with these Ebi Mentaiyaki, featuring sizable prawns smothered in a mayo-mentaiko mixture and grilled. Heavenly!
The Scallop version was really good too.
But my favourite would have to be the Salmon version. In fact I’m craving it right now! The Misomayo version literally pales in comparison, though it also has good umami flavour.
I’m not too fond of the Saba (Mackerel) for that distinctive fishy taste, so the teriyaki version worked better with me as the sauce helped neutralises the fish.
Didn’t try this but everyone else enjoyed it.
And we were not done yet! Next, we tried a bunch of fried items:
Smothered in sauce made with salted egg yolk, this is sinful delicious! I love how fleshy the soft shell crab was too. The curry leave lends a delicate aroma to the dish.
Tempura isn’t high on my list to order but these were pretty decent. I have never tried Ayu before, which is a type of small fish with firm, sweet flesh. To tell you the truth I did peel off most of the batter to lessen my guilt.
Blur picture! I think I was getting a bit too stuffed at that point too. But must. soldier. on.
The Fried Oysters looked truly tempting though I think they could have used fresher oysters.
I love how they have different toppings for their Chawanmushi and my favourite would be the Ikura Chawanmushi of course.
Just look at the size of those fish roes! I enjoyed the each of them popping in my mouth, and it’s perfect with the soft and wobbly egg custard.
These clams were swimming in a sweet sake/mirin soup, although perhaps a little too sweet but at least the clams were very fresh.
After all that food, it was nice to have a bowl of comforting miso soup filled with Nameko mushrooms, tofu and seaweed. The flavours were just right and I would happily finish the whole bowl.
I waved my white flag vigorously while the rest continue to indulge in desserts. Man these people can eat! I was impressed with the offerings at Sushi Tei and glad to learn that I can go to my nearest outlet whenever I crave good Japanese food.