Tsubohachi Publika: Salmon Fair
Tsubohachi is an informal “gastro-pub” reflective of the Japanese after-work drinking culture. With over 300 chains and half a century worth of history to its name, Tsubohachi hopes to bring forth a genuine feel of the Land of the Rising Sun, in our very own backyard here in Kuala Lumpur.
We have been here twice before, to have a taste of their usual fare, as well as one of their seasonal menus. Each time, we were pleased with our visits. This time, Tsubohachi has created a menu to cater to the Malaysians’ love for one of our favourite fish, the salmon.
The new seasonal menu boasts a selection of 14 different salmon dishes; from appetisers to porridge to udon and more. For starters we had a seared salmon carpaccio salad (RM18.90), a small portion of salmon cooked perfectly to my preference - lightly seared on one side while leaving the other side raw so that you get the best of both worlds, combined with a delightful Japanese-style soya sauce dressing.
We also tried the tamago, a Japanese-style omelette wrapped with salmon and cheese (RM17.90), the fried salmon skin (RM9.90), and the crispy salmon dumpling stuffed with cheese (RM17.90), all of which, unfortunately, fell a little short of our expectations. The idea and concept of the dishes were great, but the execution could have been improved.
However, our meal was redeemed quite quickly with the Age Imo (RM14.90), a plate of starchy salmon potato cheese balls that reminded us of a savoury Tang Yuan. To me, it was the best thing on the menu and definitely something we will come back for. Enjoy it with a glass of sub-zero Asahi (RM20.80) or a truly delicious Japanese Highball (Whiskey and Soda, RM20.00) to complete the flavours.
We also tried the seared salmon roll (RM24.90) and their unique salmon udon carbonara (RM22.90), both of which we enjoyed. The roll was quite substantial with a good blend of flavour and the use of udon in the traditional Italian dish was an interesting and enjoyable change of texture.
We also tried their sweet and sour salmon with house-made tartare sauce (RM24.90), deep-fried salmon with mayonnaise and ketchup (RM19.90), and Japanese style porridge with salmon and assorted mushrooms (RM19.90). These dishes can be a little bit too rich because of its overpowering flavours.
We ended the meal with a salmon and chinese cabbage mille-feuille (RM24.90) where thinly sliced layers of salmon were separated by cabbage and stewed in a sweet, clear soup. This was light but flavourful broth that I really enjoyed. If not for the cheese, this would make quite a healthy dish and great for those cold, rainy evenings.
All in all, Tsubohachi is indeed one of those go-to gastro-pubs with a great selection of yummy alcoholic drinks that will pair well with their appetisers/bar-food. With an amazing ambience and authentic Japanese deco, it is definitely a comfortable place to hang-out with your mates after work.
Tsubohachi Izakaya A2-UG1-9 Dutamas, No 1 Jalan Dutamas, Jalan Solaris, Publika, 50480 Hartamas Heights. Open everyday from 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5:30PM-12AM