Kintsugi Robatayaki, Petaling Jaya
I walked into Kintsugi Robatayaki thinking it will be just another typical Japanese restaurant, but boy was a wrong.
Kintsugi is far from traditional, the team of cooks have transformed Japanese cuisine into a modern masterpiece that is unpredictable and exciting.
I love that they named this robatayaki restaurant Kintsugi, which is translated as "golden repair". Kintsugi is a Japanese artform where they repair broken pottery with lacquer dusted with gold, making it beautiful again.
The team at Kintsugi flourishes in their artwork, from their beautiful Japanese inspired murals in the restaurant to the gorgeous plating of their dishes.
The first dish we had, the Truffle Bonsai (RM33), really set the tone of entire dining experience. It was unlike anything I have tasted, in a good way. It featured ingredients that are not typically paired together like truffle and mascarpone cheese, and transformed it into a culinary masterpiece. When I say masterpiece, it truly is like a piece of artwork. The dish takes the appearance of a plant, with an edible ice plant taking the centrestage. The ice plant is crunchy and fresh, the truffle “log” is soft and pillowy, and the mushroom “soil” adds a nice crunch to the dish. This dish was by far the standout dish!
The next dish was grilled summer beans or Mame (RM16) which was plated like an abstract painting with the bright orange carrot and sweet potato purée being artistically strewn across the plate. The green beans and snap peas had a crunch and a lovely char, and the salty olive “soil” added a greater depth of flavour to the dish.
Kintsugi’s Tomato dish (RM25) was another menu item that resembled a plant - which I absolutely loved.
They played with the idea of sweet and savoury by combining a sweet crumble along with a juicy tomato, fresh pea sprouts, and earthy shaved summer truffle. It resulted in a harmonious combination of different flavours and textures.
It was my first time trying Pluma (RM52) when it was served to me at Kintsugi. It is a cut of pork behind the neck of an Iberico pork. It is tender, not too fatty, and has great flavour.
The pluma was served with a delicious tangy spring onion, chilli, radish ponzu sauce that paired perfectly with the pork.
Kintsugi’s Unagi (RM30) was one of the best versions I’ve had in a while. It featured grilled eel, kimchi and freshly sliced apple. I love the different layers of flavours and textures - you get the saltiness and tartness from the kimchi, the richness from the unagi, and the refreshing crunch of the apple slices.
The Duroc Buta no Hara (RM38) dish features Duroc pork belly with broccoli, mustard miso dressing. The pork belly is rich and melts in your mouth, and is paired beautifully with the mustard miso sauce. I also loved the way Kintsugi slightly chars their broccoli, which added an extra layer of flavour to the dish.
Kintsugi’s Summer Truffle Don (RM48) was indulgent and delicious. It is all about the truffle! It is literally just rice and truffle. It sounds simple, but it is perfect.
I love the slight crunch from the shaved truffle, the tartness from the pickle, mixed in with soft Japanese rice. It is also served with a side of miso soup. If you love truffle, you’d love this dish!
The Oyster Leaves (RM35) rice dish was one of the most interesting dishes. It might look plain with just some leaves and rice, but the taste is surprisingly complex.
It was suggested that we eat the leaves first, that tastes of the sea, before mixing the champagne sauce and scallops with the Japanese glutinous rice.
We finished off our gastronomic adventure with a Sweet Potato dessert (RM15) and Red Bean dessert. Both were delicious.
Overall, I had an amazing dining experience at Kintsugi. I love how the chef experiments with a variety of ingredients, a large amount of them imported from various countries, to create unique dishes with a Japanese twist.
It is daring, it is fun, and it is exciting!
Other than the good food, Kintsugi’s plating is totally on point! All the dishes were almost too beautiful to eat, but they all taste so good, so we polished off every single dish. Kintsugi definitely gets full marks for their plating and creativity.
I will definitely be visiting Kintsugi again. Perhaps to try their Omacase next (RM150 per person), where they will customise an entire menu for you.
However, we are told that reservations are essential for the Omacase. Interested patrons are recommended to call up to a week in advance, or at least two days before your booking.
If you plan to enjoy the ala carte menu, it is also recommended that you make a reservation to secure your table.
Kintsugi also changes their menu every three to four months, and they also offer special off-the-menu items every so often!
Even though Kintsugi is a little tucked away in Taman Rasa Sayang (close to Paradigm Mall), it is well worth the trip! Parking is not a problem in the area too.
The restaurant is upstairs, so do look out for their sign!
Address: 9A, Jalan SS4C/5, Taman Rasa Sayang, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Opening hours: Open every day except Wednesday, from 6pm to 11pm
Tel: 03-7887 8298