Japanese Maneki Neko @ the Curve

26 07 2010

While walking around the Curve Street Market last two weeks, I stumbled across this particular stall offering Maneki Neko for sale. Maneki Neko (also known as Beckoning Cat), is a sculpture that is commonly made from ceramic which many people believe will usher good fortune when placed inside a shop or home.

While the more common Maneki Neko with its hand in upright swinging motion is nothing new, this particular stall was selling the piggy bank version which was extremely cute. The owner, Ms. Alice Chua was gracious enough to explain about the many variation of her Maneki Neko offerings. Each of the piggy bank differs from one another in subtle ways.Take for example, the Golden Bell which is meant to change the owner’s luck for the better.

The Gold Fish means abundance of wealth every year.

The Hyotan or drinking vessel signifies success in career and business

The back of the cat has more features such as the Fuji Mountain (represented by the wavy golden line) which is a symbol for moral support. There are also three egg plants underneath which help to make wishes come true. If you notice, there are two Koi fishes (yellow triangle) on both sides which help bring abundance of wealth every year.

The Meneki Neko isn’t cheap. I bought the medium size one which costs RM 88 after discount. But putting wishing thinking or skepticism aside, I find it to be made with such fine craftsmanship which justify the price tag. Here are some other pictures of the cat.

Maneki Neko can be bought from:-


Ikano Power Centre
1st Floor, Kiosk No. PC25
Mutiara Damansara

or

The Curve, Mutiara Damansara
Le Tresor Galleria
Lot 102, 102A, First Floor
47810 Petaling Jaya

or

The Curve Street Market

Ms. Alice Chua
012-331 1884





Okonomiyaki @ Lowyat Plaza

4 03 2010

After our visit to Nikon Centre, my cousin and I stopped by the food court at the lower ground floor of Lowyat Plaza. Apparently, there is a stall at the lower ground floor serving Okonomiyaki which is a popular Japanese pan fried pizza. As with most typical restaurant setting, we were seated right in front of the cooking area to watch how the meal (Okonomiyaki Mayo – RM 16.00) is being prepared.

First the batter is being spread in circular motion on the cooking surface.

Shredded cabbage are being put on top of the batter…

… together with some seasonings to add some flavour.

Bean sprouts are placed on top of the cabbage…

Depending on which variant of Okonomiyaki, the toppings are usually filled with seafood, chicken, shrimp, pork and etc.

Sliced bacons are also added.

Some mayonnaise sauce on the top…

A closer look at the Okonomiyaki.

Later all the ingredients are being placed on top of the yaki soba noodle.

An omelette is being prepared as well and and placed on top of the Okonomiyaki.

Once it is cooked, Okonomiyaki sauce is applied to the surface using a brush.

Spring onions are generously sprinkled…

Mayonnaise is added in zig zag lines.

And voila! The delicious Okonomiyaki.

A closer look at it.


Daimon Okonomiyaki
Lower Ground, Plaza Lowyat
Te: 03-21422877

Takoyaki Sauce on Foodista





Kansai @ Ara Damansara

6 01 2010

I celebrated my New Year Eve at a Japanese restaurant called Kansai with my girlfriend. This place is situated next to NZX at Ara Damansara. From the outlook, Kansai offers a variety of Japanese dishes that are also found elsewhere. But what makes this place nice is the fact that their food is fresh and really tasty.

The first dish that we tried was called Chuka Iidako (RM 9.99), popularly known as Baby Octopus. It was really good as these baby octopuses were moist and delicious. The size is also noticeably bigger than some other restaurant that I ate before.


Next up was Takoyaki Ball. This is also commonly known as Octopus Ball  (RM 10.99) where special batter is pour onto a pan with many small cups to form the shape of a ball. Inside the ball is a piece of bite-size piece of boiled octopus. The dish came with takoyaki sauce and chopped green onions. And how’s the taste? Very good indeed.


Coincidentally, Kansai had a New Year Eve special promotion where they are offering a set of sushi for only RM 23.99. Without hesitation, we gave this a try. It came with a variety of stuff in there.

I love these tempura rolls…

Amai Ebi….

Akami….

Unagi….

Wasabimasoko…

Ebi…

Overall, I am really happy with the food there. The fact that this place is located at NZX makes it easy to find free parking during dinner time.

Kansai
K-G-08, Block STK
No. 2, Jalan PJU 1A/41B
Pusat Dagangan NZX, Ara Jaya
47301 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7883 0139

Business Hour:
Sunday – Thursday (12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m)
Friday – Saturday (12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.)





Sushi Zanmai @ Sunway Pyramid

7 11 2009

I had my lunch at Sushi Zanmai at Sunway Pyramid yesterday. This place was recommended by a colleague of mine since the prices are very reasonable. When we arrived there, the restaurant was already packed with people. Good thing we didn’t have to wait long before getting a seat.

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We took the Salmon Maki (RM 3.80) for appetizer.

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A Japanese meal won’t be complete without Ocha or green tea.

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I ordered Unodon (15.80) which is basically Unagi with with Japanese rice. The slices of freshwater eel were very fresh while the thick sweet sauce tasted pretty good. No regret choosing this from the menu.

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Here is a picture of Kakiage Don (RM 8.80) which consists of deep fried prawns with vegetables. Looks pretty good.

My other colleague took the Katsudon (RM 8.80). But instead of using deep fried pork, I believe the restaurant substituted it with chicken.

Soft Shell Crab Temaki (RM 4.80) is another all time favourite dish.

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Here is a plate of fresh tempura…

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And for something different, this is called Chicken Katsu Curry (RM 10.80) which is basically deep fried chicken with thick curry sauce. I had a bit of the sauce and I must say it tasted very rich. Highly recommended.

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Overall this restaurant is a good choice for those looking to indulge in tasty Japanese cuisine.

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Sushi Zanmai
First Floor, Japanese Street
Oasis Boulevard 2
Sunway Pyramid
Tel: 03-7492 3080








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