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A grand master of Japanese cuisine in Kuala Lumpur, Iketeru continues to dish up authentic fare where freshness of ingredients takes precedence over everything else.
Located on the same level as the hotel’s pool, Iketeru is a swanky outlet with an edgy minimalist quality to it. The décor is sparse with wrought iron sculptures along the walls and huge chimneys over the grilling area dominating the design element. Keeping with the trend of visual harmony of the Japanese ethos, large windows frame the external greenery, creating a seamless fusion between interior and the external world.
A large aquarium welcomes you as you enter and the same is replicated in a more dramatic manner with the private dining rooms that have shattered glass walls encasing the diners as they feast on the finest Japanese food.
Freshness is just not catchphrase here. It is the life breath of fine Japanese cuisine and Iketeru is no different. As with all good Japanese restaurants, the mark of a fine establishment can be ascertained by the freshness of its sashimi dishes. The goshina sashimi sampling comes with an extremely fresh assortment of fish slices: tuna, salmon, amberjack and mackerel. Meltingly good, a touch of soy sauce and smidgen of wasabi is all that is required for accompaniment. The ikura (salmon roe) and ama ebi (sweet prawn) sushi meanwhile burst with the taste and nuances of the ocean.
Dining on a selection of small dishes is a great way to enjoy Japanese food as the cuisine is so refined and pure in taste, you want to try as many of dishes as possible. A bowl of agedashi tofu (deep-fried tofu in soy sauce), a mixed mushroom stir-fry and tori teriyaki (grilled chicken in teriyaki sauce) are good options to try. Seemingly simple, these three dishes certainly live up to the fine art of Japanese food where the real flavours of the ingredients are the star; no camouflaging with seasonings to heighten taste here.
Another benchmark of fine Japanese cuisine is how well the tempura is made. The almost lace-like texture of the crisp batter on the tempura moriawase can almost make one shed tears of joy. The fish, prawns and vegetable fritters are coated in a delicate batter and fried to perfection, and remain crisp for a long time.
Garlic fried rice and yaki soba (teppan-fried noodles) support the main cast with their simple but satisfying flavours. For a dessert, a luscious pear sorbet and kinako mochi (rice dumplings coated with sweetened soy flour and red bean paste) bring the curtains down on this very special meal.
Iketeru offers a very good selection of sake, ranging from top end, super premium brands like Hakkaisan Daiginjyou, premium labels like Kubota Koujyu and sparkling sake like Fukuju Awa-saki to umeshu and sochu (sweet potato or barley brews). The Ozeki Osakaya Chobey is extremely delicate, almost floral and brewed from polished rice. It is moderately dry, smooth and pairs well with the freshness of the raw fish and seafood dishes. Most of the sake at Iketeru is available in bottle or carafe (150ml) servings, priced accordingly.
The staff at Iketeru are adequately trained and do the necessary in serving their customers. They are knowledgeable about Japanese cuisine and recommend the food and beverages accordingly to their customers’ needs.
Dining at a top-notch Japanese restaurant will set you back by a substantial amount but this is what you pay for the freshest of ingredients, most probably alive and fished off the ocean mere hours earlier. The restaurant also serves super premium set meals such as the Omakase and Teppanyaki courses, which can cost anything between RM320 to RM850 per person.