Hello. Apa Khabar.
If you haven’t read my other posts about this trip, please click these titles to read all about it!
KUALA LUMPUR POSTS
I was back in penang and only had a few days left on my trip so I had to make a new list to prioritize where I would visit to do as much as possible, and one of those was checking out the Waka Japanese restaurant located in my hotel. If there is one thing that the Japanese people do well, it is the ability to transform spaces into some sort of serene and zen environment. I have noticed that of other Japanese restaurants I have visited and Waka was no different. The entrance in itself was like being transported to the streets of Kyoto.
Upon entering the restaurant, you could tell it was decorated a decade or two ago with the furniture choice and the odd floral carpeting but it was still nicely put together. I was greeted by a lady who informed me that lunchtime was almost over but I insisted that I had enough time for a meal. I got seated and I think she was a bit surprised I was by myself. On this trip I learnt a lot about how solo travellers feel and what they get through. It is definitely not for the faint of heart. I also know this because of my knowledge of Korean culture, and how it is unusual in a way to have a meal by yourself in Asian countries.
I ordered for the Chicken Teriyaki set menu cos I didn’t know enough to be able to decide what I wanted, especially with limited timing. But I am glad I chose a set menu cos I soon realised that this was no ordinary meal. The whole process was an experience on its own sipped in Japanese tradition!
From L-R: Top: Salmon and pickled sweet cucumbers. Bottom: Chicken Teriyaki and Chawanmushi
The food was brought out in steps and with each step the food is arranged in a certain pattern, as the table became fuller the arrangement of the meal becomes clear. It started out with the appetizers which consisted of the top left slices of salmon, (I have grown to love salmon from my trip to Korea in 2015, we were served slices of salmon during our breakfast buffet and I dared myself to try it out and it turned into a regular feature on my plate. I actually had a slice of salmon this morning as well hehe.
on the top right is pickled sweet cucumbers. It reminded me a lot about this Korean Banchan (side dish) I have had. At the bottom left is the chicken teriyaki which tasted as good as it looked and the chicken was soft and juicy. lastly it is the Chawanmushi! This is a savoury traditional Japanese starter made from steamed eggs and in this case with mushrooms. Chawan means tea cup or rice bowl and mushi means steamed in Japanese.
The meal also came with a small porcelain jug of green tea, a side of wasabi and of course miso soup. I kept looking around the restaurant and wondering why the decor has not been upgraded. In a way I liked it the way it was because it had it’s own charm. But some odd elements such as the hello kitty drapes below may need to be gone with.
All in all I really enjoyed the meal and the presentation of it. It has indeed inspired me to recreate my own version of a simple traditional Japanese lunch. Would you be interested in reading about it?
If you ever get to visit, do let me know!