Ah, I'm so captivated by this photograph as soon as I was handed the menu in A Lai I. Look at the amount of fish roe used as the topping of the sushi cake! Well, for RM80, it might be pricey to some as you are mostly getting sushi rice. On the other side of this laminated sheet it shows A Lai I are constantly creating new dishes to appease the customers. There is a Bento/Set Menu and an ala carte menu. Let's see what I've picked managed to gave A Lai I a good first impression since it's my first time here despite this place is quite established.
However, there were some slight problems with the service here. The first to arrive on my table was the Gyu Tataaki Teriyaki with Vegetables (RM20). I was totally turned off when a stir fry dish was the first in line ahead of my sashimi and appetizers. Tastewise, it was just so-so and did not live up to the hefty price tag.
As if stir fry items were not enough to kill your tastebuds, the next in the line was the Fried Mini Crabs (RM8.80). I threw away the receipt so I can't provide the actual name and price of this dish. However the crunchiness and addictiveness of this dish was very vivid in my mind! It's a slight detour from your conventional fried soft shell crab. These miniature crabs does not have much flesh, thus giving the extra crunch to every bite!
Next, the sushi arrived. You may order one unit of the sushi instead of coming in pairs, a common practice in many Japanese restaurants in Ipoh. I had the generic ones, baby Tako, seasoned jelly fish and seasoned scallops. Each piece is priced at RM2.80. There are more expensive ones among the list but I could not recall were there any sea urchin and tuna belly (toro) sushis. 20 minutes have passed since I placed my order and there was no sign of my salmon yet. That was why I was lazy to snap a picture of the California Roll (RM5), though the roll was freshly and nicely wrapped. The seaweed was still crunchy and they used the avocado instead of Tamago.
And finally, my salmon came!!! After a long wait and I knew the order was totally wrong, I was so annoyed, I even voice it out to the boss. He just nonchalantly said "oh i forgot this item at 1st". Common, you are charging a premium for your food. It's not like you are selling Japanese Food in Wooley Food Centre or Pusat Makanan Bercham Emas. How could one forget the golden rule in Japanese food of serving in order is vital for one to get the fullest of the food. From raw to cooked. From the less flavourful to the most robust in flavour. Even in sashimi, it could be down in detail to eating the lighter colour to heavier in colour. Though the Salmon Roll with Fish Roe (RM18) was a good dish, the improper serving order killed off part of the fun. To be fair, I must commend this dish is good with the fish roe giving a good crunch every time you bite into some.
Overall, the food is quite okay but its slightly more expensive than Akamomiji and Kizuna. Being one of the early Japanese restaurants in Bandar Baru Medan, the interior maybe abit shabby and does not cater to private conversation. The distance from table to table is too near. Will I return? Most likely no. =D