I'm done with my MBA assignments and I would dedicate my weekend clearing all backlog food photos in my handphone. After a food review from the hilly terrains of Camerons, I now bring you to a fusion Japanese food in the heart of urban Klang Valley. It's not a new chain though, it was already there since my university days. This is Pasta Zanmai, a sister company of Sushi Zanmai. This was a lunch in the Main Place outlet in Subang Jaya. (Photo above plucked from Pasta Zanmai's website)
Since its a treat from a friend, and its a fusion Japanese restaurant, lets save the Ocha for some other time shall we? Since I'm actually on a one-day work trip, let's refrain from Asahi or sake in that manner, bring on the orange and watermelon juices. LOL
The menu here is quite extensive with many unusual creations. But my eyes were attracted to my perennial favourite all this years... Soft Shell Crab! This is not a conventional Temaki handroll nor the rice based maki but tortilla base which serves as the wrap. Well, this is a fusion Japanese restaurant after all. This portion is for half roll serving, adeuately serves its role as a good appetizer. I'm not sure whether they serve Sashimi here because there is huge difference from the menu of their sister chain, Sushi Zanmai
We oredered one of the Mini Pasta Set meals available. From the latest screenshot on their website, currently they have 8 different sets available. One of the dish will be a pasta (duh! oh course la, since its name mini pasta set) coupled with a rice dish, a pizza dish or a maki sushi. The set is around RM25-30 if I'm not mistaken. And take my word for it, the size is not mini at all! According to my friend, she usually shares this set with another female colleague.
Spoilt for choices, my friend took Set 6 since she said the Kimchi Oyster Pasta is good. I beg to differ though, probably because I am not a fan of Oysters, especially when they are cooked in a sourish broth. Errr... it didn't hit my preference for this odd Italian meets Korean fusion attempt but it may appeal to others though.
I find more delight in the other half of the set in the form of Garlic Fried Rice with Tori Karaage (fried chicken cubes). If you observe the size of the lemon wedge and the spoon, I think you will agree with me that the portion of their "mini" is NOT mini at all! The fried chicken is piping hot, with a lightly spiced crispy exterior with juicy flesh within. The garlic fried rice is just average, nothing to shout about though. The version of Garlic Fried Rice in Sushi Zento, Festival Walk Ipoh still tops my list perhaps the portion is so small, every grain of rice is well dished and infused with smoky garlic aroma! The one here seems.... "mass produced" :p
The downside of doing a throwback post is... sometimes its thrown so far back, you can't really retrieve the actual name of the pizza from the corner of your brain. The faint recollection of the savoury toppings on a crispy pizza base points to me it should be called Teriyaki Chicken Pizza. Garnished with too much mayonnaise to my liking, but I would welcome the generous amount of seaweed and bonito flakes. So Italian meets Japanese fusion seems to work out a slight bit of magic in this creation.
It's even harder to blog about a throwback food outlet especially you are not keeping the bill because this is a treat from a friend (The bill came over RM80 for just a 'simple' lunch. Yes, to KL people, this is considered 'simple'? Haha...) Would I return again to Pasta Zanmai? Well, I can't really take fusion Japanese food but sometimes their weird combination do stir up some surprises. Having said that, have anyone of you tried Maiale Japanese Italian Restaurant nearby Padang Ipoh? The chef is a Japanese, specialized in French/Italian cooking (imagine Iron Chef Sato) I heard. Feel free to share your comments about that place as I am still skeptical about fusion cuisines.