Today I am going to talk about what is without a doubt my most favorite restaurant in Johor Bahru (JB). And the best part is, I stumbled upon this gem totally by chance. Ladies and gentlemen, today I present to you 金旭 Kinsahi Japanese Restaurant at KSL City.
I was traveling with two other co-workers a few years ago. One of them is an Asian American who loves Japanese food. So we came to this KSL City (some call it KSL Mall) to look for noms. At that time it was a fairly new mall and most of the shop lots were still closed and without tenants. There were 2 Japanese restaurants, one on the first floor and one on the lower ground floor. We were actually inclined to go to the one on first floor, because it the restaurant’s name sounded more like a proper Japanese name. Kinsahi, to be honest, sounded more like a wannabe Japanese name, not something that we thought Japanese people would use.
The only reason we went against our better instincts was because the restaurant with the seemingly better name seems to only specialize in hotpots, while this Kinsahi had (still has) a very extensive menu, selling almost all types of Japanese food. It was the variety that did us in.
And how glad I am that we went against our better instincts! We ordered away with reckless abandon and stuffed ourselves silly. This isn’t a buffet restaurant, but we were eating like we were in a buffet. We almost rolled our way out of the restaurant. And all the food was very good. Especially their sashimi. Oh their sashimi!
Ever since that fateful first encounter, coming here for a meal has become mandatory for me every time I travel to JB for work. If the trip only involves one night’s stay, then dinner will be here. If the trip involves more than one night’s stay, then dinner will be here and some other place.
This is actually a restaurant chain. According to their menu, they have some outlets in the Klang Valley, but I have never come across them. I have however, come across another of their outlet in JB before, in AEON Tebrau City. But I tried the food there once and it was somewhat disappointing. The one here in KSL City though, has been consistently good (at least during all my visits).
Why is this my most favorite restaurant in JB? Well…
No, not because of this pond in the middle of the restaurant. Although I do admit it is quite lovely to have a lovely little pool of water inside a restaurant. Having water inside an establishment is good for feng shui, superstitious Cantonese man that I am.
No, I’m not here for the feng shui. Well, you may argue that I’m here because the restaurant’s good feng shui lured me here.
What I’m here for, is this:
Maguro Sashimi… Tuna Sashimi…
I don’t know about you experts, but for me personally, a good sashimi not only comes from fresh fish. The cut, the thickness, is equally important.
Usually, if you go to those cheap sushi joints (there’s one right next to Kinsahi here), you get very thinly sliced sashimi. That’s like a cock-tease. Or a Youtube video that’s always buffering. It leaves you heavily unsatisfied at best and suicidal at worst.
Then there’s some of those expensive Japanese restaurants that will give you very thickly sliced sashimi. That’s overkill. Because the fish slices are too thick, they do not have a chance to melt in your mouth and make you feel heavenly.
Then there’s sashimi from Kinsahi @ KSL City. Sliced into perfect thickness, giving me that wonderful melt in the mouth feel and a truly heavenly sashimi eating experience.
I know there’s a lot of new expensive and posh Japanese restaurants in KL nowadays, but I have not tried most of them, so I cannot blindly say the sashimi here is the best without a qualifier. What I can say is that the sashimi in Kinsahi @ KSL City’s is the best sashimi that I have personally eaten in Malaysia.
I gotta own up. The pictures here are all auto-corrected. It is actually pretty dark in this restaurant and not so conducive for photography…
It’s been more than 5 years since I first discovered this restaurant, and they are still giving me the same satisfaction every time I come…
Okay, I love their sashimi. Given a choice, I would feast only on sashimi and nothing else. But I can’t do that anymore, because I have a history of gout. So I need to be careful with my food intake, what with CNY looming at that time.
So I can’t feast solely on sashimi. I need to order some other stuff to make myself full. Here’s what else I ordered:
Gintara Saikyo Bento – Gintara means silver cod fish. Saikyo means Western capital. In Japanese context, it means Kyoto (I think). So, I think the cod fish here is prepared using a specific cooking style from Kyoto. I might be wildly off the mark here so if there is anyone who is in the know, please correct me.
Cod fish, salad, guava slices, baby octopus, miso soup and rice. This is probably the closest to healthy dining that I ever got to in JB.
I actually showed the picture of the bento to a co-worker who proceeded to comment: “Why does the fish look so oily??”
Yo! Isn’t that the point for eating cod fish? The oil is the good stuff, isn’t it??
Hotate Chawanmushi – Steamed egg custard with scallop. Look at that big
juicy scallop. Ooohh la la~~~
If you’ve noticed, I did not list down the prices of each item. That is an intentional omission. Price is kind of sensitive information, especially since I was on business trip and was
feasting dining using the company’s money. I’m sure you’d understand 😉 . They do have a website so if you’re really interested, just go to their website and check things out yourself.
Well, to be honest, it wasn’t that expensive, the stuff that I had. I did not order the most expensive items on the menu. In fact, I did not even spend more than half of my allocated daily meal budget. I was constantly thinking about my mom’s nagging. 不要人家出钱 你出命 Don’t end up whereby others pay with money and you pay with your life!
By the way, you know what’s the real expensive items here?
Yeah, that’s right. Items with no fixed price on the menu! Although if I’m really honest, the real reason I did not go for these most expensive items is because I don’t like these exotic fish, especially when some of the pictures seem to suggest I will have to deal with lots of fish bones. No, no and nope!
I really really really like this restaurant, Kinsahi @ KSL City. I’ve been coming here every time I was in JB. And I will still be coming back if and when I come to JB again next time. In fact, I will keep coming back at least once per trip until I can feel that their food quality has become worse. Hopefully that will never happen…