金旭 Kinsahi @ KSL City, JB

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

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.

Here, a closer look

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 银鳕鱼西京便当

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??”

Cod fish

Yo! Isn’t that the point for eating cod fish? The oil is the good stuff, isn’t it??

Hotate Chawanmushi

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…


  1. I love cod fish, steamed. But it is always so expensive 🙁 The generous serving of sashimi you had there looks good (with the help of post-processing), and I take that it wasn’t fishy. Apart from salmon sashimi, I really like eating octopus balls or takoyaki 😀

    • Unfortunately I don’t think you can find decent takoyaki in Malaysia 🙄 … I hope you have better in the Oz. I heard the best takoyaki can be had in Osaka..

      • Oh, no, no, no. I can’t seem to find good takoyaki in Melbourne. The outside of the takoyaki here tends to be crispy, almost fried. I much prefer the ones in Malaysia where they cook by the roadside and the outer layer is, well, like doughy 🙄 Of course, takoyaki comes from Japan…

        • LOL!! Based on your description, I think I would very much prefer Melbourne’s tako than the ones in Malaysia! 😀

  2. Wow!!! This restaurant is really fantastic, knowing that I am a Feng Shui believer. My eyes went wide staring at the lovely floor. I would definitely enjoy these Japanese sashimi with the right ambiance. Bring me there!!!

  3. Wow that was the most detailed post on sashimi that i’ve ever read…. makes me want to give it a few more chances. I like salmon sashimi but not really anything else. And actually, not even a big fan of Japanese food in general :P. But that’s so awesome that you get to eat at nice places like this on your company’s dime!

    • Sashimi is something that you either love it or hate it, I guess. I’m actually not a huge fan of raw fish too, but even I can enjoy a decent one 🙄 ..

  4. That pond makes the restaurant look like it is flooded 😀 I love sashimi! Tuna and salmon to be precise. The bento looks quite ordinary, maybe due to the lighting. Oh yes, cod fish! I love cod fish, but so expensive 🙁 This is one of the perks of outstation assignment eh?

    • I love cod fish too. Cod fish is about the only thing that I love because it is expensive AND delicious hehehe~
      I rather call this “compensation” rather than “perk”. Need to make more people understand that traveling for work is a chore and not a vacation. 🙄

  5. Well, I wouldn’t know if it’s a Kyoto cooking style, I just know how to eat cod fish and, for me, a good piece of cod fish shouldn’t be too fatty but, of course, the fatty parts are good for health…otherwise there wouldn’t be a thing called cod liver oil…haha! 😀

    The restaurant looks well-kept from your photos but I’m like your other commentor, I noticed the worn-out bento box too….and I’m quite particular with that. I think restaurants should take more notice and replace them periodically (otherwise use porcelain instead of lacquer that tarnishes easily).

    The last time I went to Legoland, I stayed at KSL too and was pretty happy with the hotel. I ate at the hotel’s coffee house and found the food to be pretty alright and went to eat there the second night as well (so convenient after a tiring day out)!

    • Strange that I’m fine with cod oil but not salmon oil (which is the reason why I hate cooked salmon) 🙄

      I was recently informed that KSL hotel is a 5-star hotel. I guess it is not surprising that their restaurant is good too. Maybe when I stayed with them, they were still new. The room was new and nice, obviously, but I was really not too impressed with their buffet breakfast then. I mean, it was good, but not great. I will still choose to stay there again in the future, IF I am not driving…

  6. the name sounds familiar and that green man logo also seems familiar, haha.. i check out their website and oh, they only have 1 outlet in Klang and the rest are in Johor!! okay, maybe what i have in mind is somewhere else..

    bet you love the maguro a lot huh?? as for the bento, hmmm, looks rather errrr, skimpy, and worse is that the paint peeled off at the bottom left corner.. but cannot judge a book by its cover, it must taste good else you won’t go there compulsorily everytime you go to JB.. 🙂

    • Oh? I remember they seem to have outlets in The Mines or something when I glanced through their menu a few years ago. Maybe sao pei-d already 🙄 …

      Seriously, I think I’m the minority here that is so inattentive to details. I never notice things like the plate/container’s condition, got chip or not, paint peeling or not, this kind of stuff. I will only care about the food when I eat. If the restaurant is somewhat clean and without terrible stench, and the food is good, then I’m all good.

    • I think usually Singaporeans who visit KSL are those who drive, because there are lots of car wash places nearby. Usually those who take public transport will either go to AEON Bukit Indah or that old shopping centre near the CIQ (City Square?), isn’t it?

  7. Got favourite restaurant one ahh? Not that you go JB often.. First thing I see is that small plate and small cuts of sashimi (I prefer buffet so that I can hog the sashimi counter) and oooo cod! Who doesn’t like cod fish? So damn mahal, RM50 for like a small piece, not enough for all members to eat for CNY also.. Nice, but super-duper expensive here..

    • Er, actually, I don’t really like sashimi from buffet counters. I have never had a buffet sashimi where the fish is fresh. Stale fish is very risky to be consumed raw. 🙄

    • Admittedly, I’ve not tried very many restaurants in JB, and the one’s I’ve tried are mostly mid-range restaurants. Too cheap and I can’t swipe my corporate card, too expensive and will be way over my meal allowance. I have a fairly small sample size, I’m sure my favorite is something that JB locals will laugh at, but… who cares? 😀

    • New to me too. Who knows, maybe this is not something you can find in authentic chawanmushi, maybe it is just something they do in this restaurant. 🙄

  8. My friend was looking for this restaurant in JB, can share the address, like the unit number of the restaurant? (Ooops, sorry, you actually provided the website, thanks!)

    Is KSL City same as KSL Shopping Centre?

    • I don’t identify by unit number, sorry. But it is very easy to find. If you come from the main entrance at their LG floor (opposite the row of shops), you walk in, Tesco is to your right and Sushi King is to your left. This Kinsahi is just next to Sushi King.

      KSL Shopping Centre, KSL Mall, all same same, yes the shopping centre. The official name (you can see from the outside) is KSL City hehehe~

  9. You know I love to eat Japanese food so I am salivating as I read your post. The question is – will you eat there if you have to pay from your own pocket?

    • That’s a good question, I never thought of it before. I guess, yes I will. This is actually not an expensive, fine dine restaurant. The price range here is more or less like Sakae or Sushi Tei. I will dine at that 2 sushi chains, so I don’t see why not for here.

  10. waahhhh… no wonder you like this Japanese restaurant.. I am also fascinated with the photos you shared above… very impressive leh… Must check this out when I go JB next time.. my kids love Japanese food, sure will love this restaurant too!

    • Then after makan-makan can go shopping. There a lot to see and buy in this KSL City! So I think you will love it too! 😀

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