Friday, 16 June 2017

Yamaguchi Fish Market @ Kampung Pandan

My last visit to Yamaguchi Fish Market @ Kampung Pandan was more than a year ago...and I did say then that I may return to try live uni in a shell one day.  And that was exactly what I came for (last weekend) when I saw it offered at a price that was at least affordable to me.

We got there fairly early (around 6.30pm) but all the tables were already reserved with only the counter seats available.  I don't recommend the counter seats though as I was privy to the sometimes frantic food preparation in action.

It wasn't a case of looking at a calm sushi chef showcasing his mastery of sushi preparation but a case of seeing how long it took a chef to shuck an oyster or the collected dirty plates piling in the sink...haha! :D  For a Japanese restaurant, the place is rather dimly lit, which isn't great for photo taking, so please excuse the rather subdued photos.

The first thing that I ordered was the Live Uni @ RM88 served in its shell, of course.  It came sitting in a big bowl of ice with some green vegetation (which I reckon isn't for eating) just to make the uni look more worthy of its price? ;P

The five slices of uni in the shell may look big (coz I zoomed in) but don't be fooled by the photo as they were actually very tiny pieces.  Just look at the teaspoon at the top of the picture and you can gauge how small it was.  I once watched David Rocco's Dolce Vita where he travels off the coast of Naples to the island of Procida and dives for sea urchins.  Although they were smallish, the sea urchin roe had an amazingly vibrant orange colour, an indication as to just how fresh it was.  And all he needed was just a little of the fresh and rich roe to make a simple but delicious pasta dish.

To say I was disappointed with the taste would be putting it didn't taste like the fact, it didn't taste good at all!  The uni sushi I had on my previous visit here tasted way way better.  I guess when something is offered at a cheap price, it can't be any good.  I should have known that there's no such thing as a cheap uni when one normally costs double the price! O_o  A cheap uni = a teeny-tiny uni = a not tasty uni!! Haiz, when something is too good to be true, it usually is! T_T

Disappointment aside, we also came because of the unagi promotion we saw posted by Gourmet Hunter KL. There are four dishes to choose from for this promotion...Unagi Train Sushi, Unagi Train Cheesy Sushi (RM36), Unagi Claypot Udon (RM46) and Steamed Unagi Rice with Egg.

And we knew exactly which two we wanted.  I wouldn't want a cheesy unagi nor have my unagi 'swimming' in a hot broth.  So, we started with the Unagi Train Sushi @ RM36, served on top a shorter 'train' of sushi rice.

We were very happy to see that it was a pretty long 'train'.  How long, you ask?  Well, I placed a Japanese wooden chopstick there for comparison purposes....and I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that the unagi was longer than the chopstick (probably about 9 inches)! ^_^

We were also extremely pleased with the taste of the unagi....sweet, caramelised, soft, tasty, perfect! ^.^

Our final unagi choice was the Steamed Unagi Rice with Egg @ RM46 that came served in a wooden box over a flame to keep the rice steaming hot while you eat.

Again, the portion of unagi was very substantial for the price paid.  Just look at it....and this was just half of the whole unagi! O_o

This is a fantastic deal indeed....for such quality and delicious tasting unagi.  We have no complaints whatsoever :)

Besides the lovely unagi, the steaming hot rice was also accompanied by a delightfully fluffy and appetising egg.  This was a dang good dish overall, one you won't regret ordering. ^o^

For more carbs, simply add on the Garlic Fried Rice @ RM10 which was scrumptious enough to please.

The Trio of Salmon @ RM45 featured a plate of freshness with salmon and salmon belly sashimi together with a small dish of salmon roe (ikura).

The three thick slices of salmon sashimi and two pieces of salmon belly met the freshness and taste test with flying colours.

The serving of ikura didn't fare as well though this time.  Although still bursting with juices, it wasn't quite bursting with saltiness like the last time we had it here.  We've had ikura lots of time elsewhere since but none could match the freshness and saltiness of the awesome one we had here...the first time.

Since the fresh juices here cost less than the green tea (RM12), we opted for the Orange Juice and Ice Honey Lemon, both at RM11.

If you have the cash to splash, you can splurge on some of these expensive premium seafood I saw in their tanks.  How about some Alaskan Snow Crabs for RM398 (for one?), Canadian Lobster for RM138/550g, French Crabs or American Oysters for RM78 (6 pcs)? O_o

My Personal Opinion

It would seem that the quality and freshness of some of their products (like uni and ikura) weren't as good as they once were or at least not as good as what I had before.  To think that I paid RM100 (after taxes) for a spoonful of crappy tasting uni was heartbreaking.

Luckily, the quality and taste of the unagi was very satisfying indeed...and so was the price as a generous portion like this can easily cost RM60 (or more) at other places.  The only blip was the less than stellar live uni (I must remember to never go for uni that seems insanely cheap!).

If unagi is a favourite of yours (as they were ours), don't miss this opportunity to sink your teeth into some good and very reasonably priced unagi.  You still have time to savour this as the promotion is available until the end of June.

Although this is a Japanese restaurant abundant with lots of very premium (and expensive) seafood, you can have a meal here (this time) that won't hurt your pocket too much if you stick to the unagi promotion and resist the temptation of the other menu offerings.  If you come away with eating just the unagi and nothing else, you'll still come away feeling very contented.

Yamaguchi Fish Market
No 16 Jalan Kampung Pandan
55000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-9284 6686


  1. live sea urchin? oooOo wanttt!

    1. Who wouldn't want? ;) But the price....ouch! O_o

  2. I had to read this educational post 3 times to understand better on how the whole expensive dishes are prepared. I may not eat the Uni but it is interesting to learn something new as I saw abundant of this Uni and Puffer fishes being displayed alive in Japan. I have bookmarked this place and will want to try the Unagi & others.

    1. Hope you get here before the unagi promotion ends for the value-for-money deal. You don't eat uni because you don't like it? Those uni in Japan must be very fresh :)

  3. I'm a big fan of unagi Kabayaki and your photo of those delicious looking unagi make me drooling over and over again in front of my PC. The price charged definitely well justiced by the portion because many restaurants charge a higher price but the portion is really measly :(

    1. This place may be a bit out of the way for you but probably worth the trip just for the unbelievable price and portion. Me and my son are even bigger fans of unagi! ^_~

  4. I have yet to try uni and hope one day I have the courage to spend $$$ on something so small and delicate. I think the price at Rakuzen is something like RM200 per serving. Maybe on my birthday heh..heh... Anyway, coming back to your subpar uni, at least you tried it and concluded not to trust such offers again. But all was not lost, the unagi I think more than made up for the disappointment. I love unagi, by the way :)

    1. Uni is very expensive but I like to try everything at least once...and if I like what I taste, I probably wouldn't mind splashing the cash (once in a while) to eat what I love. Hope you get to try uni one day =)

  5. unagi! y'know, 12 years ago, saisaki used to offer big pots of unagi in its evening buffet ... back then, we took it for granted. i would happily eat multiple plates of unagi at the buffet. and it was good unagi too! but circumstances have certainly changed!

    1. I think, these days, finding a Japanese buffet with all-you-can-eat unagi is like looking for a needle in a haystack....a thing of the past! :P

  6. Oh gee, it's been a while since I've been over that way.

    1. Hmmm, I'm thinking of going over that way again...before the unagi promotion ends! ^_*


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