As with any major Asian capital, Japanese restaurants have somewhat become an ubiquity in Kuala Lumpur. Practically every mall has one with competition fierce for premium sushi and quality ramen. It is thus quite remarkable that Iketeru, which is housed inside Hilton Kuala Lumpur in KL Sentral remains jampacked with people even up to this day, around 11 years since it first opened its doors. I was there on a Wednesday night, traditionally quite slow as it’s midweek yet still found all tables occupied – practically unheard of for an upmarket Japanese restaurant housed inside a hotel.
A quick glance at its menu reveals just why Iketeru remains highly popular – the food offerings are subject to constant reinvention in line with the season and to diners’ preferences. The food items also read like a walkthrough to nature. For dinner, I chose to have Fubuki or “Snow Storm,” a special teppanyaki set menu. With dishes such as sushi, wagyu beef and foie gras within the set; it also served as a rundown of the house specialties all in one meal.
Traditional Japanese delicacies marked the start of my meal. Served as an assortment and in small portions, the delicacies consisted of prawns, rolled egg with mushroom and cured ham. The humble but well-curated dish was just enough to whet the appetite. If anything, the lightness stood in juxtaposition to the dishes to come later.
Next came the sashimi. One of my all-time favorites, Iketeru’s selection looked humble to the untrained eye but turned out to be one of the freshest sashimi I’ve ever tasted. Aside from the staple tuna and salmon, I spotted a succulent portion of yellowtail that left me wanting more.
This teppanyaki set was turning out to be a gradual seduction. The salad came next which indicated that the climax was still a few dishes away.
Then boom – in came the lobster. For all its grandiosity and despite it being my favorite dish for that set meal, it was not yet the main course. The lobster was cooked very well, came sauteed and sprinkled with spring onions on top. Despite this, a mayonnaise dip sat next to it which I used sparingly. The bare lobster alone was already more than enough to satisfy.
From here on, it was one choice dish after another. With the memorable lobster just done, my server was quick to bring out the foie gras. This is the one course that separates the Fubuki menu from the next tier Mori (Forest) teppanyaki set. I was almost tempted to just forgo this dish and order the Mori set if I had not been told that my order was already being prepared. Turned out to be a great decision. I normally do not choose foie gras when it’s on the menu due to its highly nutritious properties but this was one exception I didn’t mind salivating over.
The set meal could have ended then and there and I would have been satisfied. But the centerpiece dish was yet to come. The Wagyu Sirloin Beef simply bursted with juiciness even from the first bite. I chose to have mine medium rare which meant that the beef came tender and chewy. Simply put, that was one memorable dish.
A simple course marked the conclusion of the set meal. By this time, I was already stuffed and couldn’t be happier to see fresh fruits and ice cream to seal this culinary journey – a wonderful ending to a memorable meal.
Value for money: 4/5
Fubuki is a set meal off Iketeru’s Teppanyaki menu and costs MYR 560++ per person. I ate at Iketeru in conjunction with my wonderful stay at Hilton Kuala Lumpur. Currently, Hilton Worldwide is offering up to 30% off room rates on selected Hilton hotels of which this particularly property is among those participating. This is for stays from July 4 to October 30, 2015 and bookings must be made by September 30, 2015.
3 Jalan Stesen Sentral
Kuala Lumpur 50470
Tel: +60 3 2264 2264