April 5, 2011

Hisago @ Straits Quay

I was truly impressed with Hisago the moment I stepped into the restaurant. Wow! Hisago is spacious and tastefully decorated. Hisago opened about four months ago. We were greeted at the door by Mr. Eric Lim, the General Manager of Hisago and he showed us to our table. Eric is a nice and pleasant young man. He did the explanation of the food served here patiently and quite detailed. I did not realise the big characters that spelt HISAGO until I looked at this picture. It served as a divider (family area and 'not' so family area separated). We decided to settle for what Eric recommended. He started us off with the Shake salad which, was an assortment of greens with slightly seared salmon pieces. Ooh, the salmon is fresh! The salad was with a generous dressing of mayonnaise and sesame oil (I think it is chuka-fu dressing). It was a good recommendation. I liked the dressing, which tasted a bit Chinese with the sesame oil. It was a change from the usual Thousand Island dressing used in other Japanese restaurant.The above picture showed some legs protruding from the maki (roll). That is the Spider Maki. It is actually deep fried soft shell crab, cucumber, flying fish roe and chilli mayonnaise roll. I am not a crab person but I could not resist taking one piece as it was so inviting. It was delicious. Eric suggested that we try another maki dish and it was the Salmon skin maki. This is something that is not on the menu. The Salmon maki was served in a simple way. I do not have any qualms about the taste when they arrived and I was not wrong. The salmon skin was deep-fried to a crispy bite ( but not over fried) and tasty. There is still the fishy taste but a good taste. We are very particular about the rice in our rolls and Hisago has it cooked just right. Noticed the generous amount of fish roe used here? We have never tried clay pot rice in a Japanese restaurant. Since Eric recommended it, we thought we would give it a shot. The Unagi (eel) Kamameshi was served. I took a scoop and I knew I was not going to be disappointed. It was a taste away from our Chinese claypot rice. I thought the rice with the unagi (well seasoned) and seaweed was delectable. However, hubby said it would have been better if the unagi were cooked (grilled) a little more. Also, the rice was not mushy. The Saba and Tempura Set consists of the above salad and the rest of the dishes below. The salad comes with a typical Japanese dressing. This plate of tempura came with the set. Tempura is my favourite, an all-time favourite. I would only return to the restaurant if the tempura were good. Yes, the tempura served here were done well. The batter was crispy, not soggy in the centre and it was not smooth. It was the way I liked my tempura done. The serving was also generous as it included three medium sized prawns.The set dinner also included rice and miso soup.This is something worth raving about. The grilled mackerel that was served with wafu sauce was out of the ordinary. Both of us enjoyed it tremendously as the sauce was good. It was a different kind of flavour. I took the above picture of the prawns just to prove a point. :)When it comes to the style of presenting a dish, I would give this restaurant both thumbs up. It was done elaborately. You get all kinds of taste in just a simple Set Dinner. You will love that little piece of meat...a piece of smoked duck. I wanted to ask for more pieces (wish I had). You even get kelp seaweed drenched with sesame oil served in a little glass.To finish off a scrumptious dinner, 'matcha aisu kurimu' (green tea ice cream) was served. This is Hisago, Japanese dining with style. I think even my fastidious son (when it comes to Japanese food) would love this place. Oh, if you are going to Hisago do try their Gindara Miso Nabe (Black Cod in Clear Miso soup). We loved it. If you ask me about the pricing, it is reasonable. :o)Hisago is giving a promotional 10% discount NOW. (I think above RM100 spent)
Hisago Modern Japanese Restaurant @ Straits Quay, Unit 3E-1-1, First Floor, South Quay, Straits Quay, Penang. Tel: 04-8901251**10% Service Charge