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Exquisite raw treats
Monday 4 June 2018
Kuala Lumpur
A collaboration between RapidKL, The Malay Mail and RebeccaSaw.com
Inaho Sushi’s ‘bara chirashi don’ features a variety of seafood including tuna, salmon, salmon eggs, mackerel, prawns and octopus.
KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — I love the slippery texture of raw fish and the pleasant taste of uncooked salmon. The flavour of unrendered salmon fat is buttery and mellow but somehow turns into a strong fishy taste upon contact with heat. Similarly, I much prefer the smooth and creamy taste of raw tuna anytime over the stringy, tough texture of cooked ones. There’s nothing better than raw seafood sitting on top of vinegared rice, if you ask me. 

I know a lot of people feel the same way, so if you’re a fellow uncooked seafood lover, here are some of my recommendations. These are not just sashimi donburi restaurants but also poke bowl outlets — any place that offers a complete meal of raw fish and rice in a bowl.

Inaho Sushi

This is my regular haunt for donburi (rice bowl dish). The bara chirashi don has a variety of toppings on top of the rice including raw tuna, raw salmon and salmon eggs, raw mackerel, cooked prawns, boiled octopus, blanched crabsticks, sweet Japanese omelette and avocado. They’re all cut into bite-size pieces before being scattered on vinegared rice. You get a mouthful of different things all at once and, together, the flavours are absolutely magical. It feels like a party in your mouth as the sweet, salty and savoury elements intermingle with the different textures. Oh, and the view from the outdoor seating area is amazing too.

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    Super Big Don 

    They have Instagram-worthy bowls stacked high with premium ingredients like uni (sea urchin) and lobster. I like their excellent shrimp bowl with two different types of raw prawns. Most bowls come with the delicious negitori (chopped up raw tuna with scallions) and takuan (pickled daikon radish). Price-wise it’s slightly on the expensive side and service tends to suffer when there’s a long queue. But what can I say? I love their donburi bowls.

    Poke Lab

    Poke is Hawaiian raw fish salad (with heavy Japanese influences) used as a topping in rice bowls that’s taken Klang Valley by storm. The shop is no more than a narrow kiosk with seating in the middle of the mall but there’s always a queue during lunch time. You can choose the toppings and sauces you want to mix in — anything from mangoes to seaweed flakes. All the toppings are included in the price and you can request as much as you want. When you’re done, just mix everything together and start eating!

    Super Big Don House may be on the expensive side but their bowls are simply delicious.
    At Poke Lab you can opt for different types of toppings and sauces and request as much as you want.
    One of the best sushi and sashimi experiences can be had at Ichiro Sushi Bar.
    Poke Bear is pretty generous with their protein compared with other poke joints.

    Ichiro Sushi Bar

    This place has a reputation for giving diners one of the best sushi and sashimi experiences in town. And it’s reasonably priced too. This small Japanese restaurant is located at Isetan’s Eat Paradise and orders are made using an iPad on your table. My favourite is the salmon ikura donburi, featuring thick slices of raw salmon as well as salty salmon eggs. Ichiro flies the fish in fresh several times a week and there’s always a Japanese chef on duty so the generous slices of salmon sashimi is always a cut above the rest.

    Poke Bear

    This is another popular poke bowl destination. There are lots more protein (salmon, tuna, shrimp, octopus) to choose from here compared with other poke joints. The add-ons are limited to just five, although this is slightly offset by the more premium topping selections like walnut. If that’s not enough, you can always add on (with extra charges, of course). They also have complimentary hot and cold green tea so it all works out well in the end. I’m very big on value (read: cheapskate) so these things matter to me!

    * For more gastronomic adventures — keep up with Rebecca on www.RebeccaSaw.com and instagram.com/wackybecky.
Getting There
1. Inaho Sushi
RF04, Roof Top, Sky Park @ One City, Jalan USJ 25/1A, Subang Jaya, Selangor


Distance: 600 metres 

Operating hours: Noon-2.30pm; 6-11pm
2. Super Big Don House
75, Jalan SS 21/1, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor


Distance: 600 metres

Operating hours: Noon-3.30pm; 6-10.30pm
3. Poke Lab
LG28A, Empire Shopping Gallery, Jalan SS 16/1, Subang Jaya, Selangor


Distance: 400 metres

Operating hours: 10am-10pm
4. Ichiro Sushi Bar
First Floor, Isetan One Utama Shopping Centre, 1, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

LRT/MRT: Bandar Utama 

Distance: 300 metres

Operating hours: 11am-9.30pm (Sunday to Thursday); 11am-10pm (Friday and Saturday)
5. Poke Bear
LG1, Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall, Jalan PJS 11/15, Petaling Jaya, Selangor


Distance: 600 metres 

Operating hours: 10am-10pm
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